Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Winker? I Hardly Know ‘Er – Part Two of the David Winker Affair


David Winker has been described by Concerned Citizen as a “disheveled heavy-set man” in the anonymous hit job — the 95 page dossier — the city used as a basis to inspect the home where he lives and slap some code violations on the property, which happens to be in his wife’s name.  She’s just collateral damage in this crazy story.

I can affirm — and would so so under oath — that David Winker, activist lawyer, is a disheveled, heavy-set man. When I first met him, literally while making introductions, his wife started straightening his collar because it was askew. Almost sheepishly he related he just arrived from a YouTube LIVE podcast and must have been disheveled during it.

Read: The David Winker Affair – Part One

And, he is heavy set, with the body of a football player, which he inherited from his football-playing father. Ironically his father forbid him from playing football. Growing up in Canada he played hockey and ‘Merka’s national sport, baseball. Although these days he occasionally reviews high school football.

I spent 4 hours with David Winker. Mostly we talked at his dining room table, which the City of Miami seems to think is a dedicated office. The rest of the room is filled with the flotsam and jetsam of a large family room occupied by people with children. If this were my house I wouldn’t necessarily want a client to see that clutter and Winker assured me he doesn’t meet with clients there. But, I didn’t really care about that.

Nor did I really care about most of the other items in the 95+ page dossier.

Mostly I wondered why I was even there.

Then I remembered that my source told me I would uncover Miami Corruption, so I stuck with it.

I asked about every exhibit in the 95-page document and it felt dirty. Nothing in this colonoscopy — other than about 40-50 words — had anything to do with the Code Compliance Violations tacked to Christina’s house. Not the pages and pages of printed screenshots labeled “Exhibit A: Winker Tweets/Social Media Assaults.” Exhibit B is every traffic ticket, parking violation, and some “no valid license plate history.” Exhibit C is called Winker Criminal DWLS. I could go on and on through “Exhibit J: Winker City of Miami Permit History”.

Part of the Winker DossierWhen we were done, I wanted a shower. But, I had to ask about every page — every exhibit — in those 95 pages if I wanted to find the corruption I was promised.

Winker’s wife drifted in and out of the room during this rectal examination, until she had to go do children taxi.

Winker copped to some of it; he also had reasonable explanations for some of it; said some of it had been cleared years ago, but he forgot to file those docs that would take them down; and (later) showed me why the plate on his pickup truck appeared invalid. His registration is valid. However, someone tore off half of the little yellow sticker to put on their own car because their sticker had expired. [Apparently this is more common in Miami than I knew.] The problem to replacing the sticker is The COVID and government offices not being fully operational yet.

Later we walked completely around the property where I examined the supposed Code Violations.

The granny flat, f’rinstance. It’s a converted garage and had been a granny flat for who-knows-how-long? However, it was there the last time the City of Miami signed off on all these surveys and documents, both before and after the last sale 8 years ago. It’s all on record. Public record. Records available to Code Compliance, had it wanted to look.

The surprise was meeting Winker’s mother, who snowbirds in the granny flat. Normally she’d be back in England at this point in the year, but that’s another thing The COVID complicated. (FULL DISCLOSURE: We share a Queen. I’m Canadian.) 

But, all of this is getting so far away from the dossier. This cannot be stressed enough: almost nothing in that document was germane to the issue of Code Violations. It was an attack on a taxpayer by another anonymous taxpayer throwing anything and everything against the wall to see what sticks. And, it’s pretty clear that it was compiled by a private detective as oppo research.

It’s disgusting.

Why would anyone do such a thing?

It all goes back to Winker’s profession. He’s a lawyer for hire. In his spare time he sues the city and wins. According to Miami New Times:

Beyond representing the group calling for a recall of Carollo in a case against the city, Winker has openly criticized City Attorney Victoria Mendez for defending Carollo in the recall effort and acting as his “private law firm.” He also has filed ethics complaints against the MLS soccer stadium construction effort.

Winker also sued the city after it appointed the lawyers and lobbyists of developers to serve on a zoning review board. LAW.COM picked up that story with Activist Criticizes Naming Developer Attorneys to Miami Zoning Review Group:

Escarra, Leiva and Tapanes represent most of the big developers before the city and will have front-row seats shaping the city’s development regulations. Winker maintains It would be difficult for them to focus on the public’s best interest rather than their clients’ priorities.

“Miami has an image problem, and these appointments are the quintessential ‘foxes guarding the chicken coop,’ ” Winker wrote in a letter Friday to City Attorney Victoria Mendez. She had no comment by deadline.

Winker argued the appointments violate the Florida Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees barring private employment and public office with conflicting interests.

Winker won that argument, too.

