HEY YOU! YES, YOU!!

HEY YOU! YES, YOU!!


However you may have arrived here, this is the old Not Not Silly Newsroom.

It's a long story -- hardly worth going into here -- but after this place was declared a Brownfield Site, we abandoned it for the NEW! IMPROVED!! Not Now Silly Newsroom.

Feel free to stay and read what you came here to read, but when it's time to leave go to the new place by clicking HERE.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Jammed For Time ► Unpacking The Writer

Lately, it seems, I've spent more time in the car than writing.
Welcome, dear readers. Returnees know this as the regular post pulling back the curtain -- AUNTY EM!!! AUNTY EM!!! -- to reveal the work process of the prefrontal cortex of a writer's brain.

My biggest problem is I have far more ideas for Not Now Silly articles than I have time to write. I also seem to have less time to write. F'rinstance, usually I start crafting Unpacking The Writer around the 15th of the month. Then, over the next 5-6 days I come back to it from time to time and add and subtract a paragraph here, or there. I don't really work on it as much as let it evolve slowly. However, this month's Unpacking The Writer will be started, and finished, on the same day. I'm jammed for time. That's why I'm going to quote a long thing I already posted on the facebookery. You can skip right to it, if you are so inclined.

For those who are still with me: I continue to research one particular Coconut Grove story. As I collate my research and write up what's already known, I'm still awaiting some replies to a few outstanding emails which now appear lost in the cyber spaces between here and there. I can't imagine why [allegedly] corrupt Miami Commissioner Marc D. Sarnoff has yet to reply. I suppose it's time to give him a gentle nudge that his constituents are still looking for answers.

Speaking of Sarnoff, his wife Teresa made it official: She's running to replace him in District Two because he's term-limited and they believe in political dynasties. She's never shown an inkling for public office until recently. That's when her [allegedly] corrupt husband realized they'd have to get off the government gravy train -- and the fat skimmed off the gravy -- once he had to go back to being just a simple country bumpkin lawyer.

Not Now Silly has never directly engaged in a political campaign before. However, this year the stakes are too great to just sit back and let events take their course. This is the year the Not Now Silly throws its editorial staff into the Miami District Two Commissioner race. Miami District Two is where West Grove sits, where The Colour Line exists, where Trolleygate and Soilgate are still unresolved issues. After 6 years of researching and writing about Coconut Grove, I can tell you without fear of contradiction that this community -- also known as Black Grove -- has gotten the short end of the stick for the last 125 years. That's why the Newsroom is jumping into the fray.

To that end the Newsroom launched a page on the facebookery: ABT - Anybody But Teresa. The official position of this vast media enterprise is that even Rob Ford would be a better candidate for District Two than Teresa Sarnoff. Is it too early to put the "[allegedly] corrupt" in front of her name? Or, far too late?

Also running in District Two is Mike Simpson, a gent I've never met and am slowly learning about; Rosa Palomino, who helped host me on Miami After Dark to talk about the E.W.F. Stirrup House; and Grace Solares, which leads to a funny story.

Arriving at Grand Central Park at sunset,
after driving 35 miles in rush hour traffic.
Transferring into the 3rd person: It's noted that Brad Knoefler*, owner of the nightclub that hosted the Official Solares Campaign Kickoff, railed against "elitist, exclusivist policies with closed door deals with our tax money." Funny story about that. The Newsroom sent its head writer, Headly Westerfield, to the Official Solares Campaign Kickoff. He posted of this GIANT MEDIA FAIL on his facebookery, but it deserves further dissemination:
I have to say I am VERY unimpressed with the Grace Solares campaign for Commissioner in Miami's District Two. I went to her OFFICIAL CAMPAIGN KICKOFF tonight. Here is my report:

I learned of the Grace Solares 2015 campaign kickoff from a posting on Facebook. Since she's a community activist, I thought I'd see what a community activist sounds like on the campaign trail. I even sent a facebook message to the campaign earlier in the day to say I'd be there.

I arrived about 20 minutes early and a guy introduced himself to me (and I promptly forgot his name). I introduced myself back to him. He asked if I had met Grace before. I said, "No, but the more important question is. 'Where's the washroom?' "

Keep in mind I had just driven 35 miles on a tank of coffee.

After I took care of the important business I went to the back of the campaign room (in the Grand Central nightclub), set up my camera and tripod and sat down to wait.


A guy came up to me and asked if I was taking video or stills.

"Stills, but what difference would it make?"

"None, but I'm the tech and need to know."

Well, that made absolutely no sense at all. But, surprisingly, it made far more sense than what followed.

