Monday, December 30, 2013

Wylie Revisited

New Years News

Just under the wire for this year, I signed an agreement with Pop Twist Entertainment to be distributor for the film: "Jay Johnson: The Two and Only."  We actually executed the contract on Friday of last week.  
I am very excited that we have moved into this phase of the project.  I am looking forward having information soon about the purchase, download or other viewing possibilities.  Thanks to everyone who has helped move the project along especially Bryan and Marge, you are the best. Wooden Americans everywhere are in your debt.  Thanks also to everyone who has patiently stood by during this long process.

In other news if you have friends in the New England area send them to Norwell, MA on January 11, 2014 and   The Company Theatre .  I will be doing the live version of the show on that Saturday for two performances, 4:00 and 8:00. 

Start the New Year off with a laugh and a heart felt tear, This is the first time we have been in the Boston area since before we opened on Broadway.  I am excited to "play theatre" with my friend and PSM John Ivy and tell the story again.  It is my greatest thrill to do this show live and I hope to see you there.
I am slowly getting back into my regular blogging schedule.  I'll be waiting for things to happen so that I can relate them here.  It seems impossible that it will soon be 2014.  It seems even more impossible that this is the beginning of my 8th year as a blog writer. However, I will keep trying until I run out of things to write about....
As you were,

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Black Hole of Chicago

Based upon more than 3 million miles flying on various airlines I have some rules I try never to break. One involves Chicago.
Never book a connection through Chicago
If there is no other way to get where you are going, then the lay over between flights at O'Hare can't be less than two and a half hours.  Any airline will tell you that a "legal" connection is anything that leaves 45 minutes later than your incoming flight... don't believe it.  That is the absolute minimum time in perfect conditions and no varibles. It can take that long to walk from one end of the terminal to the other.  The over/under of that bet is much too risky. 
In the winter the issue is weather.  It can hit Chicago fast, cancelling flights and causing delays which cause havock with connections. But even in the best of weather there is an issue that can stress out even the most seasoned traveler.
For me travel/flighing time is gate to gate.  For the airlines "flying time" is the actual time in the air.  So flying time stops when the plane lands. 
For the passengers the flight is not over until you can get off the plane with all your luggage. It doesn't so much matter if the plane lands on time if it takes 45 minutes to get to the gate so passengers and luggage can be transfered. Chicago is infamous for landing on time and killing your connection time with more than a half hour taxi time, or waiting on a plane to leave a gate your plane is scheduled to arrive.  It has happend to me so many times that the "no Chicago connection" rule is carved in stone.
So, when I was booked through Chicago to get to Ft. Lauderdale from Los Angeles, it didn't seem like a good idea for many reasons.  But the arrangements were made before I could voice my concerns and the flight locked in.  There was almost two hours layover in Chicago, and although it is winter, I thought it would work. 
First problem began with LAX at 7:00 in the morning. Just as we were ready to board we were told our plane would be unloaded and a different plane would be making the trip.  "Equipment change" is the exact term.  I asked about connections and the LAX gate agent said that the new plane was on the ground, "That was good" he said, and my  connection would also be good. It would probably only mean a delay of an hour.  I had almost two hours so he convienced me. 
The hour delay turned into an hour and a half, but still there was a chance to make the connection, although there was no way to make sure the luggage would make it.  That becomes a bigger problem for me than most since it is not just my clothes but my act that is checked. 
We made up time in the air and we actually touched down in Chicago almost 50 minutes before my connection.  That is a legal connection according to the airlines.  I thought it might work. But then again this is the black hole of Chicago and there was snow on the ground. 
We taxied for 40 minutes and although I was the first one off that plane it was not an easy hike to the connection gate and when I got there the gate was closed and the de-icing process had begun. There wasn't even an agent around.
Being a Platinuim American Flier I called my American number.  I told him my problem.  I needed help to book another flight.  He said he could not help, I needed to find an agent at the airport.  I reminded him I called because I could not find an agent.  It was a catch 22.  
This was the last flight to Ft. Lauderdale that day and I was stuck for the night in Chicago.  I went to the Admirals Club and got the first flight the next day. However, the club was closing in a couple hours... did I need a room for the night? They found me a room near the airport but would not pay for it since the "Flight landed on time" It was my fault that I missed my connection.  At this point I was not in the mood to rally a cause.
In the course of life this is not even a blip. Spending the night in Chicago before getting to my destination is not a crisis.  Not having my luggage for a night is also no big deal.  Not having a coat in the freezing Chicago snow was the worst part of it. Who dresses for Chicago when you are flying to Ft. Lauderdale?
The worst part of the experience is, I could have avoided it.  I temped fate by breaking my Chicago Rule. I knew better, and will not press my bet again.
As you were,

Thursday, December 19, 2013

It works for me...

Perhaps the Mayans were right and the world did end on 2012.  Something is different because I've had two good experiences with TSA types in just a few days.  As most know, my experience with members of that agency have never been, what you might say "cordial".  I think it is the idea that they presume everyone is guilty until we prove otherwise.  In  Chicago there was a random gate check by the TSA.  There was a sign that said, "Anyone refusing to be searched will not be allowed to board the plane."  I can't decide if that is blackmail or extortion. At any rate, I was not one of the ones chosen to be randomly violated, although it still pissed me off.  
Then at the dock in Ft. Lauderdale the port side security put my cases through the xray before I could board the ship.  He stopped the coveyor belt and looked very closely at my bags.  I repeated the well practiced phrase that gets me through these situations, "I'm a guest entertainer boarding, that's my puppet, I'm a ventriloquist."  The person acted like he didn't hear me, and yelled "bag check." A woman of extaordinary size came over and looked at my bag. Then she looked at the screen.  Once again I said "It's a puppet". She stands like a huge deer in the headlights for a moment then tells me not to touch the bags.    This process has taken a lot of time and the people in line behind me are growing in numbers and becoming more irritated.  The massive lady paused for a minute and called over the armed police official who was standing by.  I said, "I'm a guest entertainer... I'm a ventriloquist and this is my puppet." The policeman looked at the screen, then at the two screeners and said, "What are you screening for? Puppets? That's clearly a puppet, let the man go."  As I was gathering up all my stuff I heard him say, "Clock out." to the man on the xray and another person took over the screening.  
On any level I take that as a win.  So either the world did end or the TSA monkeys are being extra nice since the shooting at LAX a couple months ago. Either way, the cosmos it making my life a little easier. 
As you were,

