Washington’s Dream – SNL – Weights and Measures – Excellent Slow News

I do not know who wrote the Saturday Night Live skit above, but it is very funny. It was probably a team of writers. But nobody knows.

I have always wondered why comedians today do not make more use of historical figures, especially the “founding fathers.” Humor can then merge with irony in a way that reaches a wider audience. It is like slow news, perhaps “slow humor,” where the vantage is long, and the costumes essential. You do not cringe. Instead everyone simply laughs as the truths are often of the everyday, non-political, small world. It is humor that is self-evident.

A while back I had the idea of a skit where Benjamin Franklin uses a time-machine that he had invented but did not tell anyone about as the plans were lost in a fire. Ben travels to the United States in our current era and then to a drawing room where seated are Jefferson, Washington, Adams and probably others. Someone’s wife. Perhaps a black enslaved person or mistress.

Hand on his knee, Franklin would calmly explain what he saw – explain what he had observed in the twenty-first century America on his time-travel. The majority of the content would be the others commenting and asking questions. These comments would be based on history and their actual writings, personalities and known beliefs. The possibilities are endless. It would shine a light on how originalism is an absurd concept. The world changes, but things also stay the same as in the ending line, “where all Black men are free,” to which Washington ignores like a Florida history book. Evidently, we still have much work to do with our weights and measurements. Equality on many fronts is still but a dream.



16 ounces in a pound. 2000 pounds is a ton There is no word for 1000 pounds


Liters and milliliters are used for soda, wine and alcohol

Gallons, pints and quarts are used for milk and paint.

There are 3.78541 liters in a gallon (but nobody knows).

1 liter = 33.814 Fl oz


Inches, feet, yards and miles

12 inches to a foot. 3 feet to a yard,

5028 feet to a mile

1760 yards to a mile (but nobody knows).


Meters are used in unpopular sports like track and swimming. (Also springboard diving, but no one asked.)

In football, where the field is 100 yards long, an extra-point after the touchdown is worth 1 point. A field goal is worth 3. A touchdown is  worth 6. A safety is worth 2.


The great nation of the United States of America measures temperature in Fahrenheit. You spell Fahrenheit  F-a-h-r-e-n-h-e-i-t.

Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit and 100 degrees Celsius.

To convert temperatures in degrees Celsius to Fahrenheit, multiply by 1.8 (or 9/5) and add 32

For example

10 C = 50 F
20 C = 68 F
30 C = 86 F
40 C =  104 F

You can also, multiply Celsius by 2 and add 30 to get an approximation.


Mel Brooks used recent political history and satire in The Producers. He did it very daringly in “Springtime for Hitler” which is over the top. It combines Broadway showtunes and dance numbers in a Busby Berkeley style with the Third Reich. It is absurd and you laugh because of this absurdity. Oddly, it was a premonition for things to come.

Another amazing use of history and satire in humor is Monty Python’s Monty Python and the Holy Grail..

Let us know of other routines that have taken this tack. So far, nobody knows.

BREAKING NEWS: Man on Stand-up Paddleboard Surfs 15 to 20 Foot Wave at Ocean Beach

While the San Francisco Journal is dedicated to “Slow News that Does not Break,” we have breaking news today. Late in the day, on November 25th, 2023, during a northwest swell that delivered waves in the 15 to 20 foot range, it was observed that at the south end of the beach a man caught a rather large wave on a stand-up paddleboard. After catching the wave he went right down the face and stayed comfortably on the shoulder until wiping out when the wave closed out. He then caught the the next wave riding his board on his stomach as the sun was setting and a full moon was observed rising over the city.

Further up the coast near Noriega Street it was observed that there was a pack of surfers and a jet ski, apparently assisting surfers in catching waves.

This story is not developing any further at this point. According to all available reports, all the surfers made it back to the beach safely.



Free Jokes about Our “Big World”

George Carlin writes in his book Brain Droppings

“For a long time, my stand-up material has drawn from three sources. The first is the English language: words, phrases, sayings, and the ways we speak. The second source, as with most comedians, has been what I think of as the “little world,” those things we all experience every day: driving, food, pets, relationships and idle thoughts. The third area is what I call the “big world”: war politics, race, death, and social issues. Without having actually measured, I would say this book reflects that balance very closely.”
– George Carlin

The comedy world today is almost entirely about the “big world.” If you see the shows of Trevor Noah or Steven Colbert, it is often the “headlines” and the latest fiascos with presidents, former presidents, senators, dictators. It is the entertainment version of the mainstream news and it is gobbled up as the world is such a crazy place. So the jokes come easy in the “big world” as the material is endless.

