Saturday, June 30, 2007

Paris Hilton's Prison Self-portrait

Click Paris's drawing to enlarge

Paris Hilton drew this self-portait while she was in the hoosegow in Lynwood. These days, however, she's enjoying her freedom, while pledging to work for prison reform (because, she said, so many prisoners told her they were innocent).

Poem: Bible Stories 3/Babylon and the unfinished tower

Babylon and the unfinished Tower of Babel

The ark stopped bobbing and settled in the mud
Earth began her long drying
Noah popped the hatch

And the animals charged out of the ark
Behind Noah's wife sons and daughters-in-law
Earth began to fill once more

The begetting began again and the earth blossomed
With Noah's grandchildren and the birds and beasts
(The Bible doesn’t mention what became of the fish)

The corner of the world
Near the Tigris and Euphrates filled with people
But none crossed the eastern mountains

Or the desert to the west
The great world beyond was without people
After the flood families sought new homes

A group of people who wanted to serve God
Decided to build a city to rule all people
From bricks with walls of stone

The people said let us build a tower
Reaching to the sky so we stand as one
And not scatter across the earth

So they built a great tower from bricks
One story rising above another
But God did not want people all living together

If they stayed together
The wicked would lead the good
Into evil and away from their God

God began to change their language
So families and tribes by degrees all spoke
In different tongues now

Families and tribes stayed together
The men building the great tower
No longer knew each other's speech

And abandoned the tower for the faraway lands
Nineveh Assyria Egypt Sidon and Tyre
And the earth had many people in many lands

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Gathering Storm Around Dean Ericksen

click to enlarge

It looks like a storm has erupted over Dean Ericksen's entry into the world of blogging. Unfortunately for Dean, the moment he hit the net a firestorm over his character erupted.

Just today, someone sent us a new web site that is trolling for tales of Ericksen's misdeeds. And a picture of him with a well-known despot. And those are just the things we feel comnfortable publishing.

Ericksen's days as an internet impressario appear to be drawing to a rapid denoument. You may recall this story first appeared here, followed in rapid succession by dozens of other blogs and news outlets.


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Time Magazine Goes Metric? - The U.S. Is 40 Years Behind Going Metric - Correlatives With The JFK Fitness Program & The Move Toward Total Hydration

I remember in 4th and 5th grade (circa 1963-64) diligently studying the metric system in preparation for the big changeover. There would be no more pints or inches. We all received a small bundle of wooden blocks corresponding to various metric measures. Yes, the U.S. was slated to go totally metric 40 years ago. However, we seem unable to shuck the US customary units system (our version of the Imperial system). But you may also remember JFK's physical fitness initiative. The entire country would be buffed up by about 1970. Of all those initiatives, the only one that appeared to have caught fire was the move toward hydration. We were told to drink eight glasses of water a day without fail. OK, we may be fat and unable to determine what a metre of millilitre is, but we are well-hydrated. We won that one!

Much is made of the imperial system's basis of the size of a foot, or the distance between your knuckles. And yet the metric system is based on the speed of an electron, I think. That makes more sense than the distance between some emperor's knuckles?

If the metric system is so wonderful, why then have we not converted to metric for our measure of years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, and seconds? Why was it so important to convert linear measures, but not the temporal ones?

As far as I can tell, some foods and fluids are sold my metric measure, but not much else. Except:::::::::::::::::::::::::Hootch! Whiz! Wine! Whiskey! Beer is sold by the fluid ounce, but whiskey and wine: totally metric. The formerly beloved fifth of whiskey is now the slightly smaller 3/4 of a litre bottle. Those little bottles of wine you buy on the airplane: 187.5 millilitres (or, 1/4 of a 750 millilitre bottle [the "new fifth"]. So, we may have really sucked on our adoption of metric measures, but the drunks have it down pat, at least on the fluid measures.

'Time' Switches To The Metric System - Time managing editor Rick Stengel is attempting to force the U.S. towards the metric system? A new memo yesterday told writers and editors that from now on, all measurements will be expressed in "both imperial and metric equivalents." Clearly, this is a losing battle Stengel is waging.

Here is Stengel's memo on taking Time metric:

Time is going global. And metric. Starting with the next issue, we will provide both imperial and metric equivalents for distance, weight, volume and temperature. (We've been doing this for some time in our graphics. Now we'll extend this to the general text as well.) This will help ensure that one text works for all of our international editions.

In most cases, we'll use the imperial measure first and then show the metric equivalent in parentheses: five ft. (1.5 m); 170 lbs. (77 kg); 5 gallons (19 liters); 98.6 degrees F (37 degrees Celsius).

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Meet the Thompson Twins: Fred Thompson's wife, Jeri Kehn (with photos)

Unless she's crazier than a s***house rat, Fred Thompson's wife Jeri Kehn probably won't hurt his chances of being elected. Since jumping in the race, Thompson has had a fairly meteoric bump in the polls (even pulling ahead of McCain). Whether or not that is due to what some bloggers call The Thompson Twins is unknown.
People have written all sorts of nasty things about her, without any idea of the cut of her jib. Or any knowledge of her at all except having seen her photos. She, in fact, has been a Republican consultant and lobbyist, and sounds pretty interesting. It is clear, however, that having her standing next to the former Senator makes him look every day of his 64 years, and more. Pundits seem to think Jeri Kehn will not sell very well in the red/flyover states. I'm not sure Joe and Josephine Lunchbucket will hold her looks against her anymore than they did with Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy [Onassis].


Photograph: Chicken Love Tragedy - A Cautionary Tale of Beastiality in Iberia

This photo and the mangled grammar in the caption first appeared on the internet in the early 90's, back when we were all using the Spry browser to cruise between the few hundred websites that existed then...