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Bad Dreams

Did you ever have one of those bad dreams that seem to hang on for most of the day?  Like the smell of burned toast that stays in the air long after. All day long you have to remind yourself that the bad feelings are only the memory of a dream? I have been experiencing those dreams for the past week. 
One of them involved a fight with my best friend. It was a very realistic and stressful dream. It took some time for me to realize it didn't happen.  The memory of the fight was just the memory of the dream not an actual event.  But, it continued to bothered me. I could not get the thought out of my mind and began to think that it might be some premonition. Perhaps my freind was actually mad at me and I channelled the idea in a dream, or maybe it was a sign of a fight to come.  
I decided to text him. I said, "Last night I dreamed that we had a horrible fight. Are we still friends?"
I got this reply, "You are my best friend. One of the nicest guys I know, except in your dreams where you are obviously a dick."
That dream was just the first of several nightmares this week. The pattern seems to be the same.  A stressful situation of loss that takes me all day to get past. Last night even that idea became part of the plot. In my dream I said to someone, "'For a minute I thought this didn't really happen, and I only dreamed it."  The person in my dream said, "Oh, you didn't dream it, it really happened." I became even more depressed in my dream state. 
This experience started me thinking about reality. There is no doubt that when we are dreaming, no matter how illogical, we believe it is the truth of what is happening to us.  At one moment in this imaginary universe I caught a glimpse of the truth.  I knew it was not reality but a dream.  However, the minute I express that truth the dream tells me I am wrong and I return to the illogical universe. 
I guess the lesson is: when we have found the truth within ourselves we can not look for validation or proof from the outside. We have to find the truth and hold on to it inside oursleves.
As you were,

Saturday, December 14, 2013


Normally my interaction with the TSA is a contentious one. But not this morning. I am pre-screened. That means I get to go through the "security lite" line. They are generally more friendly and less stressed.
So the X-ray guy looks at the screen and says, "What is in there?" Indicating my small black carry on.
I say "That's a puppet."
He looks at it again and says "Works for me."
I said, "Actually he works for me."
There was a rare laugh from the TSA. My day has been made but the plane is late. Just when you thought it was a good day to travel.
As you were

Friday, December 13, 2013

If it smells like a Duck...

It is Friday the 13th and that seems like a lucky day to me.  Maybe we had more luck than we know this past week.
Everyone is getting a lot of humor out of the sign language interpreter for the Nelson Mandella's memorial. It's funny, an interpreter for the deaf signing gibberish at an event the whole world is watching.  It is much like a Saturday Night Live sketch with Garrett Morris yelling at the camera through cupped hands. However, as the details of the event come out it becomes a little less comedy sketch and more like a sinister plot.  
According to the LA Times the man who stood only feet from the most powerful leaders in the world was clinically diagnosed with schizophrenia. He heard voices inside his head and he spent a year and a half in a hospital jail for his problems.  He was known to be violent with sudden outbursts of anger and once took a clerk hostage inside a courtroom. 
The man admits to his condition and says now that he was having "an episode" while he was on stage with president Obama. He was hearing voices and "seeing angels".  In the Times he was quoted as saying that the episode was probably brought on by the excitement and the importance of the ceremony.  He basically broke under the pressure. Fortunately he did not get violent. 
At the least, the people responsible for vetting this guy to be on stage were derelict in their duties; at worst it was a terrorist plot that did not play out.  To add to the mystery, the agency responsible for getting this guy to the podium is gone.  "Vanished into thin air" is the quote from South Africa. 
Now if I owned the agency that supplied this guy, I too might disappear from a public relations angle if nothing else.  It can't be good business to be the agency that sent an "illiterate" signer to the big show.
But playing the role of conspiracy advocate as I do,  what if this was a "front" company who got this guy to the podium that day.  The company knew he had uncontrolled violent outbursts capable of harming people and could crack under pressure. Just get this guy next to world leaders in a stressful situation and see what happens. 
If he cracks and becomes violent he would  be the "lone crazy" who snapped.  Damage would have been done, this guy would be the patsy.   The people who got him there (the agency) would have "vanished into thin air" and the chain of responsibility would be broken. The plot would end with a mental problem.
There are so many political terrorist plots that are interrupted, this could have been the bomb that didn't go off, but in the perfect cover story it was just a confused sign language interpreter. You can bet that no one will look into this as anything but a "comic" situation.   
I personally think that the minute it was determined that his sign language was gibberish he should have been quietly removed from stage. First of all, he was not doing the job he was supposed to do, and secondly... most importantly... he could have been sending instant signals to coordinate a larger plot of attack. 
Perhaps I read to many crime stories.  Still this whole thing seems like a very odd duck.  You can bet that it won't go any further than this blog.  I guess there is no story if there is no story, but in some ways it seems that a crisis event was diverted by sheer luck. 
As you were,

Monday, December 09, 2013

Literary Clean Up

Deviant Moon Tarot Card reading.
Lunatic Spread Personal Indicator Cloth.. by Jayson
Looking through drafts of blog pieces never published is interesting.  Some are so time sensitive that finishing them now would be passé. Some have no time reference but a logical thread missing that does not connect to any idea I still have.  Other missives were not well thought out blogs but bits of prose related to nothing specific. 
However, it seems a shame to discard these ideas simply because they were edited or deleted from a blog. Ideas should always be relevant for the mere sake that they are ideas. So here is my plan for this blog: It consists of the left over pieces from attempts to blog. They do not relate... they do not connect. They are simply dust bin shavings of ideas past.  After you read them you will know why they have never been included in a blog before.

Time Stamped
Until a few years ago I thought Black Friday was the Friday when the stock market crashed and the Great Depression began.  Or as I celebrate it, Black Friday is the Friday before Halloween.
Unfortunately it has been co-opted by the retail commercial marketing machine and turned into a news worth freak show of greed and bad manners. It represents the worst quality we have as Americans and shows the world that we care more about a flat screen television than we care about starving children.
How ridiculous it must seem to other countries who are fighting for their freedom and peace, to see a bunch of over fed Americans fist fighting for the best deal on a new PS 4 at Walmart. In most countries you would see violence like that over a loaf of bread. It would be a fight for survival not a fight for cheap electronics

What is with the attention grabbing slutty actions of  Madanna    Paris Hilton   Britney Spears   Miley Cyrus last night? 

... but then again it was not because he wasn't trying. He wore a hole in the carpet with his

What I actually said was, "That is a cunning array of stunts..."  

I was reading the entertainment section when I became aware that someone was looking at the same article over my shoulder. It was beginning to irritate me so I turned to give whoever it was a look. It was Donny Osmond wearing an Elmer Fudd hunting cap.  I said, "I thought you were the one who was a little rock an roll..."  

Well, it wasn't like being the opening act for the Aristocrates. 

So the Rabbi walks up to the guy in the gorilla suit who has just bought the hooker a drink and says, "What da ya think.... this is an Avacado factory?

I swear it was a TSA agent that was so wide she would get stuck in the metal detector if she tried to go through.

There was no spelling checker in those days so it said, "Be sure you come to the desk and sign the Rooster."

All cleaned out now, and a meaningless blog.   As it was.
As you were,


Friday, November 22, 2013

Fifty Years Ago

Junior High Band
Jay Johnson
I lived only a few blocks from Belt Line Junior High. At 12:00 on Friday, November 22, 1963, I walked home for lunch.

