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.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

We All Compute ► Throwback Thursday

As I downsize the condo, I have discovered some amazing buried treasures, like my old business card.

It was tucked into my mother's address book on the end table in the Florida Room, which I left as a small, bizarre memorial to her after she died 11 years ago. That's when I moved to Florida to take care of Pops. I had never looked inside before. The card must have meant something to her because there were very few business cards inside. Or, she just just stuck it there when I sent it to her and promptly forgot all about it.

In the Go-Go '90s, I was a columnist for We Compute. We Compute was, just like television, designed to be a conduit for advertising to the masses, with the content almost an afterthought. Like most of my freelance writing it started by studying the publication in question and then pitching the editor, who I had never met, an idea.

The pitch was simple:  How about a column on how to navigate the World Wide Web?

Sounds stupid, right? Yes, in retrospect it does sound that way. However, at the time it was a stroke of brilliance. Today getting around the web is second nature to people of all ages, but at the time it was neither easy, nor intuitive.

Those were the days when most of the population had yet to hear the words "World Wide Web" and "Information Superhighway." Computers were not yet ubiquitous. A vast majority of households still did not have a computer. Of those that did a vast majority were not even connected to the interwebs. Those that were connected had to deal with spotty dial-up service on phone lines that would disconnect in the middle of a giant file download. [When I was your age...] Online veterans, of which I was already, were beginning to dump their 300 baud modems for 1200 and 2400, speeds that seemed fast as lightening compared to what we had been used to. Internet cable still didn't yet exist.

Web browsers were still pretty new and Netscape quickly became the preferred way to get around the World Wide Web. These were also the days when trying to find what you wanted was next to impossible. There were a lot of interesting web pages being created, and one could spend hours upon hours wandering around, but the navigation -- the lack of road signs on the early superhighway -- would get you lost almost every time. One of the only choices for a search engine was AltaVista. If you didn't spell something properly, or use the exact upper and lower case, it would kick up no results, or bad results, or funny results.

After a while I wrote about whatever I wanted, not just web navigation
So, I created a column pitch that I thought was a no-brainer. Every month I'd write a column giving We Compute readers little tips and tricks to navigate their way around the web and then highlight some web pages they may not have ever discovered on their own. My editor was also a no-brainer. He did not see my vision and had to be convinced that it was a good idea.

Then he named my column Web Headly, which I never thought was a good idea.

IRONY ALERT: Even though I was writing a monthly column about the internet, once a month I would have to save my article onto a 3 inch floppy drive and then trek the 11 miles across town by transit, a trip that would involve a streetcar, transferring to the subway, transferring to another subway line, and then a trolley bus to the We Compute offices. With luck I could be there in an hour, but if there were any delays, it could take me as much as 2.5 hours.

Incidentally, that's where I first met Roxanne Tellier, whose writing I have followed ever since. She's also become a very dear friend over the years and I get to see her whenever I visit Toronto.

Monday, November 28, 2016

John Lennon's Last Concert Appearance ► Monday Musical Appreciation

Read the official report at
Elton John's official website:

40 Years Ago Today…Elton
and John Lennon In Concert

Part 1
Part 2
On this day in 1974 John Ono Lennon made his very last concert appearance, on stage at Madison Square Garden.

This was not a Lennon concert. It was an Elton John show and Lennon was a surprise guest. He was there to fulfill a bet he and Elton made after recording "Whatever Gets You Through the Night." According to Ultimate Classic Rock:
It began with the bet. Elton John sang and played piano on both “Surprise Surprise (Sweet Bird of Paradox)” and “Whatever Gets You Thru the Night” for Lennon’s 1974 album Walls and Bridges. To that point, Lennon had been the only former Beatle who’d never achieved a solo No. 1 single — a streak Elton suggested would be snapped by “Whatever.” So confident was Elton, in fact, that he suggested a little wager.

“He sang harmony on it and he really did a damn good job,” Lennon told David Sheff in 1980. “So, I sort of halfheartedly promised that if ‘Whatever Gets You Thru the Night’ became No. 1, which I had no reason to expect, I’d do Madison Square Garden with him. So one day Elton called and said, ‘Remember when you promised…'”
Despite Lennon's pessimism, "Whatever Gets You Through the Night" blew past Bachman-Turner Overdrive's "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet" to reach the toppermost of the poppermost, to steal a phrase. Lennon had little choice in the matter. unless he wanted to be known as a welsher

There is almost no footage of the event:

However, the concert was recorded, which is why a fan could assemble this recreated video of the performance.

Lennon would subsequently reconcile with Yoko Ono, following what's been termed his Lost Weekend, although it lasted far longer than a weekend: 18 months, in fact. After he and Yoko reunited is when he began his househusband phase, a 5-year period in which he stayed away from the recording studio. Then he and Yoko recorded and released "Double Fantasy." Just as it was rising in the charts -- as no one needs reminding -- he was murdered returning home from the studio on the evening of December 8, 1980.

This date is also known for several other Beatles-related stories. According to The Music History Calendar on this date in:
1966: The Beatles [recorded] Strawberry Fields Forever

: The Beatles [recorded] The Beatles' Fifth Christmas Record

1968: John Lennon and Yoko Ono appear at the Marylebone Magistrates' Court, London, to answer charges of cannabis resin posession. Lennon pleads guilty and is fined 150 pounds and 20 guineas.

1970: George Harrison [releases], My Sweet Lord1979: Ringo Starr's home in Los Angeles burns down, destroyed by fire.
Incidentally, earlier in the year John Lennon and former-band mate Paul McCartney reunited after the Beatles breakup to record together for the very last time. Bootleggers have long shared this mess and named it "A Toot and a Snore in '74" for obvious reasons.