Then there was the time Winker filed a suit against the City of Miami and Ultra Music Festival, the massive, yearly, 3-day EDM fun fest. He filed on behalf of the Brickell Home Owners Association, which would have to include some heavy-hitters, just based on the zip codes. That contretemps was big enough for Billboard to take notice. Winker lost that one. Ultra went ahead in what many people believe is an environmentally sensitive area and the squabbling has really never ended. Another Miami mess. But, that’s not this story.

And, that’s the problem with this story of Miami Corruption. To tell it properly, it’s necessary to weave an entire wall tapestry in which Winker’s Code Violations is just one vignette in the corner. Stick with me because I’m growing fond of this analogy.

In another corner of this tapestry is Coconut Grove, a community I know well because of the hundreds of stories I’ve written about it. Another of Winker’s pro bono lawsuits was on behalf of a Coconut Grove homeowner who righteously opposed the fact that the city’s building department approved permits to build two houses on Day Avenue without the 10 feet setback AS REQUIRED BY LAW.
This is Code Non-Compliance. The laws are clear. How does a thing like this happen? 
Either the permitting department doesn’t know WTF they are doing or somebody greased the skids so that these house could get more square footage. That would be bribery. That would be Miami Corruption.
There are now calls to tear down these houses, but the city seems to be leaning towards turning away from the problem.
You can read more about it here: Residents: West Grove is losing its identity because Miami doesn’t enforce zoning code.  But — again! — that’s not the story I’m trying to tell today. However, it will turn up in subsequent chapters of The David Winker Affair, which is one reason I mention it here.
Another reason: It adds new names to the canonical list of suspects I’m compiling. Who is Concerned Citizen? Rather than narrowing things down, this list grows with every conversation I have.
Winker has amassed a number of powerful enemies due to his activism. They are all suspect until one person confesses, or is outed by another anonymous concerned citizen. So far no one has shared the real goods on who might have hired a private dick to go through David Winker’s dirty laundry.
Without question Winker’s most powerful enemy is Miami District 3 Commissioner Joe Carollo. For the record Winker doesn’t put him on my suspect list. I disagree. I wouldn’t put it past him because he’s used code compliance as a cudgel against his enemies in the past…more than once.

Ironically, as I was preparing this part of The David Winker Affair, more Winker stories came in over my electronic transom, delaying its publication. They converge at the recall effort for Miami District 3 Commissioner Joe Carollo.
I don’t want to get too deep in the weeds about the Carollo recall because it’s as tangled as all the other threads in this tapestry. However, it would be dead center.
If you like weeds, start here: He’s not called Crazy Joe for nothing. Miami New Times published A Brief History of Miami Commissioner Joe Carollo’s Craziest Moments on May 14, 2018, long before the recall effort even began.
Here’s the recall in non-legal jargon.
CIVICS 101: Citizens wanting to recall a Miami politician have specific laws to follow. The first step is registering the recall effort with the city. Oddly enough you do not have to register the the specific language of the recall petition and could make up any series of lies, but you’ll still have to convince 5% of the district to sign on to your theory. Your recall effort does not begin until you get your first signature and you only have 30 days before the recall petitions must be turned in. [Who is allowed to sign the recall petition is also regulated, but that’s deeper weeds.] Finally, the law directs what you do with the petitions once that deadline nears, how the signatures are verified (no Santa Clauses allowed), and what’s required of the city at that point.
Think of the recall like a fishing line spun out into the community (to begin a new metaphor I can torture). The recall law keeps the line taught.
Once the recall petitions were signed, sealed, and delivered by Take Back Our City, the City of Miami allowed the fishing line to go slack. Now it sits in my imaginary tapestry as a tangled mess, emblematic of Miami political corruption. Only the courts can untangle this Gordian knot, which would have already been solved — one way or another — a long time ago, were it not for the tangled mess Miami government has made of it. Throwing it into the courts has delayed the entire process, which may have been exactly what Carollo wanted.
Yesterday Ladra reported Miami’s Joe Carollo tries to recall the recall by getting petitioners to recant in which she tells of unidentified “young women” who are roaming various neighbourhoods, trying to get people to disavow their earlier signatures on the recall petition. Keep in mind only some 1900 people were needed for the petition to succeed and these “young women” knew where they all lived. Ain’t that some shit?
Miami City Hall, formerly the Pan American Air Lines Sea Plane Terminal,  Coconut Grove, Miami, Fl... Via Amplification, Inc. | Miami city, Florida,  Miami photosThe Miami Herald, as only that rag can, took a look at the same story and chose to parrot Joe Carollo’s lies, before relating why there’s been such a delay in this recall,  how that delay gives Crazy Joe all this extra time to intimidate petitioners into recanting, and why these shenanigans are bad for democracy. But I expect no more from the Miami Herald, which has been totally useless in ferreting out Miami Corruption. But I digress.