Americans actually do seem to care, and the frogs appear to be sitting on their wallets

According to the Associated Press, Americans gave nearly $300 billion to charitable causes last year, even beating the 2005 total was swollen by the of aid to victims of hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma and the devastating Asian tsunami.

U.S. Citizens contributed an estimated $295.02 billion in 2006, a 1% increase when adjusted for inflation, up from $283.05 billion in 2005.

"What people find especially interesting about this, and it's true year after year, that such a high percentage comes from individual donors," Giving USA Chairman Richard Jolly said. Individuals gave a combined 75.6% of the total.

The biggest piece of the donations, $96.82 billion or 32.8%, went to religious organizations. The second largest donations, $40.98 billion or 13.9%, went to education, including gifts to colleges, universities and libraries.

The report showed that about 65% of households earning under $100,000 give to charity, "It tells you something about American culture that is unlike any other country," said Claire Gaudiani, a professor at NYU's Heyman Center for Philanthropy and author of The Greater Good: How Philanthropy Drives the American Economy and Can Save Capitalism. .

Gaudiani said Americans give more than double the next most charitable nation--Great Britain, who gave roughly 0.73%. Not surprisingly, the frogs a/k/a France, kicked in at a 0.14% rate, far far behind countries like South Africa, Singapore, Turkey and Germany.

Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here - Lyrics and video

Back in the day, and even up to a couple of years ago, I didn't pay much attention to Pink Floyd. I was absorbed by Zappa, CSNY, The Beatles, The Kinks, The Doors, The Band, Hendrix, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Dylan, and The Grateful Dead. Since then, I have learned that these guys actually mattered a great deal. "Wish you were here" is my favorite song by Pink Floyd (so far). The video here is of the Floyd in their geezerhood, at a reunion show. . .

Wish You Were Here
by Pink Floyd

So, so you think you can tell Heaven from Hell,
blue skies from pain.
Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?
And did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
And did you exchange a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?
How I wish, how I wish you were here.
We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year,
Running over the same old ground.
What have we found? The same old fears.
Wish you were here.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Old 97's downloads

click to enlarge the Old 97's

If you've been a visitor here recently, you know I have been on a serious Old 97's jag for a while now. I am still contemplating going over to the Gorge at George to see them at the Willy Nelson Picnic show on July 4th. . .which happens about two days after I return from a vacation in Central Washington next week. One of the buggest disappointments of the last few months was the night in Austin a couple of months ago, when I went to see them at Stubb's. The show was rained out.

If you're not familiar with the Old 97's canon, or if you're too cheap to actually buy CDs, the Old 97's have at least two tracks from all six of their albums free for downloading here. If you're an alt-country fan, or a power pop fan, I think you'll like these guys. I'm a little embarrassed it took me so long to get a clue about these guys, because they have rapidly become tops of the pops for me. . .

Who is "Carlo" on the last Soprano's episode?

click to enlarge

Many people are puzzled by the reference to Carlo on the final episode of The Sopranos. Carlo Gervasi apparently becomes an informant after his son is busted. Several references in the last show allude to Carlo's upcoming testimony against Anthony. This is not the Carlo who was killed earlier in the series. Carlo Gervasi, played by Arthur J. Nascarella.

Carlo Gervasi first appears in Season Four, as a captain of Jimmy Altieri's old crew (Jimmy you may remember was also disposed of as a rat). Gervasi runs the Bloomfield Avenue casino, and was part of the Soprano family's port hijackings. In Season 6, Carlo attended two celebration dinners at Nuovo Vesuvio, first when his cousin Burt Gervasi becomes a made man and a second when he attends Christopher's bachelor party.

After Vito's murder, Gervasi is given all of his construction action. He stated once that he wanted Spatafore "dragged behind his car." When Tony decided that Spatafore had to be killed, Silvio (Steven Van Zandt) suggested Gervasi for the job because of his views. Carlo later avenged his family's honor in a memorable episode by stabbing Fat Dom for making jokes about Spatafore's murder and implying that Gervasi was also gay. He freaked out and stabbed him in the back room of Satriale's Pork Store with Silvio also getting sucked into the action. Tony Soprano discovers them waiting to dispose of the body and was angry because of the murder's possible blowback. Gervasi takes charge of disposing of Gamiello's body and even drives to Connecticut to deposit his head in a storm drain, if you remember that scene earlier in the season. You actually did see Carlo a great deal, but the glimpses were usually fleeting.

In the series finale, Gervasi's son is picked up by the FBI for drug-dealing. When Carlo fails to show up for a meeting with Paulie Walnuts, he warns Tony that he may be cutting a deal. Soprano's attorney confirms that someone is, in fact testifying before a grand jury and that indictments are forthcoming. In the final scene, Tony tells Carmela that Carlo is testifying, thus confirming that he turned informant to keep his son out of jail and possibly out of revenge for the murder of his cousin.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Blog Wars--> Boycott This Blog: Almost There In No Time

The proprietor of Almost There In No Time, a favorite blog of NMBLA members,
as well as the NRA, the Republican National Committee, and Ralph Nader.
One follower describes Ericksen's eyes as "penetrating and insidious.
When he looks at you it's like a hypnotist's watch."

An insidious presence has crept into the "blogosphere." Dean Ericksen, a native Seattleite and environmental executive, recently initiated a scandalous blog known as Almost There In No Time. Mr. Ericksen is slowly and insidiously building a cult following in the Pacific Northwest. One person who escaped his clutches told All This Is That "Ericksen plans to increase his following until he has the numbers to make a national splash. . .and what he plans on doing will make David Koresh's conflagration look like a marshmallow roast, and will make the Jonestown Massacre look--literally--like a kool-aid party. His intention is to create such an apocalyptic meltdown that he will be long-remembered. Unlike some of those other leaders, however, he has no intention of going down with the ship!" He increases his following by preaching a strangely polyglot mixture of several seemingly incompatible philosophies, not unlike, say Heinrich Himmler or Adolph Shicklegruber himself. "He's able to pull it off, " one former cult member told All This Is That, "because unlike most of those other wackos, he doesn't seem to be in it for the sex, or the money."

