Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday afternoon on Lincoln Road...

...outside the Victoria's Secret store

Lincoln Road and Meridian Ave.

Scratch and sniff...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

From Random Pixels Rumor Control Desk...

I was taken aback the other day when I read some rumors in the comments section of Rick's SFDB that said that Books and Books on Lincoln Road is closing.

Trying to imagine Lincoln Road without Books and Books is like trying to imagine the Miami Herald without Carl Hiaasen or Miami City Hall without corrupt politicians! It's beyond comprehension!

One of the things I despise most about the Internet are the proliferation outright lies and rumors.

Rumors are so unnecessary because it's just as easy to verify information as it is to post something that has no basis in fact.

(I'm not blaming Rick in this case because he pretty much tries not to censor comments.)

However I have no respect for those who post falsehoods without even bothering to check to see if their information is true. Writing that a business is closing when in fact it's not is irresponsible.

All anyone had to do was drop a note to Books and Books owner Mitchell Kaplan and ask him if the Lincoln Rd store was indeed closing. Mitchell is one of the most accessible people in Miami.

That's what I did. And Mitchell responded:
"Bill, we’re not closing…the cafĂ© is staying right where it is…but, the store will be moving within the building right next to Design Within Reach, where Base Annex was…We’ll be relocating after the 1st…Thanks for your concern, but we’re in good shape…Mitchell."
See how easy that was .....SuperBee?

Mitchell tells me that he'll be making an official announcement in early December.

But just read it here first. And that ain't no rumor!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Herald honchos hit a few sour notes

Some strange news filtering out from the Herald:

Sources tell me that a select group of Miami Herald executives were involved in some sort of a one-day workshop the week before last (apparently after the election) at the posh Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables.

The secret, invitation-only meeting was attended by Herald department heads and top editors.

According to a source the purpose of the meeting was to get key decision-makers at the troubled paper together in one place to plan strategies and come up with innovative ideas on which direction to take the paper.

Details are sketchy but the source reveals that at some point all those attending broke up into small groups and participated in various exercises designed to motivate them.

One of the exercises consisted of group members picking a popular song and rewriting the words to illustrate the Herald's predicament and possible solutions. One group picked the song "I Will Survive," rewrote the words and then sang it. Said one participant: "It was embarrassing."

Word of the summit is slowly making its way through the newsroom which has been decimated by staff cuts. As the Herald continues to experience unprecedented declines in revenue and circulation, some staffers are incredulous that the paper is wasting time and money on "foolishness" instead of coming up with concrete ideas regarding the paper's survival.

Note to Herald execs: There probably won't be time for a second chorus...things are reaching the crisis stage.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Miami Herald ... embarrassing

From The Who's In Charge at The Herald? Dept:

Barack Obama's visit to the White House Monday as president-elect was a significant moment in this country's history.

So how did South Florida's newspaper of record choose to mark the occasion today? They marred the solemnity of the moment with a flip headline that denigrated and disparaged Obama's visit.

Compare the Herald's front page with that of two New York tabloids that ran the same photo.
Even the headline writers at the NY Post - not normally known for their restraint when it comes to tasteless headlines - took a day off. The editors documented the occasion with all the solemnity they could muster by running an extremely powerful photograph of an extraordinary moment without resorting to a snarky headline.

Barack Obama's going to be our president for at least the next four years so I'm sure the editors/pranksters at the Herald will be coming up with more cute and hip headlines when the mood strikes them. But if they run short of ideas perhaps they can call upon this hilarious guy at the Murfreesboro Post in Tennessee for some guidance.

Sarah Palin still doesn't get it

The pundits keep mentioning Sarah Palin as the Republican's best hope in 2012. I wonder if those same pundits are paying any attention to the things that are coming out of her mouth since losing the election. And her propensity to rewrite history ... especially very recent history.

Take this example re-posted here from Romenesko:

Palin says Couric's question about what newspapers she reads was "annoying"
Sarah Palin tells Matt Lauer: "You know, questions about, well, you know, 'What do you read up there in Alaska?' To me that was a little bit annoying. Because I'm like, what do you mean, what do I read in Alaska? I read the same things that you guys read in New York. And there in LA and in Washington state. What do you mean what I read up there?" But Couric didn't ask what Palin read up there in Alaska. She asked: "What newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you were tapped for this to stay informed and to understand the world?"
If this is who the Republicans are pinning their hopes on in 2012 who am I to argue? Let's get it on!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Obama on election night...the unseen photos

To me, one of the most distinct and glaring differences between Barack Obama and John McCain was how each candidate used technology in their campaign.

Sure, they both had websites, Facebook and Youtube pages.

But Obama's campaign seemed to be everywhere that McCain wasn't. They used every tool available on the net to reach out and touch voters. Contrast that with McCain who admits he doesn't know how to use the Internet or e-mail.

So it should come as no surprise to learn that Barack Obama has a Flickr page.

Looks like they've been posting stuff there for quite a while.

But the photos that are getting the most attention are the ones that have been posted in the past day or two of intimate behind the scenes images taken on election night by his personal photographer.