Carollo and his attorney, Ben Kuehne, confirmed Wednesday that an undisclosed number of residents have signed forms expressing their desire to be removed from the recall petition. In his lawsuit, Carollo claimed that the recall organizers misled and lied to some of the 1,941 voters who signed petition forms, arguing in part that Spanish speakers were confused by a document written only in English.

“Many people were lied to and told that this was for something other than to recall me,” Carollo told the Miami Herald. “Dozens of people are telling us that they didn’t sign [any] recall against me. They voted for me, they like me, but their names appear [on the petition].”

Carollo added: “If these people wanted me out of office so badly, they’re not gonna change their mind and take their name off the petition.”

There’s a similarity to the way Carollo brazenly lies without providing proof and the way Mad King Trump lies, but that’s another story for another day. The main point is the Miami Herald buried the lede:

“We knew it was only a matter of time before Carollo started a campaign of intimidation,” said David Winker, an attorney for the recall group. “Given his track record, you can’t blame residents who are getting a knock on the door from Carollo’s people [for] signing whatever is put in front of them.”

Winker said intimidation tactics by Carollo were “exactly what inspired the recall in the first place.” The petition focused on controversies that have marked Carollo’s term since he was elected in 2017, including accusations that he pushed the city’s code enforcement department to target properties owned by Little Havana businessman Bill Fuller, including the Ball & Chain nightclub.

Carollo obtained copies of the petitions — which include signers’ names and addresses — through a public records request, the Miami city clerk said Wednesday.

The very same Miami city clerk that tangled the fishing line in the tapestry in the first place.

So all that legal wrangling is costing taxpayers money. That’s one of the things that concerns Concerned Citizen (Remember: This story is about that malcontent). None of this was ever really about code violations. This is a baldfaced attempt to silence a critic of the City of Miami with an enviable track record in court.
Take Back Our City, the recall committee, recently held a presser on the courthouse steps:


My source promised I’d find Miami Corruption if I dug into this story. I also promised you, dear reader, corruption if you stuck with this story. However, it just didn’t turn out to be the kind of corruption my source alleged and that you are probably expecting.
That happens sometimes. You get a tip and chase it down wherever it might go. When I was writing Fox “News” criticism (9 years I’ll never get back) I once got a tip from a very reliable source that Flava Flav dated Bill O’Reilly’s wife back in the day. I chased that story right down to Flava Flav himself.
SPOILER ALERT: It’s not true, but it was fun looking.
However, while chasing down this story I did find some real Miami Corruption and real crimes committed. It just wasn’t the corruption and crimes my source alleged.
Bottom line: Florida’s laws on privacy were breached to obtain, and then distribute, David Winker’s information contained in the 95 page dossier. Both are crimes, which may — or may not — have been committed by the same person. Worse yet, Federal laws were also broken.
These will be easy crimes to prove. The rapscallion who committed this crime left their fingerprints in Exhibit B. The language cannot be more clear.
Your Personal Information in Florida motor vehicle and driver records is blocked in accordance with the Driver Privacy Protection Act.

Your Social Security Number has been verified. Thank you.
Furthermore, in the top right-hand corner of every page in the subsequent report is the following notation:
[7/27/2020 10:02:44 PM]
The government helpfully dated and time-stamped the request. It won’t take a colonoscopy to discover the IP address of the criminal interloper; just a few sharply worded subpoenas.
I feel like I’m living in a noir movie now. What kind of crooked private detective would break Federal law to obtain kompromat on an enemy? And, what kind of Concerned Citizen would overlook these criminal trespasses in a false attempt to prove an activist lawyer is crooked?


Stay tuned for Part Three of the David Winker Affair in which I reveal the questions the City of Miami needs to answer, not that I believe it ever will.

The 2018 Not Now Silly Road Trip

Approximate route, subject to change

As longtime readers know, several times a year we take the mobile Not Now Silly Newsroom into the field, where we meet some of our … err … longtime readers.

These road trips began several years ago under the rubric of Sunrise To Canton Road Trip for Research, with the destination being Canton Township, Michigan to learn whatever I could about a very bad man.

Ahh! Simpler times.

Read previous Road Trip adventures HERE.

This year’s road trip will take me to Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the place I truly consider my home town. The Not Now Silly mobile newsroom will traverse north along the easterly leg of the trip (see map at left), leaving on the 11th of August. After a week in Toronto, I’ll be returning along the western leg of the trip starting on the 19th of August.

Now, you can take part!!!