Right at the stroke of 6PM a very large security guard came up to me and asked to see my invitation. This is our approximate conversation:

"An invitation?"

"Yes, this is an invitation only event."

"I read about it on facebook. It was announced on facebook. How is it invitation only?

"I don't know, but you need an invitation."

"I'm with the media."

"I don't care. You need an invitation."

"Okay. Just give me a minute to pack up my stuff."

"No problem."

So, as I'm packing up my stuff I keep talking to him. "Look, I drove 35 miles to get here to cover this. Is there someone I can talk to?"

"You can talk to anybody you want...after you leave."

"How is that going to help me? I just want to talk to someone from the campaign."

"You can talk to them outside."

I got all my stuff packed up and picked up my knapsack to leave when another, even bigger, security guard showed up and blocked my way. He leaned over and whispered something in the first security guard's ear.

That's when the first security guard said to me, "It's okay. You can stay."

"I can stay?"

"Yes, you can stay."

"Without an invite?"

"Without an invite."

"Can you tell me who threw me out and then who changed their mind and allowed me to stay?"

Driving home alone <sad trombone> I noted that I could have paid $10.50 to zip along
the Express Lanes, However, I was stuck in bumper-to-bumper, stop-and-go traffic. That's
why it took me more than 2 hours to get home. <sadder trombone> I had all that extra time
to think and I couldn't help but wonder if this kind of disparity between the haves and
the have nots is something a community activist like Grave Solares might talk about.

He smiled a big shit-eating grin and said, "You know I can't tell you that." Then he left me alone.


So . . . I set up my tripod all over again and put the camera back on it and waited. As I waited I realized that this was going to be, essentially, a cocktail party and Grace Solares would be moving around the room, glad-handing her backers. I presumed she'd give some remarks at the end. So, I settled in for the long, boring wait to hear her speechifying.

After about 20 minutes another guy came up to me. He was dressed in a sports jacket and was one of the few people already there when I arrived, so I suspected he was with the Solares campaign. He said HELLO and then asked, "Who are you and who are you with?" There was an edge to his question that rubbed me the wrong way.

Normally "Who are you and who are you with?" is a perfectly legitimate question under these circumstances. However, what I had just gone through with the security guard already had me on edge.

So I said, "Who's wants to know?"

He said, "The guy who's asking you who you are and who you're with!"

I stood up and started to take apart my tripod all over again.

"I'm the guy who is leaving right now."

And, I walked out without meeting the candiate, without hearing her speech, without learning what makes her qualified for running for Commissioner in District Two.

Here's the punchline: As I left the building the first security guard was outside, checking people as they came in. A couple arrived and the guard said, "For the Commissioner?" They said, "Yes" and the guard ushered them right in WITHOUT ASKING FOR THEIR INVITATION.

So, while I'm telling people I was thrown out of Grace Solares' campaign event, the gospel truth is I threw myself out.
While on the twin topics of Elections and The Facebookery, have i mentioned I'm running for political office? Join Westerfield/Lengyl 2016 and see what all the bribing is about.

Last facebook plug: Now that I've unilaterally declared victory in The Johnny Dollar Wars, I'm pondering a name-change for The Johnny Dollar Depreciation Society. Drop on over and let me know what suggestions you may have. I've been pondering variations of frases [see what I did there?] of words that all start with the letter "F" because of the alliteration of the Friday Fox Follies I write every ... err ... Friday for PoliticusUSA. May as well tie into that. I think they call that synergy these days, or is it vertical integration?

And, that's how I can start a post and publish it on the very same day. See you next month, kids.


* It was not Brad Knoefler who approached me. I only know him from the pictures people sent to ask, "Whuzzit this guy?" Nor was it any of the other people whose pics were sent to me.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Headlines Du Jour ► Thursday, January 22, 2015

Hiya, Headliners. Today's birthday belongs to Gospel and Soul singer Sam Cooke, who died tragically in a shooting that made the Headlines Du Jour. Here are some more headlines from yesteryear:
Here is today's Headlines Du Jour:

SO GLAD WE'RE LIVING IN A POST-RACIAL SOCIETY:



Black police sergeant files suit
over cartoon used in SDPD training




MORE OF THAT GOP OUTREACH:




Republicans are forced to drop proposed legislation at the last minute.


IN INCOME INEQUALITY:







SCOTUS WATCH:





IN LGBT NEWS:







TODAY IN RELIGION:



GUNS, GUNS, GUNS:



MORE EXCITING EPISODES OF COPS GONE WILD:





FOX "NEWS" IN THE NEWS AGAIN:





FREE THE WEED!!!