Ericksen's blog is listed as a favorite on the websites of the National Rifle Association, the National Man-Boy Love Association, The King County Republican Party, the American Nazi and Communist Parties, The Junior League, Aryan Nations, Volksfront, the VFW, the fraternal orders of Elks, Moose, and Eagles, The Masonic Lodge, The National Vanguard, White Revolution, the National Alliance, the G.O.P., the Moral Majority, as well as the individual blogs of Charles Manson, Oral Roberts, Mark David Chapman, and the entertainers Celine Dion, David Hassehof, and Rosie O'Donnell. How does this seemingly random stew of no talents, hate groups, and political reactionaries join in agreement about one blogger's website? I have no idea. But I do know that Mr. Ericksen needs to be stopped well before he reaches critical mass. Perhaps it's even too late for that. One well-known deprogrammer said "it's virtually impossible to deprogram one of his followers. Once Ericksen has rooted into their psyches, it is very difficult to evict him. It's like zombies; once you cross the line you don't go back."

Saturday, June 23, 2007

A Painting Of A Moroccan Dance Scene (artist unknown)

click the painting to enlarge

This massive painting (I'd guess it is about 10 feet by five feet) hangs in a stairwell in my parent-in-laws 1904 mansion. It is a painterly rendition of a "casbah" scene. I've always loved the drapery and the pastel palette. If I am lucky I can buy or glom onto this painting when they sell the house--despite the fact it is too large to hang in anything approaching a normal house. I never saw a scene like this when I was in Morocco...the women in Morocco aren't nearly so pale, and I certainly never saw any of the women dancing. When you saw the women at all. . .

Idiot, moron, imbecile: an old illustration

click illustration to enlarge

No, I am not talking about a specific person. . . this is an illustration from a textbook, outling the now apparently verboten system of categorzing people's mental acuity.

Friday, June 22, 2007

The spooks come clean: CIA to release details on decades of secrets

The Central Intelligence Agency will soon declassify thousands of pages of documents on spook operations from over three decades ago. The , CIA Director Michael Hayden said according to Reuters.

The "Family Jewels" documents chronicle foreign assassination attempts, domestic spying, kidnapping and infiltration of leftist groups from the 1950s to the 1970s. . .according to a summary posted on the National Security Archive site.

The documents to be released next week also include accounts of break-ins and theft, surveillance of U.S. journalists, the agency's opening of private mail to and from China and the Soviet Union, and "behavior modification" experiments on "unwitting" U.S. civilians.

"Much of it has been in the press before, and most of it is unflattering, but it's the CIA's history," Hayden said in a speech on Thursday to the American Foreign Relations Conference.
"This is about telling the American people what we have done in their name," Hayden said.

The CIA chief said the documents provide a glimpse of "a very different time and a very difference agency." Hayden said 11,000 pages of analysis from would be available on the CIA's Web site.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Ralph Nader, a/k/a The Dingbat, threatens to run for President again

Ralph Nader says he is seriously considering running for president in 2008 because he foresees another election with no real choice to voters.

"You know the two parties are still converging -- they don't even debate the military budget anymore," Nader said in a 30-minute interview. "I really think there needs to be more competition from outside the two parties."

Ralphie, or as he is known on All This Is That, "The Dingbat" has zero chance of winning the presidency should he run, but he knows he doesn't need to win to affect the outcome. Many Democrats blame Nader for siphoning enough votes away from Al Gore in Florida in 2000 to elect George W. Bush. Sure, I blame Al Gore too, but nonetheless, if The Dingbat had stood down, we wouldn't be facing the mess we've lived with these last 6 and a half years.

Ralph, Don't Do It!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Happy 161st Birthday Baseball!

The first baseball game played under the modern rules (also known as the Knickerbocker Rules) occurred in 1846. And Just what were these modern rules? Most notably, a runner could no longer be put out of play by getting hit with a thrown ball; the Knickerbocker Rules required fielders to tag or force the runner, as is done today. The first competitive game under the new rules was probably played by the Knickerbockers at Elysian Fields in Hoboken, New Jersey.

On the other hand, the old rules sound kind of fun...a sort of X-games/American Gladiator version of baseball. Think of how the game changed that very day. . .you no longer had to be able to lead a runner to peg them. All of sudden the greatest sport of all transmogrified and instead of pegging the runner, you had to learn to throw to a fixed player on your team!

Some Classic Porn Movie Titles from the Lusty Lady

click to enlarge

The Lusty Lady strip club in Seattle is owned by a co-op of women, and usually features parodies of movie titles on its marquee, a few of which follow:

A Few Hard Men
American Booty
An Officer and a Genitalman
Desperately Seeking Semen
Mutiny on the Booty
Position Impossible
Raiders Of The Lost Arse
Saving Ryan's Privates
The Empire Strokes Black
The Long Ranger
The Object of My Erection
The Reproducers
The Touchables
The White Stuff
There's Something In and Out of Mary
Throbbin Hood
To Drill a Mockingbird
Too Clothed For Comfort

Video and lyrics: Old 97's Designs On You

The Old 97's perform Designs On You at La Zona Rosa in Austin, Texas. Watching this video reminds me I haven't been to Austin for three months. In the last couple of years, Austin has become one of my main sites for seeing live music, althought I have still not been able to see the Old 97's there (due to schedules, and one rainout at Stubb's).

Standin' on the corner of 6th and how to forget
Tryin' to do right by you all night, Annette.
You can go ahead and get married
And this'll be our secret thing.
I won't tell a soul except the people in the nightclub where I sing.
I don't wanna get you all worked up,
Except secretly I do.