If you’ve ever wanted to meet the people (me!) behind the Not Now Silly Newsroom, here’s how you can get involved:

If you are somewhat near one of those blue lines on the map at left, let me know of your interest. Depending on already locked in itinerary, how far away you are from those blue lines, and whether there’s a Starbucks near you (almost kidding), we can meet as I make my way up or down the Unites States. Send me a Private Message and your basic details, like city or town. I’ll see whether I can fit it onto my map above.


Since I cannot visit everyone I want to see while I’m there, I will — as I have done on previous visits — be throwing myself a homecoming, so you can come to visit me. Join me, my family, and my friends on August 15th at:

40 Kensington Avenue
Toronto, Ontario

Once again the Not Now Silly Newsroom is on the move.

Why Spotting Neo-Nazi Websites Isn’t That Easy

Why Spotting Neo-Nazi Websites Isn’t That Easy

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. White supremacy is woven into the tapestry of American culture, online and off–in both physical monuments and online domain names. A band of tiki-torch-carrying white nationalists gathered first online, and then at the site of a Jim Crow-era Confederate monument in Charlottesville, Virginia. Addressing… Continue reading Why Spotting Neo-Nazi Websites Isn’t That Easy

Not Now Silly Turns To The Dark Arts

I can now reveal what I was only able to hint at last week: I am moving to the dark side of politics. I am collaborating on a book with a politician, Miami District 2 Commissioner Ken Russell.

I became a writer because I wanted to tell stories — because I needed to tell stories. It was less that I chose writing than writing chose me. Words just tumbled out of me. Putting it down on paper was my only outlet. In the beginning, it was fiction and furtive. Short stories that no one ever saw, thankfully.

I look back on my earliest stuff and shudder. However, I’ve worked these past 4 decades honing my craft. From a giveaway music fanzine in the ’70s, to hired wordsmithing for a Canadian trade publication read around the world. By the time I was 25 I could truly call myself a professional writer. Over the years I written everything from Investigative Journalism, Record Reviews, Artist Profiles, Copy Writing, Hollywood Reporter, finally landing at Citytv, Toronto, for a decade as a Tee Vee News Writer. I called myself a ventriloquist because I put the words in the mouths of the meat puppets (a joke that has not endeared me to my former colleagues).

I parlayed my knowledge of tee vee news into writing Fox “News” criticism, first at NewsHounds and, later, PoliticusUSA. I’ve also become an internationally known pundit — if you call what I do on Twitter and the facebookery punditry.

What I’m most proud of is the Not Now Silly Newsroom and my stories about the City of Miami and Coconut Grove. The Grove had more stories to tell than I had time for.

Now there are stories that I will no longer be able to write — some of which are already in the pipeline — because I have to recuse myself from stories about Miami. I’ve joined the other side.

Q: What does Headly Westerfield and Jeffery Beauregard Sessions have in common?
A: They have both recused themselves.

If I’ve written anything at all about politicians in the past 10 years, it’s to call them names and make fun of them. Especially now that we’ve arrived in the Trump Era. However, I’ve long been fascinated by Russell from the day we first met.

He was still a private citizen back then.

I was still trying to land my White Whale: [allegedly] corrupt Miami District 2 Commissioner Marc D. Sarnoff. Russell was fighting Sarnoff’s inadequate plan — developed in secret (as many of Sarnoff’s plans were) — to remediate the toxic soil in Merrie Christmas Park, which was across the street from his house.

This was one of 8 parks in the city closed after toxic soil was found in each of them.

Aside from the inadequate remediation, Sarnoff had also ILLEGALLY declared the park and its surrounds a Brownfield site, without any of the proper public hearings and neighbourhood notifications. As one of the first journalists to report on Soilgate, I cold-called Russell to interview him on the toxic soil issue.

We met in a coffee shop and had a pleasant enough interview. However, in the back of my mind I was thinking, “Okay. I get it. He’s worried about the toxic soil, because his kids play in the park, and his own property values.”

However, near the end of the interview, he surprised me. He said something to the effect of, “Now that we’ve hired a lawyer, it appears Merrie Christmas Park will be remediated properly. However, I’m worried about the parks in the neighbourhoods where people don’t have the resources to take on the City of Miami.”

Well, whaddaya know? This guy has a social conscious.

But that’s where it ended. I had no reason to contact Russel again until he decided to run for Miami District 2 Commissioner to replace Sarnoff, who had been termed out. Russell was considered a dark horse in a race that had 8 people vying for the seat, most of whom had better name recognition that he did.

Renewing contact, Russell allowed me to go with him on Door Knocks. Rain or shine, he visited nearly every house and condo in the district, talking to voters in both English and Spanish; 2 of the 6 languages he’s conversant in. In between houses we talked and I got to know him better. More importantly, I got to like him.

I had never liked a politician before.

While Russell didn’t win on the first ballot, he won the run-off against Teresa Sarnoff, the wife of the term limited Commissioner.