Not to be outdone, here are a few of my “big world” free jokes. Just random ideas really.


Donald Trump’s house was searched and they found boxes of classified material – “classified/TS/SCI” — shorthand for “top secret/sensitive compartmented information,”

The FBI, just to be thorough, and to make sure they had not missed something from past administrations decided to search Jimmy Carter’s house but they did not find anything but came away with ideas about how to build affordable housing all over the world and some pretty good poems. Then the FBI got a warrant to search George W. Bush’s ranch in Texas and all they got was a file  folder of Texas B.B.Q. takeout menus and How to Paint Landscapes art instruction manuals.  Then the FBI searched Obama’s house and all they found were a manuscript to a new book and all his tax returns, but those are all public knowledge.


Donald Trump, whenever being investigate by law enforcement always returns to the same phrase that it’s a “witch hunt!” Investigating Trump’s multiple trials as a sexual predator and rapist – it’s a “witch hunt.” Meddling in elections and coercing election officials – it is a “witch hunt.” Collusion with Vladimir Putin – it’s a “witch hunt.” Illegally storing top secret classified documents –  it’s a “witch hunt.”  But today authorities have finally discovered and found the witch. It turns out that it is an overweight Caucasian man in his late seventies from New Jersey who wears his ties too long and has a bad combover.

God help us with this “big world.”

Our Strange Brave New World

In January, The University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) and the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) successfully executed a groundbreaking porcine heart transplant procedure in a human. This was the first successful transplant of a genetically modified pig’s heart into a human patient.
– dicardiology.com (February 16, 2022)

A question of where your heart is
There are so many interesting angles to muse over with this story. Humans using the parts of animals when theirs begin to fail. The ethical dilemmas are many and as usual they are rarely pondered. Is this how we will finally find immortality by harvesting the body parts of pigs? How do vegetarians and vegans feel about this? But the most important question is: what did they do with the rest of the pig? Did the heart transplant patient, a 57-year-old Maryland resident David Bennett, get to take the rest of the pig home, invite his friends over, and have a tasty barbeque on Super Bowl Sunday?

The Dutch city of Rotterdam on Thursday walked back plans to dismantle part of the historic Koningshaven Bridge so that a superyacht built for Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos, could pass through the city’s river, saying that a decision had not yet been made.
Rotterdam May Dismantle Part of Bridge for Jeff Bezos’ Superyacht (February 2, 2022)

Jeff Bezos’ Superyacht
When I read this story I could not help but imagine a cartoon. Jeff Bezos, with his bald head, draped with his super-model girlfriend, is looking at his computer at the website amazon.com trying to find a “bridge mover.” The caption reads: “What? No Prime Free Shipping on bridge movers?”

That someone can buy and actually needs a 500 million dollar yacht simply speaks to our strange gilded age and the extraordinary wealth inequalities. That a superyacht was built without figuring out how it would make it to open water is pretty funny, considering that the owner is the supply chain master of the world. Maybe Mr. Bezos should buy a copy of Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel?

Does anyone know what time it is?
– Middle-age man shouting in the returns line at Home Depot

Shouting Lyrics from songs from the 1970s
I recently was at Home Depot returning some tiles. The line was about five deep. People with their boxes of spare parts, odds and ends  that they needed to return. Next to me was a middle-age white fellow. He looked like he did physical work and appeared a bit tired. He had that sort of ruddy uneven tan that you get not from a vacation in the sun but by working outside and coming home to down a six pack of domestic  beer. After about 3 minutes while the line went nowhere he shouted out: “does anyone know what time it is?”. I simply could not help myself as I shouted – “does anyone really care?” As usual, no one got my joke and just did their best to avoid eye contact with me. What has the world come to?

Law and Order

More Law and Order!
Arrest Steve Bannon and Mark Meadows immediately!
They are a danger to society.

Isn’t it odd that the people and politicians  that promote the concept of “Law and Order” are the very same people who want nothing to do with the law when they are summoned or sentenced though a court of law.  Richard Nixon comes to mind. All the fascist dictators as well. Donald Trump’s house of cards in slowly beginning to crumble. “Law and Order.” Sounds like the way to go.

Video Conferencing with Aliens

It is rather odd that there is not more written about the influenza pandemic of 1918 or what came to be known as the “Spanish Flu.” No one really knows the death totals but it is safe to say that over 50 million people died worldwide and over 600,000 people died in the United States of America. Like most bad things that happen in life, humans seem to be better off just forgetting these tragedies, but then again perhaps that is why we keep making the same stupid mistakes over and over again.