I was the "new kid". I had been at Belt Line Junior High only two months and I was lost in a massive student body.  My life  had been dramatically turned upside.
My father changed jobs and the family moved from Abernathy, Texas to North Dallas, Richardson, Texas in August of 1963. Living all my life in the small town of Abernathy, Texas, I was suddenly up rooted and transplanted to begin growing up in Big D.  To make the transition more difficult my voice was changing and a very wispy mustache appeared on my upper lip.
Dad would work in  Dallas but chose to live in Richardson because of the reputation of the public schools. But this wonderful new school, I had to attend, was an alien planet to me.  In Abernathy I attended school with the same 20 kids since first grade. Belt Line Junior High as part of Richardson High School had more students than the entire city population of Abernathy. As the smallest freshest fish in this gigantic adolescent ocean I was sure I would be eaten first. I thought I would never survive Richardson/Dallas, Texas. This is why I avoided the incredibly intimidating lunchroom and walked home for a snack.
In spite of all this drama in my life, today Dallas, my new home town, will host the President of the United States. The idea that the actual President of the United States was physically 45 minutes from this new school was impressive to anyone even if they did NOT grow up in Abernathy.
My Mom had the television on and we watched local WFAA coverage of Air Force One landing at Love Field. The first Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, in a pink outfit and pill box hat, was first to exit the plane.  Then President Kennedy exited looking regal, waving and smiling to the cheering crowd.  At the bottom of the runway stairs he walked away from his security detail and greeted those who were straining at the fence to see him.  A reporter said he was brave to do that given the fear surrounding his visit.  Once the motorcade started there was no more television coverage, I wolfed down a tuna sandwich and headed back to school about 12:20.  My next class was Study Hall. 
As we began to settle into study hall  there was a rumble that the President had been shot. Kids were whispering it but no one seemed to know where the story came from.  It was as if the information was just in the air.  This girl I liked was very upset and almost in tears.  "It is a stupid rumor", I said, "I went home for lunch and just now saw him on television. He got off the plane and into his car. He hasn't been shot." The fact that the new kid had just seen the President on television made everyone feel better. Especially the girl I liked. It was a momentary victory for the new guy.
Moments later the  school PA system interrupted the quiet of the study hall.  Our principal said that the President had been shot. I remember to this day the look I got  from that girl I liked. Fifteen minutes later they gave the official announcement: President Kennedy was dead. There was a gasp followed by sniffling and crying. 
My next class was History. Only years later did I see the irony of living history that day rather than studying it.  The teacher became the moderator for the questions everyone had. Local reporters were grabbing anyone who witnessed the assassination and sticking them on television and radio. Some how this information was making its way into our class. Students were asking questions. Was it four shots or three? What is this grassy knoll and where is Dealey Plaza?  At one point it was rumored that Our Governor John Connally was dead.  I remember the History teacher getting everyone's attention and saying, "The  latest is the presidents assassin shot a policeman in Oak Cliff and the Dallas police have arrested him.  His name is Lee Harvey Oswald."  I thought it was very strange that although no one was certain how many shots were fired or where the fatal shots had come from or who fired them - the Dallas Police had arrested the assassin an hour and a half after it happened. Case closed crime solved.  It was too quick for even a junior high student to believe possible.
School was out at 3:00 and by the time I got home nothing was on the television but the "tragedy in Dallas".  I was sure that there would be different information by now, shedding more light on the quick arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald,  To my surprise the story I heard in History class didn't change. They had the guy, there were no other "person's of interest".  Oswald was already being referred to as the "lone gunman".  Once again it was hard to believe.
Over the next few hours Oswald is paraded around the police station for the television reporters.   Sunday morning Oswald is shot and killed at the Police station by a nightclub owner.  A lone gunman kills the lone gunman. The truth would  forever spin just out of reach.
Lyndon Johnson appoints a "commission" to investigate and find the truth.  The Warren Commission eventually concludes that the story I heard an hour after the assassination was the truth. That didn't make logical sense.  Johnson sealed the evidence records for 75 years.  That didn't make logical sense either. If the Warren Commission had done such a perfect job... why was it necessary to lock up the evidence for so long. That is when term "cover up" came into my vocabulary.
The assassination became a teen-age after thought as I discovered that a small fish in a gigantic adolescent ocean has a lot of room to swim. Belt Line Junior High changed the obit of my life and the Kennedy assassination will always be a part of my changed life.  
I doubt I will write much about the assassination 25 years from now. That's when we get to open the little black CLUE envelope to see who really did it.  I hope I'm still writing  twenty five years from now, but no more about the assassination. That story has now been told. Game over.
I think it was Col. Mustard in the Library with the lead pipe. 
As you were,

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Catch A Falling Star

Tomorrow is the actual anniversary of the Kennedy Assassination. The media has been all Kennedy all the time. I have watched every one of the retrospectives. If you follow this blog you know I have written about the assassination several times over the last week. There is one more JFK essay to go, it will appear in this blog tomorrow and be the last Kennedy article for a while. 
Everyone old enough remembers exactly where they were when they heard about the assassination. I've written about that.  No more conspiracy theories just the memories of a new kid at Belt Line Junior High.
It's time for a Kennedy break. Time to write of other things again.

It gets dark so early now I am not sure what time this happened last evening. As I open the door to let my dog Boo go outside, I notice it is overcast and misting. I stay outside to encourage her to be quick. I am not sure how wet she will get from this very light percipitation. The mist is too fine to even call it rain, tiny particles make the yard sparkle. I look up to see the driveway light reflecting off the small drops resting on the tree leaves. They look like stars on a overcast night. Then...
Movement in the sky distracts my attention.  At first just a shadow I can't identify.  There is no sound of a plane or helicopter only silence. As I focus in on the object it flashes red for a moment. Not like the light on an aircraft more like a glow sweeping over the object.  I can see it as a shadow against the grey sky, it is oval shaped. It's altitude is hard to judge but it is between me and the high clouds.  It appears to be moving or rather hovering just above the large ash tree. I don't think to reach for my camera but consider the possibility the unidentified floating object is an actual UFO, an alien craft attempting to land on my driveway.
The closer it gets the more detail I can see. It is not frightening so I walk to the driveway directly beneath it.  It gets almost close enough for me to touch it. There is no writing on it, nothing to identify it.  I am very excited as it gets closer, I know what this means.  The UFO becomes an IFO, identified is a star-shaped red helium filled Mylar balloon gently losing altitude and floating right into my hands. Just like Roswell, my flying saucer turns out to be a balloon.
I have no idea how far it traveled, nor what occasion it celebrated. No written greeting printed on it, just a red party balloon. It had plenty of helium and should have continued to soar higher and higher except for the weather. The weight of the mist sticking to the Mylar had eventually weighed it down to my level.  Inside I dried it off and the red star quickly floated to the top of my ceiling. Finally I remembered my camera and took a picture.
I see it as a good omen.  The native Americans believe if you could catch an Eagle feather before it hit the ground it would bring you magic.
Then there's the old Perry Como song that goes:  "Catch a falling start and put it in your pocket - save it for a rainy day."  I thought the event ripe with positive metaphor and symbolism. It was a good thing.   The mist delivered me a gift.  I caught a falling star.
As you were,