On the day he took his Oath of Office to the City of Miami, Russell graciously allowed me to embed myself with him for the entire day. I met his family, who turned out to be one of the most photogenic families I’ve ever seen. Also, one of the more multicultural families.

Here’s the Cliff Notes version of the Ken Russell story.

His father Jack was a a professional Yo Yo Champion. In the ’40s he invented and patented an improvement to yo yos that became the industry standard. If you’ve ever played with a yo yo, it’s likely it was a Genuine Russell Yo Yo.

This took Ken’s father around the world, promoting the Russell Yo Yo. While in Japan he met that country’s Yo Yo Champion, fell in love, and married her. How’s that for a Meet Cute story?

Eventually along came Ken, who also became a professional Yo Yo Champion, traveling the world — and promoting the product — like his father and mother had done before him. Daft Punk has even licensed the Russell Yo Yo for branded merchandise.

While he can still be cajoled into performing yo yo tricks, Ken eventually moved into woodworking and started a paddle/surf board company, which is what he was doing before he found politics. Or. did politics find him?

Coconut Grove, the community I adopted, is a small part of Russell’s District 2, which also includes downtown.

As a result I often found myself contacting Russel’s office for comments and quotes. I watched Ken as he stumbled and made some missteps while trying to wrap his arms around the intricacies of the office. The learning curve in becoming a politician — and understanding the city machinery — has been tremendous. Russell has made some rookie mistakes, which he acknowledges. However, he’s also identified some creative solutions that, if adopted, could address the poverty and systemic racism that has kept West Grove down during the last century.

Recently Russell was approached by some Movers and Shakers to run for Congress in Florida’s 27th District, to replace Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who has decided she’s had enough politics for the time being.

He’s still pondering his decision, deciding whether it makes sense to declare as a candidate for the 2018 midterms.

Let this sink in for a second: Russell has been a City of Miami Commissioner — his first elected post ever — less than 2 years. Yet there are already people who think he could go further. The entire concept is a surreal.

However, this got me thinking: If anybody is going to write what I’ve taken to calling The Ken Russell Story (for the lack of a better name), I wanted it to be me.

About a month ago I approached Russell with the idea to collaborate on a book. Miraculously, he didn’t tell me to GTFO. In fact, he listened carefully as I outlined several different approaches such a book could take. After pondering it for a while, Russell agreed to collaborate.

That’s why I have now recused myself from writing about Miami politics.

I have officially crossed over to the other side. I am excited about being able to watch the sausage being made. Whether Russell decides to run for Congress, and win or lose, we’ve agreed that this book will go forward.

I’ll still publish various kinds of stories in the Not Now Silly Newsroom (several of which are already in the pipeline). However, now that I am shadowing the Commissioner, I have signed a non-disclosure agreement. I can’t use anything I learn while being a fly-on-the-wall in meetings until the book is published, or I am released from this agreement, whichever comes first.

This is a brand new adventure for me. Wish me luck.

Yellowstone Supervolcano Hit by a Swarm of Earthquakes

Yellowstone Supervolcano Hit by a Swarm of Earthquakes

Yellowstone supervolcano has been hit by a series of earthquakes, with more 30 recorded since June 12. The latest was recorded on Monday, June 19, with a magnitude 3 earthquake striking 8.6 miles north north-east of West Yellowstone, Montana. The swarm began last week, and on June 15 saw a magnitude 4.5 earthquake take place in… Continue reading Yellowstone Supervolcano Hit by a Swarm of Earthquakes

Hair Today; Gone Tomorrow

This video is dedicated to —

Oh, hell. Just watch.

I miss Pops every day.

At the same time I was fighting the The Hair Wars, I lived 4 houses south of David Palmer, original drummer for The Amboy Dukes, which would practice in his garage on Gilchrist Street in northwest Detroit.

David Palmer, far left

David and I went to the same school, of course. When I was getting kicked out for having long hair — and then no hair — David also had a run-ins with the administration of Coffey Jr. High over the issue of his hair length.

To see the current condition of
Coffey Jr. High, click HERE.

At this point, The Amboy Dukes had already had a hit, or two. So David showed up with a note from his lawyer. It said (translating legal lingo into English), “David Palmer is in Show Biz. Today’s Show Biz requires long hair. Forcing Master Palmer to cut his hair could negatively impact his earnings. We’ll sue.”

The school, which had been fumbling with its hair policy ever since The Beatles invaded these shores, decided to fold. They agreed that Palmer need not sheer his locks, but would have to keep it inside his shirt collar. From that day on Palmer wore his hair beneath the collar of his psychedelic shirts, while wearing a wild tie to hold it all together.

It was always fun to be walking behind him as we were leaving school at the end of the day. The second he crossed the threshold he’d reach around and, with one motion on the back of his neck, would sweep his hair out of his shirt, where it would cascade down to the middle of his back.