What is different about our current 2020 Covid-19 pandemic is that technology has made it so we can connect with other people in ways probably not even thought possible in 1918. In fact, many are living lives that are more in keeping with the technological imaginations of the 1950’s and 1960’s. Like the spaceship Enterprise on Star Trek we have technology to connect to our alien relatives even if we find them irritating and obnoxious. Like Captain Kirk we have our trusty cellphones even more advanced than his silly flip-phone. We can view and speak with aliens like our strange brother-in-laws on large screens as though they are Klingons from another planet. Perhaps like 1918 our times are often full of solitary activities and our “bubbles” are where we practice our daily and weekly rituals, and many people continue on with their lives working over the internet.  That the video conferencing application ZOOM finally figured it out just  in the nick of time was serendipitous. Like the crew of the Star Trek Enterprise, people are often found living for days on end wearing what look like pajamas.  Instead of getting beamed over to the Covid-19 testing area we get in our spaceships with wheels and are tested without leaving our seats.

Just like Star Trek, sometimes the video connection fizzles out or people just leave like a band-aid torn off with a sudden pull.  I am not sure if on Star Trek they had video drinking parties and happy hours but those can be great fun.  Rarely does the the narrative get aggressive – “Scotty: we will need more tonic Jim. I don’t think the party will survive without it!!”- as during Covid-19 you are so starved for attention, just seeing another face is often a welcome and novel event.  And of course, never mentioned in  space travel science fiction, and one thing they always seem leave out, is that to get to Mars, let alone another solar system, is going to take a lot of travel time.  Surviving the Covid-19 pandemic is perhaps like training for space travel to Mars.

In 1918 we were just coming to the end of The Great War which eventually gave rise to Hitler and fascist Germany.  In 2020 we dodged a bullet as Donald Trump was barely defeated at the polls. Fascism is indeed alive and well and humans are just barely intelligent enough (a little over 50%) to choose between burning up the planet or at least attempting to save what is left of this marvelous place we call Earth.




Hiram Johnson, Grooms and Corpses

Hiram Johnson, governor of California around 1911 and part of the Progressive Republican party. It is so odd to think that Republicans at one point were actually progressive, fighting for the environment, working folk, attempting to combat the concentration of wealth.

Below is amusing quote from an excellent book on California history.

“The personality of Hiram Johnson bore some resemblance to that of Theodore Roosevelt, and in the early years of their association Johnson exploited this resemblance to the point of imitating Roosevelt’s gestures and exclamations. Both were extraordinarily intelligent and courageous political fighters, but also had in extraordinary degree the human failing of self-centeredness. It might have been said of Johnson, as it was said of Roosevelt that he disliked attending weddings and funerals because at a wedding he was not the groom and at the funeral he was not the corpse.”
California – An Interpretive History – Eight Edition James Rawls, Walton Bean (p. 280)

Progressive Republican party, these days seems like quite an oxymoron. While politicians are al
ways full of themselves, the quote above puts a comic spin on the self-indulgence

Zoe Lofgren States the Obvious

“Representative Zoe Lofgren said that like Nixon, Trump abused his power when he attempted to influence the 2020 presidential election. But unlike the former, Trump “used a foreign power to do it.”UPI.com – House leans on Rep. Zoe Lofgren’s experience from Nixon, Clinton impeachments

Zoe Lofgren is a Rock Star
Zoe Lofgren is doing a great job as well as Adam Schiff and all the house managers. In recent times two Republicans were impeached by the House of Representatives for attempting to rig a Presidential election – Richard Nixon and Donald Trump. Nixon had the wherewithal to simply resign and get on an airplane, walk up the stairs with Pat, raising his arms with that ironic and  stupid victory sign thing that Roger Stone (now in jail) has tattooed on his back.

Bill Clinton, however, after Ken Starr followed him around like a gringo Inspector Clouseau for two years , ended up getting impeached for getting far to close to the interns, surely sexual harassment  and personal misconduct.

So there is a moral to this story. Never trust sleazy hotel mobsters who like to hide their taxes and thus ties to Russian mobsters. Never trust paranoid, baritone, hard drinking former governors with really bad posture. And surely never trust “neo-liberal” saxophone players who chase dresses, harass women, never practice and can barely play in-tune.

Trump Impeachment Trial Summary
Sure, let us have more witnesses for otherwise this would not even pass the sniff-test for city jury duty. President Trump has been publicly calling foreign  governments to meddle in our national elections since 2016. The trial is simply about Trump again meddle in our elections through executive and back channels. This is completely obvious. Republican Senators. Have you completely lost your senses?