I'd be lyin' if I said I didn't have designs on you.
I'd be lyin' if I said I didn't have designs on you.

Standin' on the corner of 6th and where do I go
The parade shut down now the rain is runnin' the show.
Where did all these people come from
And how soon can they leave?
Normally I'd be headin' to it
But I need to get some sleep
Though I do wish you'd come over but I'm warning you if you do

I'd be lyin' if I said I didn't have designs on you.
I'd be lyin' if I said I didn't have designs on you.

Standin on the corner of 6th and where do I get
Tryin' to do right by you all night, Annette.
This would only be an experiment
In things that could have been
And you can go ahead and get married
And it'll probably never happen again
I don't mean to make you excited except secretly I do.

I'd be lyin' if I said I didn't have designs on you.
I'd be lyin' if I said I didn't have designs on you.
I'd be lyin' if I said I didn't have designs on you.
I'd be lyin' if I said I didn't have designs on you

YouPorn goes live with beta

YouPorn, a YouTube-type site for pornography has recently gone live with a beta release. I wonder why it took this long? Or how long it will be before this site becomes the mostly widely visited site in the entire internet? No doubt they already have the tens of thousands of internet sex sites quaking in their boots.

Video: The Office Space Trailer Recut As A Horror Movie

Monday, June 18, 2007

Roberto Gonzales's Cleveland Steamer strategy

Attorney Robert Gonzales admitted to a subordinate earlier this week that the only reason he still has a job is that he "has the goods on Cheney." Last Wednesday, the White House aide sent what they believed was an anonymous tip to the All This Is That editorial offices. The tip was subsequently traced back via IP protocols to an aide working in the Executive Office Building. When contacted by an All This Is That staff reporter, the aide admitted sending the tip and offered to provide sources as well as evidence of the act, and the blackmail itself.

Both VP Cheney's and General Gonzales's offices refused comment on the story. Two aides in Cheney's office were willing to discuss certain aspects of the allegations. The story—fairly widely circulated in Beltway political circles—involves the Vice-President, and a White House page who often performed an act known as a "Cleveland Steamer." Photographs of the Vice-President receiving the steamer have reportedly circulated among certain politicos. In a curious sidebar, it has often been noted that Fuhrer Adolph Hitler was also a Cleveland Steamer enthusiast. James Joyce, author of Dubliners, Ulysses,and Finnegan's wake was also reported to be a fan (a fact confirmed in his selected letters).[Tomorrow in All This Is That: photographic and audio evidence of the allegations].

Poem: Bible Stories 3/The Big Boat

click to enlarge Noah's ark

Abel he took his act to another dusty land
God gave Adam and Eve another child they named him Seth
Their children proceeded to fill the earth
Sons daughters aunts nephews cousins uncles second cousins
sisters brothers nieces third cousins stepbrothers stepsisters
It was an orgy of fruitfulness and everyone was madly begetting
After many years presiding over this begetting Adam and Eve died

Because they had alas partaken of the forbidden apple
By the time they died all the begetting begetting more begetting filled
Their corner of the earth as the children's children had more children
And the children’s children’s children had even more children
And since men and women lived to be 900 years old
That corner of the earth was now filled with wicked people
In that corner of the earth was where Adam's sons and their wives lived
And few of the progeny of all that begetting grew up to become good
It came to pass that even the children of good men and women
Turned to the dark side and God looked down on the evil in his world
In the hearts of the men and women and saw some good people left
And the best of all of them was Enoch from the family of Seth
Enoch did only what was right and walked and talked with God
Enoch was lock stock and barrel God’s boy up front
When Enoch was 365 years old God took him to heaven
Because God just couldn’t wait 600 more years for him
And scooped him up from earth without dying

Enoch left a son Methuselah who lived to be 969 years old
But at last even old Methuselah died And God looked down and said that's it
For men and women because their evil has become first nature
Noah tried to do right for God and he too walked and talked with God
And God said to Noah
the time has come when every living on earth
Will be destroyed but you and your family will be saved
Because now it's you alone who try to do right to your fellow women and men

God told Noah to build a big boat and said I am going to flood
The earth and drown all the people and animals
So you must make the ark large enough to hold each animal there is
So animals as well as men may live upon the earth
After the flood
Noah did what God asked
And built a great ark on dry land where there was no water for it to sail
People whispered he's gone crackers and made the cuckoo sign
As Noah and his sons built the ark the wicked people laughed

But after 120 years the ark was finished and stood like a castle on the land
God said to Noah get you and yours into the ark—it's coming down starting now
So Noah his wife and his sons Shem Ham and Japheth and their wives

Climbed into the ark and God led animals birds and creeping things
To the door of the ark and they went into the ark
And Noah and his sons shut the door and battened down the hatches
So no more people or animals could come in as the thunder began

At first it was just rain but then a sprinkle became a drizzle a shower and a torrent
The rivers rose higher and higher and the ark began to float on the water
People left their houses and ran to the hills but soon the hills were covered
For forty days and nights the rain kept on the water kept rising and rising
Climbing up the mountains until even Mt. Everest was beneath the water
And there was no sign of life outside of the ark
After forty days the rain stopped and God sent a wind to dry the waters
Finally the ark ceased to float and settled on the ground on Mt. Ararat
But Noah could not see what had happened on the earth
Because the door was shut and the window was in the roof
He knew that the water must have gone down and sent out a dove
That evening the dove came back to the ark and in its bill was a fresh leaf
He sent the dove later and the dove flew away and never came back

Noah knew that the earth was becoming dry again
So he took off a part of the roof and looked out and saw dry land
Noah and family had lived in the ark more than a year
And was glad to see the green land and the trees once more
God said to Noah: Come out of the ark
With your wife and your sons and their wives and all the living things
That are with you in the ark and so Noah opened the door

Of the ark and with his family came out with all the animals
And the birds and creeping things in the ark came out also
And began again to fly swim wiggle crawl and stomp on the earth
Noah gave thanks to God when he came out of the ark

For saving all his family and the animals and for just being God
He built an altar, and laid upon it an offering to the Lord,
He dedicated himself and his family to God, and promised to do God's will.
God said:
No flood shall again cover the earth and you now rule
The air and the waters and the ground and every living thing
Upon the face of the earth
and then God caused a rainbow to appear in the sky

And told Noah that when they see a rainbow they should remember
God hung rainbows in the sky to remind us there will be no more floods.


