Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Window: a joke

A guy goes into a bar on the tenth floor of a hotel. He has a couple of drinks, and stands up. He announces loudly that he has had enough, walks over and jumps out the window.

Two men sitting at a window table watch as the man plummets to certain death. But, as he is about to hit the ground, he rights himself, pulls his feet underneath himself, and lands softly. He turns and comes back into the building. Naturally, the two men are stunned. The guy comes back into the bar, orders a few drinks, and does it again.

The men at the window seat are flabbergasted! When the guy returns, the two men stop him before he jumps again and ask him how he does that.

"It's simple, really. There's an air vent down by the ground, when you catch the updraft, you can right yourself and land on the ground."   He jumps out the window again.

The two men, of course, decide they have to do it too. They jump out the window, and SPLAT!

The first guy ambles back into to the bar. He sits down to order a drink, and the bartender says "Superman. . .you can be a real a**hole when you're drunk."

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The University of Movies

This is a concatenation of three different "internet files," with a few of my own lines thrown in. Authorship of the originals is totally unknown. I found several people claiming authorship of parts of it...so who really knows?   These are files I gophered, FTP'd, etc., around ten years ago.  These tidbits of wisdom may be even more applicable now than they were then...

  • During all police investigations it is necessary to visit a strip club at least once.
  • Dogs can survive natural and man-made disasters that wipe out entire human populations. 
  •  If being chased through town, you can usually take cover in a passing Chinese New Year parade -- any day of the year.  
  • All beds have special L-shaped cover sheets which reach up to the armpit level on a woman but only to waist level on the man lying beside her.
  •  All grocery shopping bags contain at least one loaf of French Bread and celery.
  •  Anyone to land a plane providing there is someone in the control tower to talk you down.
  •  Once applied, lipstick will never rub off -- even while scuba diving.
  •  The ventilation system of any building is the perfect hiding place. Nobody will ever think of looking for you in there and you can travel to any other part of the building you want without difficulty.
  • If you need to reload your gun, more ammo will always appear...
  • You're very likely to survive any battle in any war--unless you make the mistake of showing someone a picture of your sweetheart back home. 
  • Should you wish to pass yourself off as a German officer, it is not necessary to speak the language. An approximate German accents works fine.  
  • If your town is threatened by an imminent natural disaster, serial killer, or beast, the mayor's first concern will be the tourist trade. 
  • The Eiffel Tower is visible from every window in Paris. 
  • A man shows no pain while taking a ferocious beating but winces when a woman tries to clean his wounds. 
  • If a large pane of glass is visible, someone will be thrown through it in the next few minutes. 
  • The Chief of Police is always black. 
  • When paying for a taxi, don't look at your wallet as you take out a bill -- it will always be the exact fare. 
  • Interbreeding is possible with any creature from elsewhere in the universe. 
  • Kitchens don't have light switches at night -- you should open the refrigerator door and use that light instead. 
  • If staying in a haunted house, women should investigate strange noises in their most revealing underwear. 
  • Mothers routinely cook eggs, bacon and waffles for their family every morning. 
  • Cars that crash always burst into flames. 
  • A single match will be sufficient to light up a room the size of a stadium. 
  • Medieval peasants had perfect teeth.
  • Although in the 20th century it is possible to fire weapons at an object out of our visual range, people of the 23rd century will have lost this technology.
  • Any person waking from a nightmare will sit bolt upright and pant. 
  • It is not necessary to say hello or goodbye when beginning or ending phone conversations. 
  • Even when driving down a straight road it is necessary to turn the steering wheel vigorously from left to right every few moments. 
  • All bombs are fitted with electronic timing devices with large red readouts so you know exactly when they're going to go off. 
  •  It is always possible to park directly outside the building you are visiting, especially in New York and L.A. 
  • Many detectives can only solve a case once they have been suspended from duty.
  •  If you decide to start dancing in the street, everyone around you will know all the steps.
  •  Most laptop computers are powerful enough to override the communication systems of any invading alien civilization.
  • It does not matter if you are heavily outnumbered in a fight involving martial arts -- your enemies will wait patiently to attack you one-by-one by dancing around in a threatening manner until you have knocked out their predecessors.
  • When a person is knocked unconscious by a blow to the head, they never suffer a concussion or brain damage. 
  • Nobody involved in a car chase, hijacking, explosion, volcanic eruption or alien invasion will ever go into shock -- if they do, they will die within five minutes.
  • Police Departments give their officers personality tests to make sure they are deliberately assigned a partner who is their exact opposite.
  • When they are alone, foreigners prefer to speak English to each other.
  •  You can always find a chainsaw when you need one.
  • Any lock can be picked by a credit card or a paper clip in seconds unless it's the door to a burning building with a child trapped inside.
  • Television news bulletins usually contain a story that affects you personally at that precise moment

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pictorial history of the Presidential turkey pardon

President Harry S. Truman seems to have been the first President to issue a pardon to a Thanksgiving turkey, in 1947.  All subsequent Presidents have carried on the tradition.