Monday, November 18, 2013

Body of Evidence

In the 1980 book "Best Evidence" author David S. Lifton concentrates on the physical evidence of the Kennedy murder. The "best evidence" in any murder case is the body of the victim. Once you determine how someone died you work backwards to means, weapon, motive, then suspect.  There is no question that the autopsy of John Kennedy's body was botched.  Lifton's book is over 700 pages long and goes into meticulous medical detail deconstructing the Kennedy autopsy with all the countless flaws.  If you like those details you should read it.  However, don't expect it to play out like a CSI episode. 
First of all in 1963 it was not a federal crime to kill a president. It was just a murder to be handled like any other crime by the local police. The law in Dallas was clear that an autopsy of a murder victim be done by local medical examiners. The Secret Service, under orders from Lyndon Johnson, effectively stole the body from Dallas Police custody in what some witnesses described as tug of war with the Presidents casket. 
One hour and thirty minutes after Kennedy was shot and thirty minutes after he was pronounced dead at Parkland Hospital, Kennedy's body was loaded onto Airforce One at Love Field and flown to Washington. The plan was that the body be autopsied by Walter Reed Hospital Army doctors. 
After the arrival in Washington the chain of custody for the "best evidence" is unclear and contradictory. Although the television audience sees Jacqueline and Robert Kennedy get in the ambulance with the body they do not stay with it.  The presidents body was actually taken by helicopter to the Hospital.   Lifton suggests the body is taken to Walter Reed Hospital where an autopsy was begun. But Robert Kennedy and the First Lady pointed out that John Kennedy was a Navy man. Walter Reed is an Army Hospital.  Bethesda is a Naval Hospital and the family insists the body be taken there for the autopsy.
The Bethesda autopsy is performed by Commander James J. Humes, MC, USN: director of laboratories of the National Medical School, Naval Medical Center, Bethesda. He was not experienced in gun shot wounds.  He was not a forensic pathologist nor medical examiner.  He had never performed an autopsy for a murder investigation. Instead of trying to find out what the evidence was telling him, he was listening to what people in the operating room were saying happened.  
The official version of the autopsy report is not the original.  Dr. Humes burned his original notes in his fireplace before submitting a revised version. It seems he was pressured into changing his statement on the trajectory of the head wound. If the Presidents head wound did not go back to front then there was a problem with the lone assassin theory. The case was already solved by the Dallas police, they had their lone gunman in custody.  The autopsy had to show that the bullet came from the back for that case to stand. 
The most stunning information in the Lifton book is a reprint of the autopsy transcript taken directly from the Warren Commission Report.  Dr. Humes states the time of day and says, "We are beginning the autopsy of President John Kennedy. Visual observation shows there has been surgery to the top of the Presidents head". He continues, describing the incisions he is making. But wait..."Surgery to the top of the Presidents head?" When and by whom? David Lifton finds no record that Parkland did any "surgery" to the Presidents head wound.  They distorted the Presidents throat wound when they performed a tracheotomy but nothing to his head wound. Witnesses at Bethesda say the President's body arrived in an aluminum army transport casket, not the ceremonial casket from Dallas, the one seen loaded and unloaded from the plane. 
Writer Lifton goes on to postulate a theory that the "best evidence" was altered to fit a pre-determined script at Walter Reed.  When all you have is a tainted autopsy report anything can be assumed. 
The  brain of President Kennedy has vanished from the National Archives so there won't be any further investigation or re-examination of that evidence.  There's not just one big thing about the Kennedy Murder Mystery that smacks of conspiracy and coverup there are so many little things.  Nothing seems to ring true and it is for sure we will never know the truth.
As you were,

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Friday, November 15, 2013

Kennedy Connection

I am not an avid reader but I have read almost every book on the subject of the Kennedy Assassination. (I can even spell assassination without looking it up). There have been some completely loony theories, some creative theories and some compelling theories on the subject. I have my own opinion based upon the local coverage from WFAA in Dallas immediately after the shooting.  
I am not a "lone gunman" believer.  I will never be sure exactly how Oswald was involved, but think he was more of a patsy than anything else. Once you open up the possibility that it was a planned operation it gets difficult to follow. It is not so important if the secret service driver of the limo pulled a hand gun and shot the President, or if it was E. Howard Hunt who shot the President from a storm drain below Elm Street. Obviously those are crucial details in the murder but what group is responsible for the plot to kill the President. Three groups are usually thought of as suspects.  They are:

1) The CIA. It is true that Kennedy didn't like the CIA and they didn't like him.  He was supposed to support the CIA Bay of Pigs invasion with air support but he didn't and the operation was a disaster.  Kennedy was quoted as saying he was going to "splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it into the winds". 
Side note: Allen Dulles, head of the CIA was fired by Kennedy over the Bay of Pigs incident. Several of his staff resigned in protest including deputy director Charles Cabell.  Allen Dulles was later appointed to the Warren Commission by Lyndon Johnson.

2)The Mafia.  It is believe that the Mob helped Kennedy get elected in a very close race with Nixon.  There were voting districts in the Chicago area that seem to have been as tainted as any in Florida during the 2000 election.  Sam Giancana, the Chicago boss, was said to have "influenced" the ballot boxes in several districts.  However, once in office JFK unleashes his brother as Attorney General who began to crack down on organized crime with a manic passion.  Carlos Marcello, New Orleans mob boss was dogged by Robert Kennedy and is quoted as saying, "Take the stone from my shoe" meaning get Bobby Kennedy off his back.  Santos Trafficante the Miami/Cuba mob boss said, "If you cut the dogs tail off the head will still bite. If you cut the dogs head off the tail no longer wags." The Traficante idea was, kill the president and his brother will no longer be the Attorney General. After he heard that President Kennedy had been killed, Jimmy Hoffa is quoted as saying "Well, that makes Bobby Kennedy just another lawyer, doesn't it?" (Five years later Bobby was assassinated when it looked like he might become president) 

3)Wealthy Texas Right Wing Radicals.  Dallas hated Kennedy and the day he arrived for the visit there was a full page ad in the Dallas Morning News accusing him of treason and calling for his impeachment.  Months before Adli Stevenson was physically assaulted by a protester when he was visiting Dallas, Texas. Dallas in particular, was a hot bed of hatred toward the Kennedys. Earl Cabell was mayor of Dallas at the time of the assassination. He was the third generation of a Cabell as mayor of Dallas. His Father and Grandfather had both been mayor of Dallas. More importantly Earl Cabell is the brother of Charles Cabell ousted deputy director of the CIA.  The fact that the route of the motorcade through Dallas needed the Mayor's approval has always been a curious connection to the tragedy. 