Saturday, June 16, 2007

Alien Lore No. 109/Donald Keyhoe's The Flying Saucers Are Real

Donald Keyhoe's The Flying Saucers Are Real, published in 1950, was one of the very first modern books published on UFO's and alien lore. This book's copyright was not renewed and it is now in the public domain.

This book provides a sort of blueprint for all of what I consider to be alien lore: the paranoia, allegations of government disinformation and cover-ups, the conclusion that the saucers are not a government research project, but come from somewhere else. This book was the cornerstone of alien mythology. And yet many of the cases studied in this book remain unexplained. . .

You can download the entire book free, and legally, at Project Gutenberg.

Here is Chapter One:

IT WAS A strange assignment.

I picked up the telegram from my desk and read it a third time.

NEW YORK, N. Y., MAY 9, 1949



I glanced out at the Potomac, recalling the first saucer story. As a pilot, I'd been skeptical of flying disks. Then reports had begun to pour in from Air Force and airline pilots. Apparently alarmed, the Air Force had ordered fighters to pursue the fast-flying saucers. In one mysterious chase, a pilot had been killed, and his death was unexplained. That had been seventeen months ago. Since then, the whole flying-saucer riddle had been hidden behind a curtain of Air Force secrecy.

And now, an assignment from True magazine on flying saucers.

Twenty-four hours later, I was in Ken Purdy's office.

"I've had men on this for two months," he told me. "I might as well warn you, it's a tough story to crack."

"You think it's a Russian missile?" I asked him. "Or an Air Force secret?"

"We've had several answers. None of them stacks up. But I'm positive one was deliberately planted when they found we were checking."

He told me the whole story of the work that had been done by the staff of True and of the reports sent in by competent writers. The deeper he delved into the mystery, the tougher the assignment got. The more I learned about flying saucers, the less I knew.

"There's one angle I want rechecked," Purdy said.

"You've heard of the Mantell case?"

{p. 8}

I nodded.

"O.K. Try to get the details of Mantell's radio report to Godman Tower. Before he was killed, he described the thing he was chasing--we know that much. Project 'Saucer' gave out a hint, but they've never released the transcript. Here's another lead. See if you can find anything about a secret picture, taken at Harmon Field, Newfoundland--it was around July 1947. I'll send you other ideas as I get them."

Before I left, Purdy wished me hick and told me that he would work in closest harmony with me.

"But watch out for fake tips," he said. "You'll probably run into some people at the Pentagon who'll talk to you 'off the record.' That handcuffs a writer. Look out they don't lead you into a blind alley. Even the Air Force statements and the Project 'Saucer' report contradict each other."

For six months, I worked with other investigators to solve the mystery of the disks. We checked a hundred sighting reports, frequently crossing the trail of Project "Saucer" teams and F.B.I. agents. Old records gave fantastic leads. So did Air Force plans for exploring space. Rocket experts, astronomers, Air Force officials and pilot gave us clues pointing to a startling solution. Many intelligent persons--including scientists--believe that the saucers contain spies from another planet.

When this first phase was ended, we were faced with a hard decision. We had uncovered important facts, We knew the saucers were real. If it was handled carefully, we believed the story would be in line with a secret Air Force policy.

It was finally decided to publish certain alternate conclusions. The Air Force was informed of True's intentions; no attempt was made to block publication.

In the January 1950 issue of True, I reported that we had reached the following conclusions:

1 The earth has been observed periodically by visitors from another planet.

2. This observation has increased markedly in the past two years.

"The only other possible explanation," I wrote, "is that,

{p. 9}

the saucers are extremely high-speed, long-range devices developed here on earth. Such an advance (which the Air Force has denied) would require an almost incredible leap in technical progress even for American scientists and designers."

Nation-wide press and radio comment followed the appearance of the article. This publicity was obviously greater than the Air Force had expected. Within twenty-four hours the Pentagon was deluged with telegrams, letters, and long-distance calls. Apparently fearing a panic, the Air Force hastily stated that flying-saucer reports--even those made by its own pilots and high-ranking officers--were mistakes or were caused by hysteria.[1]

But three days later, when it was plain that many Americans calmly accepted True's disclosures, the Air Force released a secret project "Saucer" file containing this significant statement:

"It will never be possible to say with certainty that any individual did not see a space ship, an enemy missile or other object."

In this same document there appears a confidential analysis of Air intelligence reports.[2] It is this summary that contains the official suggestion Of. space visitors' motives. After stating that such a civilization would obviously be far ahead of our own, the report adds:

"Since the acts of mankind most easily observed from a distance are A-bomb explosions, we should expect some relation to obtain between the time of the A-bomb explosions, the time at which the space ships are seen, and the time required for such ships to arrive from and return to home base."

(In a previous report, which alternately warned and reassured the public, the Air Force stated that space travel outside the solar system is almost a certainty.[3])

Since 1949 there has been a steady increase in saucer sightings. Most of them have been authentic reports, which Air Force denials cannot disprove. In January, mystery

[1. Air Force press release 629-49, December 27, 1949.