Click all images to enlarge. . .


Stazzi James (my great-nephew) in town for the holiday

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Poem: Snow Day

Snow Day in Kirkland
By Jack Brummet

In silhouette
Against blue bisque skies,
Crows bounce

On the snow-humped branches,
Shaking snow to the ground.
They survey the valley

For prey
In dark relief
On the powder-white fields.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Voter Orgasm: A potentially far more effective get out the vote tool than a barrage of robo-calls, or worse...humans in call banks

This ad seems potentially far more effective at getting out the vote than an endless barrage of robo-calls.  Thanks to Jeff Clinton for the suggestion and to the Socialist Catalonian Party for doing it.


The New New Patdown & The TSA uproar

By Jack Brummet
All This Is That Social Mores Editor

I've written quite a few times over the last three years about TSA and their various security procedures. Mostly I've probably been dismissed (perhaps rightfully) as a crank. 

I've flown about 170 times in the last four years, and every single time (except two--both at John Wayne Airport in Orange County), I've set off the metal alarm in the scanners because of the stainless steel femur that was installed in my leg 15 years ago. [Note: this doesn't apply to my travel in Europe and Asia, where I have never been singled out]. Setting off that metal-detection alarm means you are subjected to a close personal inspection.   I've been patted down a couple hundred times times now.  First, they would go over your whole body with a wand.  And then they would give you a close pat-down, focusing on theareas that set off the alarm on the wand (like your hip, and the zipper on your jeans). 

No one really thought a lot about it when it was just those of us with joint replacements getting pulled out of the security line and frisked.  But now...the uproar has begun because it's everyone.  You either need to pass through the machine that sends an image of your naked body to a friendly TSA guy or gal, or if you would prefer not to be seen naked you get to have a close personal pat-down.

I just had the opportunity to undergo the "new New NEW pat-down" the day after the revised and aggressive security regulations took effect.  Look, it's not not actually invasive, but it is extremely close, and they've have very definitely Cranked Up Their Act.  They've seriously ratcheted up the pat-down we've had to endure these last ten years.  On the other hand, they now forgo the wanding...which always seemed a particularly inept follow up measure.   And as a side-note, they've also become extremely friendly and apologetic about the procedure.  To be fair, I've always just grinned it and beared (Bore?) it, and avoided getting visibly cranky about it.  The TSA guys didn't make the rules, and in all my dealings with them, they've been pretty OK.  Normally I smile and say no problem and try to get through it as quickly as possible, since I almost never arrive at the airport more than 45-60 minutes before my plane leaves! 

With all of the time I've spent with TSA folk (including two times when I got the total invasion, about which, see below), I have been able to ask questions...and I usually try to get them talking about dry runs or how they profile people, which is of course about the last thing they will talk about.  I've always had the best luck with them asking for their cranky customer stories.  And they all have millions.  I've seen dozens of tantrums and shocking disrespect towards the TSA guys--and you know, in my experience, there is roughly a 90-10 ratio of good guys to assholes in the TSA--which may well surpass the ratio among the citizenry at large.

The total invasion consists of a mortifyingly close evaluation of all your gear (and your whole act..the people I've talked to those two times definitely seemed like profilers), which happens all at random according to the TSA stooges.  I had three books.  They thumbed through each and every page, and shined a flashlight down the spine of the hardcover.  They took out my iPad and brought it back to a special area, along with my BlackBerry, a Nintendo DS, and two USB flash drives.  They turned every piece of clothing inside out, squirted fluids from liquids I had (contact lens solutions, witch hazel, SFP 15 sun blocker, India Ink --for drawing)  for what?  testing?  They invite you to repack, once they've inspected every item, inside and out.