I wonder if John McCain has Flickr page? Or if he even knows what Flickr is?

Friday, November 07, 2008

We're not the only country with an idiot in charge!

From the NY Times:
ROME — Italians never quite know whether to laugh or cry at Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. But many of the most seasoned reacted with incredulity and outrage after the prime minister, visiting Moscow on Thursday, amiably called the first African-American president-elect in history “young, handsome and suntanned.”
Many Italian newspapers gave the comment nearly as much front-page attention as Mr. Obama’s victory itself, with the journalist Curzio Maltese writing in the center-left La Repubblica that “bookmakers wouldn’t even take bets” on how long it would take for Mr. Berlusconi to let slip another of his famous gaffes. “Mr. Berlusconi never fails to live up to our worst expectations,” he wrote.
"....never fails to live up to our worst expectations." Hmmm, who does that remind you of?

Barack Obama lightened things up a bit today at his first post-election press conference when he was asked about getting a puppy for his daughters. He opined that most shelter dogs are "mutts like me."

Well, it took someone about 30 seconds... or maybe a minute... to slap "dot com" on the end of that quote and register it as a domain name and then turn right around and offer it up for a price of $6,500. Looks like Obama's economic stimulus is off to a great start!

Is this a fantastic country or what?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Sarah Palin...the gift that keeps on giving!

More on the Republican's biggest nightmare AKA Sarah (Caribou Barbie) Palin from the Australian:
  • McCain's aides coined a term for Palin and her family: Alaskan "hillbillies."

  • Ms. Palin had been told by McCain spokeswoman Nicolle Wallace to buy three suits and hire a stylist for her debut at the Republican convention at an expected cost of about $20,000.

    Instead, the self-described blue-collar "hockey mom" went on a profligate shopping spree at exclusive department stores, including bills of $75,062 at Neiman Marcus and $49,425 at Saks Fifth Avenue.

    "Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast," was how a McCain aide characterised the spending spree to Newsweek magazine.

  • The merciless attack on Ms. Palin -- who aides said was also given to frequent "temper tantrums" -- comes in retaliation for what McCain's staff considered a treasonous act by Ms Palin's team in the final weeks of the campaign.

    McCain aides believe Ms. Palin decided to look after her own political image -- she has her eyes set on the 2012 presidential campaign -- by leaking to the media that she had been "mishandled" by McCain's campaign.
  • But there is a some good news in all of this for the rest of us! "Seth Meyers, the head writer for Saturday Night Live, said he anticipated Ms Palin would not stray far from the national conversation. For comedians, he said, 'she is a gift that will keep on giving.'"

    Hey, John! What in the hell were you thinking?

    Wednesday, November 05, 2008

    Now it can be told

    Happening in just the last hour...Fox News Channel reporter Carl Cameron told network anchor Shepard Smith that "there WAS tension between John McCain staff members and Sarah Palin (as other news outlets previously reported), and part of it stemmed from some rather glaring gaps in what the governor of Alaska knew about the rest of the world."

    The above quote is from the L.A. Times' Top of the Ticket" blog including this tidbit:
    "Palin [was not] aware that Africa is a continent. (Perhaps she was hamstrung by the fact that no part of that land mass can be viewed from her homestate.)"
    I'd like to think that most Americans (63,875,893 to be precise) saw early on that Palin was supremely unqualified.

    And now we are learning just how unqualified she was. I'm sure more of these revelations will be forthcoming in the weeks and months to come as former campaign aides throw Sarah under the bus...again and again and again.

    Sarah Palin in 2012 anyone? Bring it on!!

    Sunday, November 02, 2008

    It's official! Obama voters are happier than McCain voters!

    From the Associated Press:
    "WASHINGTON (AP) — That smiling guy walking down the street? Odds are he's a Barack Obama backer. The grouchy looking one? Don't ask, and don't necessarily count on him to vote on Tuesday, either.
    "One expert says the contrasting moods could affect how likely the two candidates' supporters are to vote on Election Day, possibly dampening McCain's turnout while boosting Obama's."
    My personal research back this up to a degree.

    I was talking to a very good friend tonight who is an avid FOX News watcher and who holds views that are slightly to the right of Attila the Hun.

    I've had a good-natured exchange of views with him over the past few months trying to get him to see things my no avail.

    However tonight he revealed to me that he probably won't even bother voting on Tuesday. "What's the use?" he asked. "My vote isn't going to make any difference anyway."

    It should be noted that my friend is a photojournalist for a major wire service here in Miami. He's been covering early voting just about everyday for the past few weeks.

    He told me that it appeared to him just about everyone showing up and standing in long lines to vote early was voting for Obama.

    How do you know, I asked?

    "I can tell," he said.

    Another friend of mine puts it this way: "Do people really think that Republicans are going to stand in line for four hours to vote for John McCain?"

    Anecdotal evidence to be sure, but a good sign for Obama.

    McCain finally lightens up

    John McCain shows he still has a sense of humor which is amazing given the fact that he's probably going to suffer one of the most humiliating defeats in American political history this Tuesday. I wonder if he would have done this skit if he had any chance of winning?