Here are a few of the Amboy Dukes greatest tunes, starting with them miming their biggest hit:

It’s too bad about that douchenozzle Ted Nugent, though.

Webbitez Bitez ► A Consumer Report

Avoid this company at all costs
Ladies and gentlemen of the internets: 
I would like to warn the world about a Web Design company operating out of
Ireland called Webbitez. 
A year ago I met the owner Ian Christie through my
sister. In a general and casual discussion about the Not Now Silly Newsroom, I
mentioned how everyone told me I should abandon the Blogger platform in favour
of a Word Press template in order to better monetize my site. However, I stated
that what has kept me from doing so were the hundreds of posts already made,
which I would lose.
I’ve had this discussion with several people over the years. They all shrugged and said, “Oh, well.” 
However, Christie was the only person who told me that I would not have to lose any of my previous posts; they could be imported to the new site and he knew exactly how
to do it.
That’s when we entered into an agreement that he would build
my web site and import all my previous posts into the new site under my own
domain name. I paid him 50% of the agreed upon fee as a down payment, the
balance to be paid when the web site was finished. We shook on it at his
I could go over chapter and verse of why, a year later, I’m
still trying to get a web site out of him, but it’s all water under the bridge
now. He has used my anger at his obstinacy and inaction to withdraw from the
project, blaming me for being rude.
I have every right to be rude. I have waited a year for my
web site to be finished and he has made excuse after excuse on why it’s not
been finished. Among those excuses are that he had to go to school to get his degree and that was
his first priority. Then why did he take on the project? 
However, my favourite excuse is that his server was
attacked by Russian hackers and he was forced to rebuild his clients’ web sites
at his own time and expense.
Aside from the fact that this is EXACTLY the service one would expect from
a web host, Russian hackers? Really?
Time after time I have attempted to resolve these issues and all I
got were cryptic responses. My direct questions went unanswered or he would point to
previous answers that didn’t really answer my direct questions. It was all passive-aggressive games.
However, today was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Six
days ago, while I was traveling, he told me the site was finished. Three days
ago I asked for the URL so I could see my site. After waiting a full 3 days I finally
sent the following message:

Please read this with an open mind,
something you’ve shown little inclination to do in our previous exchanges.

Had you treated me as a CLIENT from the
very beginning, we never would have had any of the problems we had. Instead,
you treated me like something you stepped in. I maintain that you would have
never have opened our LAST exchange the way you did had I been treated like a
CLIENT. Nor would you have tried to make all these problems about me, or my
rudeness. After a full year of inaction, I have earned the right to be as rude
as I need to be.

You said where you come from people don’t
discuss money. Where I come from people discuss money when they’ve been screwed
out of it.

You may consider my down payment a small
amount of money, barely worthy of your consideration. However, to me it was a
sizable chunk of my disposable income, which I actually made clear at the time.
It’s all relative, isn’t it?

However, even that shouldn’t matter. We both
entered into this agreement as intelligent men, or so I thought. There was even
a handshake at your insistence. Remember?

And now we have come to this latest
impasse. Several days ago you told me the site is finished. I asked for the
URL. I’m still waiting for a reply. Would you have treated a CLIENT this way?
Answer honestly, Ian. Would any of this have happened had you simply treated me
like a CLIENT, instead of a source of frustration?

In our last conversation you told me that
you will refund my down payment, but will withdraw all continued web support.
Will you also refund the money I spent for a year’s worth of my own domain
name, at your insistence, that I was unable to use? You further told me you
will not host my site, which will be an added expense I had not anticipated.
[Thanks for blowing my budget and making me scramble at the last minute to
locate a web host, something I have no experience in doing.] As well, you now
refuse to help me with the SEO, which was one of the things I was most excited
about. Furthermore, if you ever produce the URL to my site so I can simply take
a look after waiting all this time, I suspect you will present me with a fait
accompli, on which I have had almost no input and will not be allowed to
request any changes.

Just to remind you: I am the client.
Imagine you were a tailor. Would you have me in for a fitting or two? Or, would
you just present me with the garment when you were finished?

I honestly don’t
what game you’re playing now. I honestly don’t know why you wouldn’t just
respond to my request for the URL. Did I forget to say “Please and thank
you” or is there some other agenda here?

Just let me know what hoops I still have to
jump through so we can conclude this business transaction. Or, has it been your
intention all along to not conclude this business transaction and this is
merely your passive-aggressive way to get me to walk away?

Mr. Passive-Aggressive

He sent a return message that made it appear as
if he understood what I was saying, but then, very soon after that, he started in
with his passive-aggressive bullshit all over again.