2. Air Force Project "Saucer" December 30, 1949.

3. Air Force report M-26-49, Preliminary Studies on Flying saucers, April 27, 1949.]

{p. 10}

disks were reported over Kentucky, Indiana, Texas, Pennsylvania, and several other states. On the Seattle Anchorage route, an air freighter was paced for five minutes by a night-flying saucer. When the pilots tried to close in, the strange craft zoomed at terrific speed. Later, the airline head reported that Intelligence officers had quizzed the pilots for hours.

"From their questions," he said, "I could tell they had a good idea of what the saucers are. One officer admitted they did, but he wouldn't say any more."

Another peculiar incident occurred at Tucson, Arizona, on February 1. Just at dusk, a weird, fiery object raced westward over the city, astonishing hundreds in the streets below. The Tucson Daily Citizen ran the story next day with a double-banner headline:



Flying saucer? Secret experimental plane? Or perhaps a scout craft from Mars? Certainly the strange aircraft that blazed a smoke trail over Tucson at dusk last night defies logical explanation. It was as mystifying to experienced pilots as to groundlings who have trouble in identifying conventional planes.

Cannonballing through the sky, some 30,000 feet aloft, was a fiery object shooting westward so fast it was impossible to gain any clear impression of its shape or size. . . .

At what must have been top speed the object spewed out light colored smoke, but almost directly over Tucson it appeared to hover for a few seconds. The smoke puffed out an angry black and then be came lighter as the strange missile appeared to gain speed"

The radio operator in the Davis-Monthan air force base control tower contacted First Lt. Roy L. Jones, taking off for a cross-country flight in a B-29, and asked him to investigate. Jones revved up his swift aerial tanker and still the unknown aircraft steadily pulled away toward California.

Dr. Edwin F. Carpenter, head of the University of

{p. 11}

Arizona department of astronomy, said he was certain that the object was not a meteor or other natural phenomenon. . . .

Switchboards Swamped

The Tucson police station was jammed with inquiries. Hundreds saw the object. Tom Bailey, 1411 E. 10th Street, thought it was a large airplane on fire. [A later check showed no planes missing.] He said it wavered from left to right as it passed over the mountains. Bailey also noticed that the craft appeared to slow perceptibly over Tucson. He said the smoke apparently came out in a thin, almost invisible stream, gaining substance within a few seconds.

This incident had an odd sequel the following day. Its significance was not lost on the Daily Citizen. It ran another front-page story, headlined:


As though to prove itself blameless for tilting hundreds of Tucson heads skyward, the U.S. Air Force yesterday afternoon spent hours etching vapor trails through the skies over the city.

The demonstration proved conclusively to the satisfaction of most that the strange path of dark smoke blazed across the evening sky at dusk Wednesday was no vapor trail and did not emanate from any conventional airplane.

The Wednesday night spectacle was entirely dissimilar. Then, heavy smoke boiled and swirled in a broad, dark ribbon fanning out at least a mile in width and stretching across the sky in a straight line. Since there was no proof as to what caused the strange predark manifestation, and because even expert witnesses were unable to explain the appearance, the matter remains a subject for interesting speculation.

There is strong evidence that this story was deliberately kept off the press wires. The Associated Press and other wire services in Washington had no report. Requests for details by Frank Edwards, Mutual newscaster, and other

{p. 12}

radio commentators ran into a blank wall. At the Pentagon I was told that the Air Force had no knowledge of the sighting or the vapor-trail maneuvers.

On February 22 two similar glowing objects were seen above Boca Chica Naval Air Station at Key West. A plane sent tip to investigate was hopelessly outdistanced; it was obvious the things were at a great height. Back at the station, radarmen tracked the objects as they hovered for a moment above Key West. They were found to be at least fifty miles above the earth. After a few seconds, they accelerated at high speed and streaked out of sight.

On the following day Commander Augusto Orrego, a Chilean naval officer, reported that saucers had flown above his antarctic base.

"During the bright antarctic night," be said, "we saw flying saucers, one above the other, turning at tremendous speeds. We have photographs to prove what we saw."

Early in March, Ken Purdy phoned the latest development in the investigation. He had just received a tip predicting a flurry of saucer publicity during March. It had come from an important source in Washington.

"You know what it probably means," he said. "The same thing we talked about last month. But why were we tipped off in advance?"

"It's one more piece in the pattern," I said. "If the tip's on the level, then they're stepping up the program."

Within three days, reports began to pour in--from Peru, Cuba, Mexico, Turkey, and other parts of the world. Then on March 9 a gleaming metallic disk was sighted over Dayton, Ohio. Observers at Vandalia Airport phoned Wright-Patterson Field. Scores of Air Force pilots and groundmen watched the disk, as fighters raced up in pursuit. The mysterious object streaked vertically skyward, hovered for a while miles above the earth, and then disappeared. A secret report was rushed to the Civil Aeronautics Authority in Washington, then turned over to Air Force Intelligence.

Soon after this Dr. Craig Hunter, director of a medical supply firm, reported a huge elliptical saucer flying at a low altitude in Pennsylvania. He described it as metallic, with a slotted outer rim and a rotating ring just inside. {p. 13} On top of this sighting, thousands of people at Farmington, New Mexico, watched a large formation of disks pass high above the city.

Throughout all these reports, the Air Force refused to admit the existence of flying saucers. On March 18 it flatly denied they were Air Force secret missiles or space-exploration devices.

Three days later, a Chicago and Southern airliner crew saw a fast-flying disk near Stuttgart, Arkansas. The circular craft, blinking a strange blue-white light, pulled up in an arc at terrific speed. The two pilots said they glimpsed lighted ports on the lower side as the saucer zoomed above them. The lights had a soft fluorescence, unlike anything they had seen.