IN INNER SPACE:




IN OUTER SPACE:





VIDEOS DU JOUR:



Headlines Du Jour is a leisure-time activity of Not Now Silly, home of the Steam-Powered Word-0-Matic, and your rest stop on the Information Highway. Use our valuable bandwidth to post your news comments in today's open thread.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Me and Jim Kale ► Nostalgia Ain't What It Used To Be

More than once I've been called the Zelig of the innertubes, popping up to witness pivotal moments in history. A night I spent with Jim Kale, of The Guess Who and Scrubbaloe Caine, is one of those times.

Get comfortable, kiddies, because we're taking the Wayback Machine all the way back to the early '70s.

Back then I was the station manager of Radio Sheridan, the campus radio station at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. Radio Sheridan was one of the few campus stations in the country respected by the major record companies. They knew that normally records sent to a campus station went into a black hole, never to be seen again. When the Promo Reps visited Radio Sheridan, which they did often because we were on the route between Toronto and Hamilton, they could find every record they ever sent us in the library ready for a DJ to select it.

Not only could we count on the personal touch from the Record Reps, but we were also getting interview offers for Big Deal Rock and Roll artists, concert tickets with occasional backstage passes, free records for our personal collections, and posters for our home walls. We knew these were all perks normally reserved for broadcast radio jocks and the music reviewers from the national press. We felt honoured to be included, but it was also a testament to how well organized Radio Sheridan was in the day.

Long before the night in question, Jim Kale was a member of The Guess Who. It's easy to forget that The Guess Who was an international hit band back in the days before CanCon radio regulations mandated stations play 33% Canadian Content. Kale stayed with The Guess Who until soon after the 1972 release of release of Live at the Paramount. The reason was ascribed to undefined "health problems," something cited more than once in biographies about more than one point in Kale's career. However, it has always been rumoured in Canadian Show Biz, which is a very small pond, that this was a euphemism for alcoholism.

Soon after leaving The Guess Who, Kale hooked up as bass player with Scrubbaloe Caine. As manager of Radio Sheridan I listened to every record that arrived to decide what genre it fell into. There was no genre off limits and it wasn't unusual to hear Rock and Roll rubbing shoulders with Jazz, Blues, or Big Band Swing. Then I'd log them into the library alphabetically and let all the DJs know what was new. That's how I became an early adopter of a lot of different music such as (for the sake of this story) Scrubbaloe Caine.

I fell in love with Scrubbaloe Caine on first listen. There weren't many Rock and Roll bands with a lead violinist/lead singer. That was Henry Small, who went on to found Small Wonder and later sang with Prism. Also in the band was the double-lead guitar team of Paul Dean, later of Streetheart and Loverboy, and Jim Harmata. Filling out the band was Al Foreman on keys and harmonica and Bill McBeth hitting the skins.

Scrubbaloe Caine should have been HUGE. I thought they were so great that I raved about them to John Murphy, the RCA Promo Rep, the next time he came around. A short time later Murph called to say he was driving up to catch Scrubbaloe Caine live in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, a long way from Oakville. He wanted to know if I was down for a ROAD TRIP!!! I said yes immediately, but made him promise that we'd see the Giant Nickle first, because I had never seen it before.


Road trip music: As always, CRANK IT UP!!!

I lived in Canada for 35 years and this is still the most Canadian thing I did in the entire time I lived there. After a quick trip to the Giant Nickle we headed into the Sudbury Arena, where Scrubbaloe Caine was opening for Crowbar. It doesn't get more Canadian than that.

This was one of those times I got a backstage pass, not that backstage at a hockey arena is anything to write to 'Merka about. However, that allowed me to wander at will in all the dressing rooms. That night the Sudbury Arena was Party Central and I was INVITED.

Crowbar and Jim Kale had played on many of the same concert bills over the years and it was like old home week and -- boy, oh, boy -- did they catch up on old times. I didn't know Jim Kale had a drinking problem. I was just a wide-eyed kid (in my early 20s, to be honest) amazed that I was partying with Crowbar and a former member of The Guess Who and current member of Scrubbaloe Caine, my favourite new band.

As the night wore on, Kale got drunker and drunker. By the end of the evening Kale was shitfaced and Murphy was tasked with getting him back to Toronto. It's not all glamour for Promo Reps. Sometimes they have to clean up after the band.

Along the way we also acquired some gal (who I barely remember, other than there being one) that needed a ride back to Toronto. She got in the front and Kale and I poured ourselves into the back seat. We were still wending our way out of Sudbury when Kale made a deliberate fist, with his middle knuckle sticking out, and started punching me in the upper arm. HARD!!!