It is possible to make a case that any one of these three "groups" could have motive to plan and execute the assassination. They were all one in reality.  Here is how they connect.
It is easy to connect the Mafia and the CIA. They were both working together to take Cuba back from Castro. For the CIA it was strategic and for the Mob it was business since all their casinos had been nationalized and then closed by Castro. Frank Angelo Fiorini was in several branches of the United States military, aided Fidel Castro in the Cuban revolution of 1958, and worked as an undercover operative for the CIA. When Castro won the revolution he appointed Frank Fiorini as "head of national gaming" for Cuba. Fiorini was the contact between Castro and the Mafia operations of the casinos for a year after the revolution.  Fiorini left Cuba when Castro closed the mafia hotels. It is obvious he continued in the employ of the CIA. Frank Fiorini later changed his name to Frank Sturgis and was arrested in the Watergate Break in. He alone proves the link between the CIA, Cuba and the Mafia. 
It is also easy to connect rich Texas Right Wing radicals with the CIA at the time.  In the early late 50's early 60's George H.W. Bush owned the Zapata Offshore Company, a subsidiary which specialized in offshore drilling in Houston Texas. Although Mr. Bush would later become head of the CIA, Vice-President and eventually President there is no proof that he was CIA during his oil company days. However, two of the ships used in the Bay of Pigs invasion (provided by a wealthy un-named Texas oil man) were named the "Zapata" and the "Barbara" two names closely associated with George H.W. Bush. In the Warren commission it states that private citizen George H. W. Bush was "briefed" on the assassination investigation by the government the day after the event.  This was before Mr. Bush was part of the official government. He was one of the only private citizens to receive an official briefing.  I am not implying that "George the first" had anything to so with the assassination of John Kennedy. I simply point out that the over lap between the prime suspects in this case is more than coincidental. 
So there you have it 50 years later and it is still a mystery.  I suggest it will always be.  There is no smoking gun proof of anything including the theory that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I am pretty sure the Warren Commission got it wrong, but it will be the only story that will survive ultimately.  Twenty-five years from now we will find an empty file that will lead to more mystery.
As you were,

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Dealey Plaza Plot

The sixth floor corner window of the Texas School Book Depository is still referred to as the "sniper's nest".  It was a great location to shoot from, but totally misused by the sniper. 
I become very long winded talking about the Kennedy Assassination. I don't apologize. It will soon be 50 years ago and someone has to question the official story of the Warren Commission before that version of history wins by attrition.  
Dealey Plaza Dallas 1963
I don't believe the fatal head shot that killed President Kennedy came from the infamous "sniper's nest" of the Texas School Book Depository. There are hundreds of books by hundreds of authors who can explain in detail why they think that statement is true. I have read most of them and they are all compelling.  However, most people lose interest in the details of a 50 year old crime. Even one of such national importance. The investigation was botched from the beginning as well as covered up.  Even if you assume there was no conspiracy the records are sealed for 75 years or until 2038. That in itself could qualify as a cover up. Since no one can ever say with certainty, what happened on 11/22/63 it will always be mystery. 
Here is how I cut to the chase to cast doubt on the single assassin theory of the Kennedy Assassination. It is my elevator pitch. Enough for the curious who have no attention for long stories. 
Above is a picture map of Dealey Plaza 1963, the Kennedy motorcade route drawn in red.  The Book Depository is colored yellow and the sniper's nest is the black dot. The yellow "X" is approximately where the fatal shot hit "the target".   
Notice that instead of going straight to the freeway on Main Street due south,  the President's car made an odd right turn on Houston Street for only one block and then a left turn onto Elm. It was the only turn the motorcade made during the entire downtown Dallas parade. With all streets closed there was no reason not to continue on down Main.  
The "target" slows down and turns directly toward the sniper on Houston Street continuing to move closer for the length of a city block. (that would be the area shaded in blue) From that position the sniper could look directly into the target's eyes with the scope. It would be very hard to miss a shot like that and at the speed and direction he would have plenty of time to aim. But the sniper does not take that shot.  
The "target" slows again to make a left turn directly in front of and below the "snipers nest". The sniper is as close as he will ever be to the target, six floors directly above.  But the sniper does not take that easy shot either.  He waits until the "target" turns moving at a 45 degree angle away from his position which by then is partly obscured by the trees below.  This is the shot he takes. Unlike the straight on shot this angle has a very low percentage of being a successful kill shot. 
Told you... most people lose interest by now, but there it is; just one small mystery among the thousands about this murder that will never be answered, not even in 2038.
As you were,

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Still 25 years Away...

This is a reprint of a post I did several years ago on the anniversary of the Kennedy Assassination. A week from this Friday it will be 50 years ago to the day of the week.  That amount of time is hard for me to comprehend, and yet we are still 25 years away from opening all the files of the case.  President Lyndon B. Johnson sealed the records of the assassination for 75 years in 1963. Even if I knew I would be alive and aware enough in 2065 to care about what has been sealed, I am sure there is nothing left to discover. There is no black envelope like a game of Clue that will be opened in 2065 that says, "Professor Oswald, in the Book Depository with a Mannlicher Carcano M91/38 rifle". The reason you seal up records for so long is to give time for the people who destroyed evidence and  files to die. Well done shadow government, well done.


Friday 11/22/63
My family moved to Dallas in August of 1963. Three months later JFK was assassinated on Friday, November 22, 1963 in downtown Dallas. The city would never be the same, me neither. I was just old enough to be affected by the events. The Dallas news covered the assassination as a local news. For the first few hours stories coming out of Dallas were different than the version the Warren commission would later deify.

Dealey Plaza is only a block from WFAA, the Dallas ABC Television station. People were literally pulled from the street and put in front of a camera and their immediate eye witness testimony recorded, minutes after they witnessed the murder. It was as raw and instantaneous as an interview can be. There was no time to think of the story or remember incorrectly. Every person interviewed at the time stated that the shots came from the Grassy Knoll or the Triple over pass, in front of the Presidents car. They also testified to four shots not three, two happening so close together they almost sounded like a single shot. That factor alone would prove a conspiracy.

But what got me was the speed at which the Dallas police were able to solve the crime of the century. In less than two hours after the shots were fired, Lee Harvey Oswald was in custody. Fourteen minutes after the shots were fired the Dallas police broadcast Oswald's description as the killer. Martin Luther King's was murdered in much the same way by a "lone assassin" using a rifle fired from a building and it took the FBI more than two months to catch James Earl Ray. I would love to think the Dallas police were that good at their jobs back then, but it reeked of set up and conspiracy to me even then.