This article has links to about a dozen earlier stories of life and times with the TSA.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

All This Is That reheated: Hillbilly tales and stories of growing up

Jack, and John Newton Brummet II, camping on the Bumping River
on Mount Rainier - click to enlarge

Articles, posts, and screeds, on Jack Brummet Growing Up:
The Greyhound Bus Depot in Kent, Washinton: Going To Red's
Square Dance At Valley Elementary
Foot Washing Baptists & The Catholic Devils
Cruising the Renton loop with a keg of nails
My Worst Jobs: McGoo
My Pathetic Political Career
The Month They Tried To Kill Me
My Worst Jobs - Brewburger
Stopping By Richard Nixon's
Defensive Daydreaming
My Worst Jobs - Design Insanity - Hype, Shuck, and Jive In The Dot-Com Years
My Worst Jobs - SALSA
Jerry Melin, still missing, still missed
18,906 Days On Turtle Island
The Day I went Bald
My Jobs (List Number 9)
My Favorite Rock and Jazz Shows More Shows I've seen over the years
Growing Up In Kent, Washington: Tarheels, Hayseeds, Hillbillies, and Crackers
Uncle Guy, more hillbilly cred, and living a good life
Jerry Melin, Master Forger
My Worst job ever!:::::McGoo
Jerry Melin, still missing and still missed
Fishing With The Old Man
Uncle Romey
The Time I Got Drunk With Roy Rogers
Kent, Washington
It Can Happen Here: Japanese Relocation Camps, 1942-1946
More on the El Rancho Drive-in in Kent, Washington
Snack bar ads, intermission countdowns, and the El Rancho drive-in
A Blog for Phil Kendall
Four more images of Kent, Washington in the 40's and 50's
Kent, Washington's Meeker Street 1946
Too good to leave in the comments: Scooter and the Hell's Angel Heavy chug-a-lug
Scooter and $2 all you can drink beer day at the Sundowner circa 1973
My Grandma's tavern in Carnation, Wash.
My Dog Slugger
Hucking Eggs in Kent, Washington
Home-made Hillbilly Toys
Square Dance At Valley Elementary
Foot Washing Baptists & The Catholic Devils
How I came to be named Jack
Hillbilly Cred
Cruising the Renton loop with a keg of nails
My Worst Jobs: 50 Tons of Sand
My Pathetic Political Career
Defensive Daydreaming (the second poem in these links, and one of my favorites)
"Chicken Thieves Busy in Kent And Vicinity"

Friday, November 19, 2010

Google's top stories on All This Is That

This is a list of All This Is That posts Google says have generated the most traffic to the site over the last six years.  Some of them are baffling (Why would Dylan Thomas's great poem be so popular?).  Some of them get a lot of hits on Google because there are few other sites with information on that topic (Slap my ass and call me Sally).  Only two or three of them would be on our all-time articles list (like The Finger, The Wanker... or index of rock shows...which we will post next week).

The finger, the wanker, the cuckoo sign, the shocker, rock horns, the shaka sign, and many more

Slap my ass and call me Sally!

Dylan Thomas's Late Poem "Prologue"

An amazing Guiness record - Svetlana Pankratova, the woman with the longest legs.

Hitler Youth: a Halloween Costume?

The Skeleton On The Moon

Alien Lore No.157 - The Nome, Alaska abductions and "The Fourth Kind"

Alien Lore No. 186 - Indrid Cold, The Grinning Man

An index of rock shows discussed on All This Is That

This Michael Toubbeh Story Goes On...and on....and on

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ex-Governor Palin believes she can take down President Barack Obama in 2012

By Pablo Fanque
All This Is That National Affairs Editor

We probably need to take this all with a few grains of salt, since we do know Palin's new book has just been released, and she is on the talk-show circuit, hoping to score one more multi-million payday before it all goes up in smoke.  Sarah Palin just claimed to Barbara Walters that she believes she could whip BHO's ass in 2012.

"I'm looking at the lay of the land now, and ... trying to figure that out, if it's a good thing for the country, for the discourse, for my family, if it's a good thing," Palin said in an interview scheduled to air in full Dec. 9 on ABC as part of Walters' "10 Most Fascinating People" of 2010.

Barbara Walters asked: "If you ran for president, could you beat Barack Obama?"

"I believe so," Palin said.

support group

OK.  I have friends on both sides of this equation. . .and you have to admit these--put up at someone's office--are pretty funny (well, the carnivore one, anyhow).  Image from http://www.passiveaggressivenotes.com/

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

We waited 30 minutes!

In case you need a new career--raise giant frogs!

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Governor Crist plans Jim Morrison pardon--Morrison tells how his penis ended up where it did

By Jack Brummet
Social Mores Editor

As you have probably heard, the outgoing Florida Governor, Charlie Crist, just announced that he will pardon Jim Morrison, who died 40 years ago.  Morrison was convicted of exposing himself at a raucous 1969 Doors concert in Miami.  Here is a photo of him holding a lamb at that concert.  It got far crazier after the lamb.