Looking for trouble? Not me. I just want to sit quietly in the back seat.

"John! He's hitting me!!!"

"Jim! Stop hitting him!"

Jim kept hitting me. In the same place. With the knuckle. It hurt like hell. I had the bruise for weeks.

"He won't stop hitting me!"

So John decided we had better stop at a Tim Horton's and get some coffee into Kale before we get on the highway for the 5 hour drive home. Meanwhile, I scrunched myself into the corner of the backseat behind the driver's seat, fending off Kale with my feet as he kept trying to land blows. Murph finds the Timmies and I scrambled out of the car as soon as it came to a stop. We all walked around the car to the passenger's side and watched Kale get out of the car. He stood up fully erect and filled with the dignity only someone who is stinking drunk can approximate.

Then we all watch helplessly as he went down like a tree in the forest. TIMBER!!! With a loud thump his forehead hit the curb.

Now Jim Kale is out cold and bleeding like crazy from a gash on his forehead. We each grabbed a corner, tossed him back into the backseat, and raced off to the hospital. Hospital staff got him out of the car and onto a gurney. After a real quick examination they told us that he's going to have to have stitches. That's pretty much when Kale regained consciousness. He was still bleeding, but wouldn't let anyone treat him. The staff tried to have us hold him down because we're his friends, yannow. But, he was too strong for all of us as he tried to fight the entire hospital staff, landing a solid blow or two. At some point someone called the police. When they arrived they told us to go home because Kale was going to jail if they ever manage to stitch him up. We were forced to leave him there.

I am told that's the night Scrubbaloe Caine broke up. But, still, they should have been huge!!! Listen to just one more:


Postscript: Over the years The Guess Who have participated in several reunions, which featured various line-ups and members of the band. After one of these renions Jim Kale discovered that no one had ever bothered to register the name The Guess Who, so he did. He's owned it ever since, with drummer Garry Peterson, and they continue to perform as The Guess Who.


The Classic Line up
CRANK IT UP!!!

Headlines Du Jour ► Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Howdy, Headliners! Today's birthday belongs to comedian George Burns, who lived through 100 years of Headlines Du Jour. Here are some other headlines from yesteryear:
Here is today's Headlines Du Jour:

SO GLAD WE'RE LIVING IN A POST-RACIAL SOCIETY:





MORE OF THAT GOP OUTREACH:



IN INCOME INEQUALITY:




SCOTUS WATCH:






IN LGBT NEWS:




TODAY IN CLIMATE CHANGE:






TODAY IN RELIGION:



Once a major political force with the power to derail
presidential campaigns, right-wing Catholicism is in decline

HACK ATTACKS:








GUNS, GUNS, GUNS:


Sheriff says community 'big supporters of firearms






FOX NEWS IN THE NEWS AGAIN:






FREE THE WEED!!!





IN INNER SPACE:




IN OUTER SPACE:






VIDEOS DU JOUR:



Headlines Du Jour is a leisure-time activity of Not Now Silly, home of the Steam-Powered Word-0-Matic, and your rest stop on the Information Highway. Use our valuable bandwidth to post your news comments in today's open thread.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Headlines Du Jour ► Sunday, January 18, 2015

Hello, Headliners! Today's birthday belongs to Oliver Hardy, half of Laurel and Hardy, one of the greatest comedy teams ever. Here are some other Headlines Du Jour of yesteryear:
Here is today's Headlines Du Jour:

MORE OF THAT GOP OUTREACH:





SO GLAD WE'RE LIVING IN A POST-RACIAL SOCIETY:




IN INCOME INEQUALITY:



SCOTUS WATCH:


The U.S. Supreme Court will hear four marriage equality
cases from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld
marriage bans in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

IN LGBT NEWS:






TODAY IN CLIMATE CHANGE:





TODAY IN RELIGION:




A study of Muslim students found that hearing the
Islamic call to prayer made them act more morally.


HACK ATTACKS:






MORE EXCITING EPISODES OF COPS GONE WILD:





FOX NEWS IN THE NEWS AGAIN:





FREE THE WEED!!!





IN INNER SPACE:


The Earth in the coming decades could cease to be a 'safe
operating space' for human beings, new paper concludes.


IN OUTER SPACE:





VIDEOS DU JOUR:



Headlines Du Jour is a leisure-time activity of Not Now Silly, home of the Steam-Powered Word-0-Matic, and your rest stop on the Information Highway. Use our valuable bandwidth to post your news comments in today's open thread.