There was one peculiar angle in the Arkansas incident. There was no apparent attempt to muzzle the two pilots, as in earlier airline cases. Instead, a United Press interview was quickly arranged, for nation-wide publication. In this wire story Captain Jack Adams and First Officer G. W. Anderson made two statements:

"We firmly believe that the flying saucer we saw over Arkansas was a secret experimental type aircraft--not a visitor from outer space. . . .

"We know the Air Force has denied there is anything to this flying-saucer business, but we're both experienced pilots and we're not easily fooled."

The day after this story appeared, I was discussing it with an airline official in Washington.

"That's an odd thing," he said. "The Air Force could have persuaded those pilots--or the line president--to hush the thing up. It looks as if they wanted that story broadcast."

"You mean the whole thing was planted?"

"I won't say that, though it could have been. Probably they did see something. But they might have been told what to say about it."

"Any idea why?"

He looked at me sharply. "You and Purdy probably know the answer. At a guess, I'd say it might have been planned to offset that Navy commander's report--the one on the White Sands sightings."

{p. 14}

The White Sands case had puzzled many skeptics, because the Pentagon had cleared the published report. The author, Commander R. B. McLaughlin, was a regular Navy officer. As a Navy rocket expert, he had been stationed at the White Sands Rocket Proving Ground in New Mexico. In his published article he described three disk sightings at White Sands.

One of the disks, a huge elliptical craft, was tracked by scientists with precision instruments at five miles per second. That's 18,000 miles per hour. It was found to be flying fifty-six miles above the earth. Two other disks, smaller types, were watched from five observation posts on hills at the proving ground. Circling at incredible speed, the two disks paced an Army high-altitude rocket that had just been launched, then speeded up and swiftly outclimbed the projectile.

Commander McLaughlin's report, giving dates and factual details, was cleared by the Department of Defense. So was a later nation-wide broadcast.

Then the Air Force made its routine denial.

Why was McLaughlin, a regular Navy officer subject to security screening, permitted to give out this story? Was it an incredible slip-up? Or was it part of some carefully thought-out plan? I believe it was part of an elaborate program to prepare the American people for a dramatic disclosure.

For almost a year I have watched the behind-the-scenes maneuvers of those who guide this program. In the following chapters I have tried to show the strange developments in our search for the answer; the carefully misleading tips, the blind alleys we entered, the unexpected assistance, the confidential leads, and the stunning contradictions.

It has been a complicated jigsaw puzzle. Only by seeing all parts of this intricate picture can you begin to glimpse the reasons for this stubbornly hidden secret.

The official explanation may be imminent. When it is finally revealed, I believe the elaborate preparation--even the wide deceit involved--will be fully justified in the minds of the American people.

Sun Mountain Lodge in the Okanagan

click to enlarge

I am sitting here at Sun Mountain Lodge, looking out at the mountains and Goat Peak. Five days ago, I was standing on Broadway in Manhattan, and there could not be a greater difference. The roar and hustle is replaced by the sound of birds and the people watching is replaced by watching for deer, coyote, and bear. Instead of looking up at helicopters, you watch the clouds move slowly across the valley, and see a hawk drifting over the valley, riding the thermals.

Last night, I went for a walk and was stunned, as I always am, by the thousands of visible stars. In Seattle, we can see the major constellations, but we miss the millions of stars that form almost a cloud of fog across the skies. Usually when I am over here, the temperature hovers somewhere between 80 and 105F. Today it is a crisp 60 degrees. I am heading down to the pool in hopes they have it heated at least in the 80 degree range. It's all about temperature today.

We are over here in the Mazama vicinity for the Bar Mitzvah of David Lone--the Okanogan County's second one, ever. The Mohr/Lone family was also responsible for the first one--Will Lone's.

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Brummets, Currans, Kruses, and Sanchezes in NYC

Click photo to enlarge - The picture of Pat Curran, Eric Sanchez, Megan Curran, Kris Kruse, Charles "Pete" Curran, Mary Curran, Jack Brummet, Keelin Curran, Kevin Curran, and an inset of Del Brummet (who took the photo) gets better when you know the stranger in the dark jacket on the right just walked up and asked if we wanted him in the picture too? Sure!

We are standing in Cooper Square in the East Village in this picture, heading over to E. 6th street for dinner at the Brick Lane Curry House. This was a great, warm night of dinner, strolling, and much laughter among the extended family.

I don't think I ever mentioned the "reason" for the trip back to our one-time home. About half our crew, above, came to NYC to participate in the Out of the Darkness overnight walk for the American Society for Suicide Prevention. They raised over $1,000 each for their walk around Manhattan. . .20 miles, from 8 PM to 7 AM. They were on this walk in memory of my brother-in-law Colin Curran, who committed suicide in NYC in August, 1982.

click to enlarge - photo of Colin Curran, taken by Keelin Curran, circa 1977, NYC

A video mashup of Adolph Hitler and Quiet Riot or is it Slade?


Gray's Papaya on the Upper West Side

click to enlarge

Gray's started just about the time I landed in NYC, in 1977. This is the place for good hot dogs, and fruit juice. Del and I ate there twice this trip, both times having the special (2 hot dogs with onions and kraut and a glass of papaya drink - $3.50). I was very glad to see it has survived the years. If you are a fan of dogs, Gray's is the place. The hot dogs have a nice natural casing snap and come hot off the grill onto a perfectly toasted bun, with sauerkraut and chili onions, or with just mustard if you don't like them NY style. The papaya juice is a perfect foil for the hot dogs. Gray's is on the corner of Broadway and 72nd Street, and they have a store in the West Village too. . .