I asked him several times this morning for the URL that
would allow me to see my site. He kept saying I had the URL already. No, I didn’t.
I had the URL to a COMING SOON landing page. Finally, after asking for the URL
several times he admitted that:

As is your other blog, page has an admin section. You get access to that
when I suggested we talk Thursday you would have seen that. But you as always
jump head first and argue pointless issues. But yes I’m wrong.

But, you see, I never asked for admission to the Admin Section. I asked over and over again for the URL that would allow me to view the web site that he said was finished.

So . . . why couldn’t he have said this from the very beginning? Why did I have to ask over and over again to see my site and all he would do was answer with some cryptic bullshit about I already have the URL. No, I did not have the URL which would allow me to see my site, just the landing page.

And, let’s talk about that landing page, because it’s a perfect example of the kind of crazy bullshit I’ve had to deal with up to now.

Somehow I was supposed to be satisfied with this ugly page.
Last year, when this entire process began, I asked him to create a COMING SOON page for me. I was excited to be finally blogging under my own domain name and wanted to promote it. He never produced that page. 
And, he hung me out to dry with my readers because I promised month after month that a new site under my own domain was COMING SOON. In fact, I stopped mentioning it because it made me look foolish.
In fact, I stopped mentioning the entire project months ago. Originally we had scheduled a weekly Wednesday Skype (still in my calendar) to go over the web site. After a while he stopped answering my Skypes. Once I got hold of him and he went off on me, making me feel so guilty, that I didn’t contact him again for months. Because it seemed to be such an unpleasant task, I avoided it completely.
However, recently, I convinced him that I was truly the aggrieved party here and not him (and THAT took typing up a blue streak before he would finally admit that, paraphrasing, “Oh, yeah, maybe a year to wait for a web site might have been a tad over the line.”). That’s when I demanded an action plan (which in the end he didn’t stick to either) on when EXACTLY my web site would be finished. Then I demanded, as a show of good faith, he do the first thing I asked him to do a year ago: Give me a COMING SOON page. He argued against it, told me I didn’t need a COMING SOON page, but I made it a condition of going forward. I identified 2 Not Now Silly logo graphics that he could use on a COMING SOON page. I never assumed he’d use both of them. That was just stupid on his part.
This is the correct aspect ratio.

Stupider still was how he screwed up the aspect ration of both graphics. There’s nothing that crawls up my back faster than someone who screws up the aspect ratio of a graphic and he did it to two of mine. So, I told him that it wasn’t right and it was *NOT* something I would share with my readers. I had to explain it to him because he didn’t seem to understand what I meant by aspect ratio. 

However, he blew up. Again, he told me that a COMING SOON page was unimportant. And, how could I dare criticize something he worked so hard over. And, that making a COMING SOON page was just a waste of time when there was a web site to build that he already had a year to build.
I let it go. I said nothing in response. I thought a COMING SOON page was a dead issue. Then, without warning, he came back with a new COMING SOON page, despite telling me he wouldn’t bother. And, it was ugly, with a capital U. [See above.]
Why would I want a stained floor background? Why would I want an email sign-up, something we never discussed? Why wasn’t the whole thing centered properly on the page? Why wasn’t the email sign-up centered on that other part that wasn’t centered? Why are there several ugly symbols for my Twitter, Blogspot, and Facebook accounts? Why aren’t those ugly graphics hyperlinked so that they actually have a function? Why not my YouTube channel as well? Why wasn’t I consulted anywhere along the way?
While there was all kinds of wrong with this COMING SOON page, I kept my criticism to myself this time, because I had already seen how he was unwilling to accept any criticism from the CLIENT. Everything he does is so fucking great, you see. He made a point to tell me it had taken 8 hours of work, something that I could have done here in the Not Now Silly Newsroom in 2 minutes. TWO FUCKING MINUTES!!!

Today I offhandedly said I thought it was ugly, and he went nutz on me again:

ME: All I know is that when I click on [the domain name] I get the COMING SOON page. I don’t care about that ugly page. I want to see the web site. I need the URL for that.

IAN: Oh[,] man. Seriously[,] did you just type that? Ugly? Lol. Good man Headley. [sic] Keep up the insults from a man that is so great full. [sic]

BTW: He never seemed to spell my name right and, he’s absolutely right, I’m an ingrate because I dared insist on quality.
The IM continues:

ME: You expected me to share that COMING SOON page with my readers?

I have higher standards than that.

IAN: No I don’t. When did I say that? Nobody shares a coming soon page but if you knew anything about SEO you would know why it’s there. [After telling me several times it was unneeded.] Regardless of what I say I’m just wrong. So I’m wrong.

As is your other blog, page has an admin section. You get access to that when I suggested we talk Thursday you would have seen that. But you as always jump head first and argue pointless issues. But yes I’m wrong.