NOTE: The opinion above is only that of the author and does not represent the San Francisco Journal, investors or subsidiaries. Letters to the editors can be sent via the contact link below.

Please do not pray for the President – It Creeps Him Out

“Even worse than offending the Founding Fathers, you are offending Americans of faith by continually saying “I pray for the President,” when you know this statement is not true, unless it is meant in a negative sense. It is a terrible thing that you are doing, but you will have to live with it, not I!”
– Donald Trump’s letter to The Honorable Nancy Pelosi – 12/18/2019

We live in such strange times and this letter to the Speaker of the House by the President Trump is just another example. That the President gets so irritated about Nancy Pelosi’s Catholicism and her daily prayer is actually sort of funny. It reminds me a bit of the final scene in the movie The Princess Bride in which the Spaniard states over and over again in the final duel “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” After about the fifth time the Count, who Inigo Montoya is about to kill yells “STOP SAYING THAT!” Donald Trump is just like the Count. “STOP PRAYING FOR ME! IT’S CREEPING ME OUT!”

Speaker Pelosi has gotten under his skin and Trump just cannot take it anymore. It may be Trump’s downfall in the end, and hopefully the Evangelicals that voted for him should be aghast. Questioning the ritual and power of prayer. How un-Christian. How un-American.

My bumper sticker for those “fly-over” states.

Please do not pray for the President – It Creeps Him Out

Official Privacy Policy Updated – Pelican Cafe

There have been many requests for the Pelican Café to have a privacy policy posted and I think somewhere there is a law that states that we must. For crying out loud, we are only a little café! If you want privacy, stay home or crawl into a hole somewhere!!

Pelican Café Privacy Policy

Effective March 22, 2018

  1. The Pelican Café reserves the right to refuse service to anyone including people who never have visited the café or website. –So there! When you fill out one of the forms on this website, we may gather information such as your name and email address. We may use cookies. We may not. It all depends if we have a sweet tooth on that day and if we actually have eggs in the house to make cookies. We may some day even capture your IP address if we get around to it, but just let it be known, if you spend hours and hours in the Pelican Café, espousing your amazingly intelligent comments or blasphemous nonsense, we may simply email you and ask you to look out a nearby window, get some fresh air and get a life. But if you are worried about remaining anonymous in this world, we wish you the best of luck. Unless your name is Bill Smith, live in a tree fort in Maine and never have had a computer, just about anyone can find you, including strange people you do not even remember from high school.
  2. The Pelican Café may use your personal information for online promotions and special offers but this is quite unlikely. We are presently at a complete loss as to what these online promotions and special offers would be. We know that if we tried, our email promotions and newsletters would all end up in your email “spam-bulk” folder. We know better.
  3. The Pelican Café may indeed sell your email address and other important information (i.e. your name) to a large evil company that wants you to buy sexual enhancement drugs, a get rich pyramid scheme or home refinancing. We are presently fielding offers for the highest bidder. All of our readers are from that mysterious 1% of the most wealthy people in our society that seem to just get more and more loot, so make an offer today.
  4. Clothing is required at the Pelican Café. I know that many people like to use the café as a home base for their streaking ventures around the block, but using the café as base camp to bring back a fad from the 1970s is going too far. You have no idea how many miscellaneous items of clothing I find lying around behind the couches. The socks I can deal with but the underwear is sometimes really gross; please pick up your items from the lost and found. So let it be stated that the only place you can pull down your pants is in the bathroom stall and that is if you have to relieve yourself.
  5. Speaking of the bathroom, let it be known that we have but one bathroom and that it gets a lot of traffic. Please do not use it as your preferred place for reading. I know the batting averages of the National League West are extremely captivating and that you must read an article until the very end, but in the morning, after a cup of Joe, some people need your favorite seat as well. Remember to flush, turn on the fan and for the love of God, wash your hands.
  6. The Pelican Café is outfitted with a free wireless network. Being a café though we ask that you take the time to actually interact with your friends and others in the café. Instant messaging others who are just at the next table is just strange.
  7. On the topic of technology, let it be stated that it is fine to make cellphone calls from the café, but if you are going to rant and rave about the party you went to the night before, please take it outside to the tables on the sidewalk. Do realize that everyone within a two-block radius can hear everything you are saying, so choose your words and topics accordingly. Stories of so-and-so throwing up may be entertaining to some, but unappetizing to someone at the next table eating an “Omelet of the Day.”

Above is the Pelican Café Privacy Policy. We reserve the right to change any part at any time depending on whether it is to our advantage – SO THERE!