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Dan Perjovschi at the Musem of Modern Art in NYC (includes video of him at work)

I went to MOMA a few days ago, mainly to see the new building, more of the collection on display, the fascinating Richard Serra show (and Van Gogh's Starry Night, the Monet, Picasso, Pollock, Brancusi's sculptures, Jasper Johns, Motherwell, De Kooning, Talouse-Lautrec, Rothko, Klimt, et al), and all the other great paintings. And then I stumbled onto Dan Perjovschi's fantastic, politically charged, and humorous wall mural. He creates these publicly on the spot--like Keith Haring did with paint, back in the day. I saw a lot of great art that day, but it took this Romanian to make me laugh.
You can download the newspaper Perjovschi created for the modern exhibit here. The New York Times review today of the show pointed out that his work is far more casual, and less formal than that of Haring's. This is true. It is a pictorial jumble of fragments that bludgeon's you with its politics. That's OK too. In some ways, this reminds me of a lot of Jonathan Borofsky's work in the 80s, where there really wasn't a message, but just deep images that spoke for themselves. Anyhow, if you're in NYC, it's worth it to see this show. The New York Times also pointed out this fascinating tidbit: people spend far more time staring at this wall that they do in front of Starry Night...arguably, the most famous painting in MOMA (or at least right up there).

Video: Dan Perjovschi creates his wall art

Note: The Richard Serra show was excellent as well. I like his epic piece at the sculpture park in Seattle, but one of these--Torqued Torus Inversion, was a real mindf'er. I know some people don't think welded rusty steel plates are a work of art, but then they are probably the same folks who think Jackson Pollack can't paint.

Video: Tommy Chong out-debates Contessa Brewer on Paris Hilton

MSNBC thought they were bringing in an acid-burnout zombie for some stoner humor. Tommy Chong, however, mopped up the floor with Contessa Brewer. When he exceeds her expectations, she totally crosses the journalist's line and asks if he is high.

Contessa—it was pretty pathetic to see you react like a shrieking swamp sow. Have you thought of firing off your resume to Fox?


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Back to the Temple of Dendur & Uncle George

On Sunday, we went to the Met because. . .well, you don't really need a reason, do you? Del wanted to see the Egyptian collections, and I hadn't seen them since I lived in NYC. We finally got through the blocked streets, police barriers, and closed transverses, and arrived at Fifth Avenue, where the Puerto Rico Day parade was in full swing (and running three hours late). We slid through the crowd into the museum.The temple of Dendur[1] has always been my favorite exhibit at the Met. Before we arrived in the temple's pavillion, we saw hundreds of scrolls, tombs, papyrus, paintings, mummies, artifacts, mummies, and sarcophagi. Time was short, so we raced up to the American painting wing to see some old favorites, particularly "George Washington Crossing the Deleware" and then we went to see the classical/old master painting/Flemish/Florentine paintings.

Click to enlarge

[1] According to the Wikipedia, "The Temple of Dendur, Roman period, ca. 15 B.C.Egyptian; Dendur, NubiaSandstone; L. from gate to rear of temple 82 ft. (24 m 60 cm)Given to the United States by Egypt in 1965, awarded to The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1967, and installed in The Sackler Wing in 1978 (68.154)."

Retired General George Washington Lashes Out At President Bush

Video and Lyrics to Old 97's "Lonely Holiday"

This video clip of an Old 97's tune is from a Rhett Miller solo performance at The Black Cat. . .

It was a lonely holiday
I was alone -- you were away
In Fayetteville or in another state
There's so many towns I hate

When you leave me, it breaks me like a bone
But it's never as bad as when you come home
Thought so much about suicide
Parts of me have already died

Lonely -- baby I'm not lonely
Baby I'm not -- I've got my imaginary friends
Happy -- baby I'm so happy
Baby I'm so -- I've got my imaginary friends
And if you don't love me, would you please pretend?

It was a lonely holiday
I was alone -- I was afraid
The bedroom walls were closing in
It must be closing time again

When you leave me, it breaks me like the note
That you said got stuck in your throat
Thought so much about suicide
Parts of me have already died


Poem: Pentateuch Tales 2/How the first baby in the world commited the first murder

After they were kicked out of the garden
Adam and Eve went out into the world
To live and to work

For a time they were all alone
But one thing led to another
And God gave them a child

Eve named the first baby
In the world Cain
And named the next child Abel

When the two boys grew up
Cain worked in the fields raising grain and fruit
Abel became a shepherd

When Adam and Eve lived in the Garden
They talked with God and heard Him speak
But now out in the world

They could no longer talk with God
So they built an altar of stones
And burned offerings for the God

Whom they could not see
At the altar they made a prayer
Asking God to forgive their sins

And all that they had done wrong
They asked God to bless them
And rain good upon them

The brothers made offerings
Cain brought fruits and the grain he had grown
Abel brought a sheep from his flock

Killed it and burned it upon the altar
God was pleased with Abel and his offering
But was not pleased with Cain's fruit and grains

Maybe God wanted Cain to offer a life
Maybe Cain's heart was dark when he came to God
God showed he was not pleased with Cain

Instead of being sorry for his sin
Cain was very angry with God
And his brother Abel

When they were in the field together
Cain smote Abel and killed him
God said to Cain, where is your brother Abel?

Cain said I do not know
I am not my brother's keeper
God said What have you done?

Your brother's blood is like a voice
Crying to me from the ground
Do you see how the ground has opened

Like a mouth to drink your brother's blood?
As long as you live you shall be suffer my wrath
You will wander the earth and never find a home

And no direction home
Because you did this wicked deed
Cain said to the Lord

You have driven me away from the people
And you hide your face from me
If anyone finds me they will kill me

I will be alone and have no friends
God said to Cain if anyone harms you
They too will be punished

And the Lord placed a mark on Cain
So all who met him would know
God forbade any man to harm him

Cain and his wife went away from Adam's home
To live in a place by themselves
And they had children

They built a city
And Cain named the city
After his first child Enoch.