And even spending a day on that graphic for you, you insult insult insult. Read your messages, that’s all my fault. Despite what I have said u continue to be an asshole.

So my point of drawing a line, well if that’s drawing a line and deliberately offending my work….yes, I’m wrong to be offended for doing something for you for free and my time. Yes, indeed I’m wrong. Not you, you, you are a totally innocent bystander. By me explaining why we are at this juncture is excuses to you. Please

let’s move on.

Trying to move on you’ll note that he finally provided his rationale for not giving me the URL that I had asked for time and time again this morning in order that I could see my site. In a very roundabout way,
without actually coming out and saying so — which is how he passive-aggressive answers everything — he told me that I wouldn’t
get to see the site until he was damned good and ready to show me
because – – and get this:

my messages. Read the one i sent last week where I said we would go
through it together. That we needed a window to look at it TOGETHER. You
have no clue how to view it and that was the purpose of the window.

Are you kidding me, Ian?

WTF? I have no clue how to view a web site?  Are you fucking kidding me, Ian?

Or, did he just want to sandbag me with a fait accompli on Thursday? Did he want to give me no time to click around on MY SITE and get a feel for it from my readers’ perspective? There is no logical reason why he couldn’t answer me all those times I asked for the URL. There is no logical reason why he thinks I need a tourist guide to look at my own web site.

Then, on Thursday, maybe we could discuss what is right and what is wrong with the web site designed without my input and without my ever having seen it.

This is what really sticks in my craw. All morning I asked for the URL to view my site. He *NEVER* gave me the URL. He just kept telling me I already had it. Like it was a fucking treasure hunt. Eventually I figured out ON MY OWN that he was talking about the COMING SOON page.
That’s just another one of his passive-aggressive games.
He did the same thing the last time we texted. He said he needed some info. I said what info. He said it was upthread. I kept looking for it, but couldn’t find it on a thread miles long. I kept asking specifically what he info he wanted and he kept telling me it was already answered. It became another one of his fucking treasure hunts. He falsely insisted I knew exactly what he was talking about. After I finally found it and answered he said, “See, you knew all along.” If I knew all along I would have answered when he asked!!! When I said, “You could have just told me,” he said that he didn’t want to patronize me by cutting and pasting it. What kind of shabby excuse is that for his passive-aggressive behaviour? Had he patronized me with a cut & paste, it would have saved us almost an hour’s worth of argument. [All saved for posterity. Feel free to request the text file.]
Today, I never asked for the COMING SOON page. I asked to see my web site. I asked to see it many times. It took a very long time before he FINALLY told me that I couldn’t see it until Thursday, as per his previous message. Why couldn’t he have started there instead of playing another one of his passive-aggressive games where we kept going around in the same circle over and over again?
Here is what I consider the punchline to the whole story: I never told my sister what had been occurring with her friend Ian. It had nothing to do with her. However, recently she told me she was thinking of going to Ireland. Because I already knew that Ian Christie had passed another production deadline and that I would probably be forced to blast him when I returned home, I decided to bring her into the loop, so she wasn’t sandbagged. She thanked me for the info, told me that blood was thicker than water, and asked to be kept up to date. 
What made him think my sister would take his side?

Today, when it all started to go sideways — almost immediately — I informed her as it happened. Neither of us could believe how crazy Ian had become. When I finally told him we were done and our business was concluded, my sister asked whether she could take a crack at him. At that point it was FREE KICKS, as far as I was concerned. Her message sent him into spin cycle.

First he said to me: “So now you turn *** * *** against me. That’s low mate. Low.” 

However, after he realized just how badly he had messed up, he started begging us to reconsider, because my sister is so very important to him. He should have treated her brother with a little more respect then. All I ever asked for was for him to fulfill his promises to me. Seems simple.
Neither my sister, nor I, would answer his IMs, nor would we accept his numerous Facebook calls, which just seemed to make him crazier. He seemed to think he could have a rational explanation for a year’s worth of crazy.

He has now blamed me for destroying his friendship with my sister. Ian Christie has no sense of personal responsibility whatsoever. It’s always the fault of someone else.

Anyway, internet friends: I have reams of archived
conversations with this monster. Feel free to ask for them. Meanwhile, I suggest you steer clear of
Webbitez. I am an extremely dissatisfied customer and would hate to see anyone
else get screwed over by Ian Christie – I mean, those nasty Russian Hackers.

Testing An App

This app claims it will allow me to make blog posts from anywhere.

Now to explore it and see what else it does.

UPDATE: It turns out that I have explored everything it does. I can add a post, like above, consisting entirely of text and nothing else.

Do you have a Windows Phone? Let me know what apps you find indispensable. I’m still trying to become half as smart as my smart phone.