Everyone I've read seems to think Jim attempted to expose himself during the Miami show, but was probably prevented from doing so by band members and handlers, and--maybe--never really intended to go all the way.  He was charged with exposing his penis to the crowd, and with a felony morals charge.  He could have been imprisoned for 7 years in that notorious Florida hell-hole, Raiford Prison.  For some reason, rock critics and historians believe he did not expose himself as charged. After he was sentenced to sx months in prison, he moved to Paris, I think pending appeals, and died not long after that. 

Maybe he did.  Maybe he didn't.  In No One Here Gets Out Alive (1980, by Danny Sugerman and Jerry Hopkins), you can read The Lizard King's version of the story.  The authors write about one night Morrison was out drinking with a group of friends.  His friend Tom Baker started hectoring him about Miami. This is an excerpt from the book. I've always loved this story.

"You’re a pussy, Morrison," said Tom, baiting his friend. "You’re a ******* no-count pussy."
 Jim ignored the taunt. Frank and Babe stared into their drinks.

"Tell us now, Mr. Jim Morrison, rock star," Tom went on, a voice that traveled the length of the bar, "tell us what happened in Miami."

It was a tiresome subject for Jim. He glared at Tom, took another swallow from his drink.

"Come on, Jim, tell us once and for all."

"Yes," said Jim quietly, "I did it."

"Did what, Jim?" Tom’s voice was strident, triumphant.

"I showed my **** ."

"Why, Jim? When I showed mine in my movie, you said it wasn’t art."

"Well," Jim said in a low voice so everyone present had to strain to hear him, "I wanted to see what it looked like in the spotlight."

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Jumping to conclusions: Fox News Spins President Obama's children's book

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Babe Magnets Juack & Daveed

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The Dry Run

It's old news (one of the hazards of the press--do you write about it immediately, with maybe 1/7th of the facts, or do you wait and let the story--and, presumably, the truth--to evolve?), but do you remember the suspicious packages on the cargo planes in Europe a couple of weeks ago?  The early speculation was that these packages/printer cartridges were a dry run [1] by a terrorist group.   Soon enough, we found out they weren't really a dry run at all.  The packages (printers and toner cartridges) were fully armed with high-powered explosives.  One was allegedly defused 17 minutes before it was set to explode.

All this talk made me think of the concept of dry runs.  In the final episode of The Sopranos, Tony Soprano discussed this with a fed--Agent Dwight Harris.  The FBI Agent explained that they frequently received anonymous tips or bad Intel on terror activity, and even found dry run packages in the cargo or luggage where the terrorists were "just testing our response."

We see dry runs every day.  Whenever The White House or other politicians send up trial balloons (the most recent one I remember is the old Hillary-Joe Biden switcheroo trial balloon), they too are testing our response. 

It hit me that the dry run and the trial balloon is an ingrained and central social mechanic [Ed's note: and this mechanic is often flagged in the 21st century as "passive-aggressive" and various other related labels.]  You use these mechanics in human transactions. I see it in my work all the time--where what we do has a lot of latitude and room to be creative, loose and indefinite.  Wherever you look, you see instances of dry runs and trial balloons. You may try them on your spouse/partner, your boss, your parents, your co-workers, your kids. And at the same time, those same people may well be performing their own dry runs and floating their own balloons over and upon you. In my work, and really, in my life everything is a dry run for what comes next.  Sometimes you float a trial balloon, and sometimes you leap, frightened and overjoyed, into the promising murk.
[1] dry run. Noun. 1. (Military) Military practice in weapon firing, a drill, or a manoeuvre without using live ammunition.  2. Informal a trial or practice, esp in simulated conditions; rehearsal.  (Collins English Dictionary  © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003)

Monday, November 15, 2010

President Obama's one term?

By Pablo Fanque
All This Is That National Affairs Editor

"If the president goes down the reelection road, we are guaranteed two years of political gridlock at a time when we can ill afford it," Pat Caddell and Doug Schoen wrote in yesterday's Washington Post. "But by explicitly saying he will be a one-term president, Obama can deliver on his central campaign promise of 2008, draining the poison from our culture of polarization and ending the resentment and division that have eroded our national identity and common purpose."

Really? I like the premise (and it is not unprecedented....just ask LBJ--the last voluntary one-term President), but what would really happen is that the GOP would see this as the ultimate capitulation and weakness and would then proceed to steamroll the President for the next two years, leaving us in worse shape than if he went ahead with what to some might seem to be a futile campaign and election.  Or, I guess, he could "pull a Palin," and just quit now and leave Hillary and Smilin' Joe to sort out the mess...

Scratchboard/reversed scratchboard - four faces by Jack Brummet

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