The Dallas police caught Oswald at the Texas Theatre. The ticket seller called the police because a man entered the theatre without paying. Although the President had just been shot and the crime scene was several miles away, 30 police officers were sent to apprehend the movie goer. At the theatre they accused Oswald of being the assassin. There was at that time nothing to connect the movie going vagrant as the presidential killer.

Oswald was only in custody for 48 hours before he was shot to death at the police building. He was denied his right to have a lawyer, even though he asked for one from the moment he got to the station. Although the police were telling the reporters he was the assassin, they did not have enough evidence to officially charge him with that crime.

That is probably why I got so hung up on seeking the truth of what happened. I'm still looking. I think I have read every major book on the Assassination and a few goofy ones. There are those who still believe in the single bullet theory and the lone assassin. I never know what to say to such a belief. There is more compelling evidence for the existence of Big Foot than there is to support either of those Warren Commission assertions. Even the House on Assassinations Committee, who did their own investigation into the Kennedy assassination in 1975, came to the conclusion that the Kennedy assassination was "probably" a conspiracy. But no one ever tried to find out more than that.

I didn't need the Nixon years to convince  me that the government was crooked. I knew it even then. By the way, the files that might actually shed some light on the whole event. They were sealed up for 75 years by Lyndon Johnson. That's thirty years from now. I doubt anyone will care by then, and Big Foot will probably be head of homeland security.

(The picture above of me holding the newspaper is a couple of decades old taken at Laughs Unlimited Comedy Club in Sacramento, CA. Even then I was obsessed.)
As you were,

Friday, November 08, 2013

A game of Chance?

Sandi and I played darts with a couple last night at Kings Head in the Valley.  As I packed my darts in a carrying case to take to the bar, I came across my Southern California Darts Association membership card. It was dated 1986. My life as a competitive dart player flashed before my eyes.
I was co-captain of a dart team called "The Masked Men".  I formed the team of video camera men and production types with a girl friend named Eden. Eden was a five foot two, 24 year old busty blond pixie with a great sense of humor.  I didn't know her very well before we formed the team.  She was the booth PA for my show "So You Think You Got Troubles". I was in front of the camera and she was in the booth with the director in another room. Eden was somewhat of a savant with numbers and on her way to becoming a director one day.
I had a party for the cast and crew of that show at my house.  Eden was there and I saw her looking intently at the dart board I had in the den. I was serious about darts with a regulation bristle board. Eden said, "Do you like to play darts?" The truth was I was just learning how to really play, the board was fairly new. However, a dart game is a very good way to get to know someone so I said, "I love darts. You want to play a game?"
She looked semi-interested and said, "What kind of games do you play?"
As any man might do, I decided to impress this young girl with my vast knowledge.  I explained the most common games. I described 301 double in double out.  501 single in double out.  Cricket, with points and CutThroat.  I explained that the outer ring was worth double the points and the inter ring triple. I explained how you could hit a triple twenty and score more points than a double bulls eye which was only 50.
She said, "Do  you have any darts?" Once again I launched into an explanation of the weight, the barrel length and the flights of darts. I took several sets of darts from the drawer and laid them out. I said that they were like golf clubs and you had to find the right weight and length for your throwing style.  She looked at a couple of sets and tried throwing one or two.  She was not sure which ones were better for her.  She said, "Sure I'll play. What is that 501 game?"
I explained the rules in detail.  She said, "Do you play for money?" 
I said, "You can play any game for money I guess."
"Well then, let's play for five dollars." 
"I don't want to take your money."
"It's okay," she said, "it will be like I am paying for a dart lesson.  It will make it more interesting." 
I said, "Well, why not, sure."
With that she opened her purse and took out a personalized leather case containing a custom weighted set of her own darts.  I realized I had been played already. 
She said, "I thought you knew, my boyfriend is a team player in the Southern California Darts Association. We play in bars all the time."
It was me who ended up paying for a dart lesson.  I learned really fast that darts is a game of skill and a game of numbers, it is most certainly not a game of chance. Eden and I formed "The Masked Men" and played for several years winning three first place trophies over that span. 
In 1986 she was killed after losing control of her car on the 405 Freeway and slamming into an over pass support.  She was returning home from a dart game.  It was a life cut far too short. It ended our team and my participation in the Southern California Darts Association. 
I remembered this morning that yesterday was her birthday. My birthday is 7/11  and hers was 11/7 and we were both superstitious about those numbers. Eden is missed by everyone who knew her, she would have been pleased that I played darts again on her birthday.
As you were,

Tuesday, November 05, 2013


How many ways are these monkeys different?

The quote

I was raised in a fundamentalist church when I was a kid in Texas. In fact my Dad's parents were founding members of that local organization.  The church had very strict ideas about what was holy and what was not especially when it came to women.  Makeup was frowned upon like jewelry and other "sinful" adornments.  My Mom and Dad were obedient to a degree but did not buy into all the rules.  Particularly the ones they did not think had any religious purpose. 
One Sunday at dinner, after church, my brother said, "Daddy what is a harlot?"  If we had been doing a sitcom Dad would have spit his coffee out but this was real life.
My Dad had a thing about bad words.  I never heard him curse at anything. He would even say, "I don't give a rats bottom".. rather than say rat's ass. Later he shortened that to RB because bottom was a little strong.
So, here is Dad who doesn't even say "bottom" and the "H" word has just hit the Family Sunday dinner table. Not wanting to commit to a definition of the word until he had more information Dad said, "Where did you hear a word like that?"
My brother said he heard it in Sunday school that morning. Dad said, "Was it the story about Jesus saying 'let him who is without sin cast the first stone'?" 
This confused my older brother. That is not the context in which the word was used.  My brother said, 
"Well, no.  It's just,  the Sunday school teacher said a harlot is a woman who wears lipstick.  Since Mommie wears lipstick I wondered if she was a harlot?"
That afternoon my family became Methodist.  We never went back to that church again. 
Later in my college years I began to read new thought books and found they were closer to the way I felt about my faith than some of the more traditional churches.  I eventually discovered Christian Science which, for me, was kind of the bridge between the two philosophies and joined that Church as an adult. As I continued to study, I followed some teachers and practitioners who left the structure of the Christian Science organization so they could express their own interpretation of Life. I liked what they had to say even if Christian Science declared their writings "NOT Authorized". Eventually the CS organization did not fill my spiritual needs any longer so I gave up my membership.  I am now a free spirit. I still attend services that lift me up, but I will probably never become a card carrying member of any religious organization. I feel like every religion, at its foundation, has good things to help improve our quality of existence. The problems creep in trying to make a "club" out of a philosophy and call it a church.
I collect quotes from writers, teachers and philosophers who make sense no matter what flavor of religion they served. These quotes become little meditations that I can think on during the day and feel better. If it is a quote from Mary Baker Eddy I would write CS at the bottom so I would know it was found in Christian Science. I use JS for Joel Goldsmith, well, you get the idea. I still find scraps of paper stuffed in various places with some spiritual jewel on it.  That was the case this week when I was clearing out some old "dead files". 
I came across this quote printed in my best block lettering on the back of a cocktail napkin.
It said:
"Do what you want when you want, cause you can do anything" CS.  

I took it as a Christian Science statement and applied this wisdom to my daily chores. Somehow it empowered me to take some risks and believe I could do anything I set my mind to do. It was inspirational.  My day was more productive.
As I was falling asleep listening to Pandora  last night, I sat straight up in bed after hearing that phrase in a song.  Because Internet music provides instant information on the artist and the song I managed to discover something interesting.  
"Do what you want when you want, cause you can do anything..." is not a religious quote. It is from a 70's  song entitled "Where do the Children Play".  The block printed  CS on my "cocktail napkin chestnut" did not stand for Christian Science.... the CS stood for CAT STEVENS. 
Inspiration is what you do with it. 
As you were,

Monday, November 04, 2013

Auditory Joke

"We deriver"
It was  millionaire publisher Charles Foster Kane who declared, "Just get me the picture and I'll provide the story." The editorial direction of TWIAS (this blog) patterns itself after the Kane declaration of journalism.  
Here is the picture and I am trying to blog a joke which will connect text and image. Unfortunately, the joke I have in mind is a uniquely linguistic joke that should only be spoken  out loud.  I am not sure it can actually  be written in prose or text, but here goes. *
I suggest that the reader speak the joke out loud, as written, to comprehend the vocal inflections and phonics that impact the timing of the humor.
A man orders a chicken dish at a Chinese restaurant. After he has had a chance to taste it the Asian waiter asks, "How you chicken dinnea?" 
The man thinks for a moment and says, "Well to be honest the chicken was rubbery."
The waiter beams and says, "Shank You Berry Mush. Grad you rike it." *
Be the life of the party. Repeat this joke out loud as often as you can for your friends and family until you are sure it is no longer funny.
As you were,
*Ignore the following paragraph. 

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Day of the Dead

The day of the dead is an oxymoron.  Seems to me the very definition of being dead is having no more days, but logic never stopped living humans from constructing reasons to celebrate. And by golly since everyone knows someone who is dead, everybody can celebrate.  We celebrate the "day of the dead" less in America because it is not a retail holiday. America likes retail holidays the best. We like to celebrate holidays that can turn a profit. 

Lest we forget Mother's Day was an invention of the Hallmark Greeting card company, designed to sell more cards.   Think about the marketing of candy companies for Valentine's Day, costume shops for Halloween and Flowers for Mothers day. They also cross market with Flowers for Valentine's Day and candy for Halloween;  You get the point.

Unfortunately we can't send cards to dead people. and no product has been able to co-opt the "day of the dead" as its own.  Having a College degree in marketing, I can tell you that a lot of marketing techniques are based on guilt. Living people provide more guilt than dead people can. The dead can't complain they never get a card, flowers, candy or a call from their kids anymore because... well, they're dead.  Perhaps it is as simple as that. 
That is not to say -  there is no money to be made on the dead. Elvis is raking in more money now than when he had to tour. Marilyn Monroe can claim the same tax bracket among the choir invisible. 
Halloween is over till next year, so this is one last chance to close with a dead joke.  A dead joke for Day of the Dead:
St. Peter arrives at the Pearly Gates early to see a longer line than usual. He needs to separate the new arrivals so he can assign them wings and says, "We're taking couples first. Wives in this line, husbands in this one." Then he divides the men into two lines and says,
"Over here the men who were obedient to their wife and always did what she told them to do. Over there they guys who never obeyed their wives." 
Hundreds of men line up in the obedient line, except for one guy. He occupies the only place in the disobedient cue. St Peter is interested. He walks up to the guy and says, "Wow. We see very few of your kind, Tell me how you got here."  
The guy says,
"My wife told me to stand here. The line is shorter." 
Okay, it may not be the best Day of the Dead joke you hear today, but it is  not political, racist, obscene, anti/pro religious and not really sexist. Perhaps that is why it is not so funny.
Buenos día de los muertos
As you were,

Friday, November 01, 2013

All Saints Day

It's the day after Halloween.  The ghosts go back to where ever they came from and the saints return.
Today we honor St. Beanie of Cecil...

Thursday, October 31, 2013

NightMare on Halloween

It was a really stressful dream. 
Lynn and Nancy drove me to a school a very long way out the 101 Freeway. 
At this point I am beginning to panic.  What will I do? I need to call someone to come and get me. That is when someone says I can use their cell phone. It is an old flip phone and I politely ask, if they have had this the  entire time why haven't we used it before. They said they thought that I could only use Mac products.  
I use the old cell phone to call home.  An unfamiliar voice answers.  I ask who it is and the voice says, "You know who this is."   I ask him to explain my situation to my son and have him come and get me.  In my mind I am wondering where I tell him I am because I do not know the area, city or  I realize that Mel is dressed as the Scarecrow.
We all three make it to the jeep. They are not worried about the mess that the mud will make on the interior.  We are finally off.  
I keep asking if they know where Encino is and they are vague. I keep saying Encino hoping they won't forget.  We end up at yet another crowded apartment, I realize they are not taking me to Encino. We crest a hill and below us is a scene covered in snow. The roofs are thick with snow and the road below looks nearly impossible.  Although I remark how beautiful it is I also question where such a landscape would exist in Southern California on the way to Encino.  The word reminds the driver and Mel that is our destination. They seem reluctant to continue, if they can't drive though it they will have to drive around the snow and there seems little interest in doing that.  I look at my watch, add thirty minutes and say that I really have to be home by then. They do not care. However, when I tell them I will fill the jeep with gas I get a positive reaction. 
It now becomes a hunt for a service station.  We pass several and I have the feeling we are no longer heading in the direction of Encino.
It takes me several minutes to realize that I am waking in St. Croix on the Adventure of the Seas. Daylight is creeping though my drawn shades. My iPhone and my iPad are exactly where I left them to charge. Mel and the other mobsters have vanished along with the snow and the jeep. I have a great sense of relief.  I really want to go home to Encino, but I can't walk, I don't know where I am and everyone on the ship looks like Mel and the others.  So far no tin-woodsman costume, but the day is early. 
Hal O'Ween 
Knight Mare 


This is my new novel "Stalked by the Haunted".  So far it is a four word story. I like to skip the writing and editing and go right for the cover art. The models worked for free and never underestimate the quality of photo that you can get with a "selfy."
Happy Halloween... kiddies.
As you were,

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween Movie Trailer

More Halloween digital decorations and tomorrow is not only my Sister-In-lust's birthday, but also my dog Boo.  The two events could not be more diverse but tempered with the same love for each birthday girl.  But... back to Halloween
 This is a spoof trailer for a horror movie. Two more days till spook time.

As you were,

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Hallow Weekend

I am posting this on Black Friday. The Blog calendar may say differently... but who are you going to believe.
I've always celebrated Black Friday, as the last Friday night before Halloween. Black Friday may be a tradition I invented myself, but I celebrate it none the less.  This year I celebrate the holiday in the social media world. Consider the following a form of digital Halloween decorations.


Nothing jumps at you and there are no screams in the sound track. I don't care for video's like that. They get you watching a car commercial and a zombie screams at you. That is not this film... or is it... This is not that film. Either way, this is an art film not a parlor trick.
SECONDARY WARNING: if my sister is reading this, DO NOT WATCH THIS FILM. Just so you know, FBFF, this film is my interpretation of the "Old Man with a Beard" game we used to play.  I think you remember. I thought it was a game, you thought there was an old man in a beard outside trying to get in the house and kill us. What a fun brother I must have been for you. I am told you were but the first of many children who didn't understand the nature of my spook show mentality.
For me this brings back memories of making Halloween Scarecrows in the back yard of  our house in Abernathy, Texas. We might agree as to the memories, but I don't think we would agree on the "type" of memories they are. I can see how you and I might share different views on the value of the following film.
For the rest of the 16  TWIAS regulars, this is an illusion I normally display at Halloween, seasonally like the Christmas tree. The ghost's menacing gaze seems to follow you around the room. It is more frightening when you see it live.

More Halloween film to come... For now...
As you were,

Friday, October 25, 2013


One might think that working with a partner is a roll in the hay for a ventriloquist. That is true if your partner lives in a box. In real life there are other issues involved.
Recently I returned from a working session with my writing/producing partner on the East coast. We basically locked ourselves in a small office/apartment and decided not to come out till we finished a script we have been crafting long distance. 
We have collaborated on countless projects both realized and unrealized.  The effort and work is the same whether the project is sold or not which means we have arm wrestled over countless plot points during our decades old relationship. The thing that keeps us going is the fun we have in fleshing out the idea and writing it. If the audience was certain to have as much fun watching the show as we do creating it, I would be living next to Bill Gates.
This does not mean that the collaboration process is free of conflict.  It's amazing how passionate one can become when discussing the lives and fate of imaginary people in a script. To an outsider watching the process it would almost seem like we are ready to kill each other over what a character might say or reveal during a plot twist. 
During one such session for another project we hit an fork in plot-world.  There were two ways to go in revealing  crucial information in the story. It involved a set of twins, Effie and Ellie. My partner felt like the plot would be stronger if at an early point in the story Effie over heard vital information about our villain but Ellie did not. Later in a dramatic moment Effie would reveal to her twin sister that she has known a certain fact all the time. I had to admit that it was a very strong way to advance the story, but thought it had a problem.
I began to pitch a way for both twins to hear the information at the same time.  My partner strongly disagreed.  I held firm and tried to rephrase the direction I had in mind.  He would not budge. I would not budge.  He got passionate, I got passionate. His way was stronger, my way was weaker. I argued that his way would not be logically possible, he argued that it was the best dramatic way to go. Soon we are not so much trying to resolve the issue as win the argument. We began yelling over each other thinking that volume was the key to winning. My partner was never going to compromise. 
The rule is when you come to this point in the process, the partner who is currently typing wins, he just writes it his way. My partner had control of the keyboard. He began to structure it his way.
Passions cool and we are back to the process. In a calmer moment my partner said, "This is much better. Effie finds out in act one and Ellie doesn't find out until late in the second act." 
I said, "I don't think that is going to work. We have to find a way for Effie and Ellie to hear it at the same time."
He continues to type.  "Trust me this will work!" I can hear in the tone of his voice he will not listen to any logical reason I can come up with... except one.
I said, "I think you have forgotten that Effie and Ellie are conjoined twins."
When we stopped laughing it was time for lunch.
As you were,

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Halloween Preparedness

One  stormy Halloween night,
Two dead boys stared a fight,
A deaf policeman heard the noise,
Came and shot those two dead boys

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Symphony of the Road Warrior

I've been flying commercially for most of my life. Certainly for all of my professional life. I remember when there was not even such a thing as a smoking section on an airplane. The guy next to you would light up as soon as the no smoking light had been turned off.  That distinctive seat belt indicator tone would ding when altitude was reached and suddenly smoke signals would rise from various parts of the plane like camp fires at a cub scout jamboree.
Then came the "smoking" and "non smoking" sections. For a while they tried putting the sections on either side of the plane as if the aisle, not even big enough to walk comfortably, created any barrier to air borne particulates. Later they put the smokers in the back of the plane. This was based on the scientific fact that the air in the front part of a pressurized tin can is completely separate from the air at the back of the can. 
There were times when the only seat left on the only flight available was a center seat of a three person row in the dead middle of the smoking section. In those cases you might as well buy a pack of unfiltered Camels and puff away it wouldn't matter.
Of course if a smoker was faced with the same problem of having to sit in a non-smoking section it was not impossible. They could just excuse themselves to the back of the plane and lite up.  In some cases if the aisles were too crowded the bathroom offered privacy. For the next person who needed to pee in that same booth, it could become a jet powered gas chamber. 
Then of course in the 80's Northwest Airlines established the first smoke free plane. On stage I used to say the rule was not about clean air, but anti-terrorism. The tag line, "No terrorist would risk high-jacking a plane when he knew there was a bunch of smokers who hadn't had a cigarette in a couple of hours." 
Yesterday I flew back from the east coast. The no smoking indicator light has been replaced by "turn off your electronic devices" light. The moment we landed a cacophony of ring tones, alert messages, push notifications and start up sounds filled the plane like a looney tunes sound track. It appears to me there is a similarity to the old days. Like the smokers who had trouble going a couple of hours without a cigarette, in modern times it seems that people have a hard time going a couple of hours without checking their Face Book page. The only difference is after being around a bunch of habitual tweeters and Face Book up daters your jacket doesn't smell like you survived a Forrest fire. If they allow the use of cell phones on a plane  during the flight like they are contemplating, I will start demanding the airlines provide "tweeting" and non- tweeting sections. 
When will the Surgeon General announce that tweeting is causing secondary mind numbing to those near the tweeter?  There would be a warning label on the back of every smart phone that says, "The Surgeon General has determined that tweeting and Face booking can cause mind rot."  I can already see the affect it is having not only on a plane but in the car beside you.  There is nothing more frightening than glancing over at a car in the next lane of the Ventura Freeway going 70 miles an hour... noticing that the driver is laughing at the funny picture of a dog that someone just posted and shared on his iPhone.  I feel a little safer when I see the guy only has a burning Marlboro between his lips.  And while we're at it, can come hacker more skilled than me create a green light app?  Coordinating the GPS and traffic cameras it would notify the driver in front of me that the light has turned green and he should stop surfing YouTube and drive the frickin' car. 
The raving of a new generation of old man has changed from "you kids get off my lawn" to "you kids get off the smart phone and drive."
As you were,