Every stormtrooper has a sad story to tell

by Joey deVilla on August 11, 2016

dark side no have cookies


im the ex deceased mayor

The video that is supposed to show deceased former mayor of Toronto Rob Ford smoking crack has never been seen by the general public — until today. Here’s an captioned version, which was put out by the CBC:

The video shows Toronto’s messed-up Pete Griffin-esque ex-mayor huffing rock and engaging in profanity-laden conversation with an off-camera Elena Basso (who has convictions for cocaine trafficking and prostitution), owner of the house where the crack-smoking took place. You’ll hear Elena praising Ford for what drives him, Ford’s great dislike for Justin Trudeau (who’s now Prime Minister of Canada), and inquiries about whether the whole thing is being recorded, and this CBC article has a full transcript of the entire hot mess.

The National Post’s Chris Selley writes that the video “elicits more sympathy than scorn”, but keep in mind that the Post endorsed Ford for mayor. The Toronto Sun, who were Ford’s most gleeful supporters, kept their trademark right-wing editorializing to a minimum in their coverage. And here’s the piece published by the Toronto Star, who were investigating Ford’s crack connection when Gawker revealed what was going on.

But the most telling reaction is the one on the I Hate the War on Mayor Rob Ford, the pro-Ford Facebook page that’s stayed active all this time:

rob ford facebook

Here’s the text from their posting in reaction to the news:

Here you go, Toronto. Are you happy now? Watch out. Karma is coming back on everyone who capitalized on this, for financial profit or political gain, or who used it to simply heap scorn on the regular average everyday people of Toronto who decided to reject the Liberal-left mafioso political professionals and elect a reformer to high office.

It’s obvious why this video was not released to the public during the time Rob was still in office and still running for Mayor in 2014 – it was far more valuable to the haters as a figment of people’s imaginations, than it was as actual damning evidence. It shows a man beaten down by circumstances, using drugs to mask his pains (physical and psychological), and expressing little more than sadness and depression as far as anyone can understand – sadness and depression that is entirely understandable to anyone with even a fragment of a human soul still remaining in their lives.

To hell with you all, haters, and God Bless Rob Ford, may he rest finally in peace. And to the “friends” who allowed this recording to happen? Nothing good can happen to you the rest of your life, as perhaps you’ve already found. Your every day is a living hell.

They don’t see a man who often showed up late for work and left early to coach football while earning a $170K salary, consorted with criminals, showed great disdain for Toronto’s LGBT community, drank on the job and made intoxicated public appearances, but a hero who stood up for “the little guy”.

And that’s how Trump’s supporters see their guy.

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Greeting card of the day

by Joey deVilla on August 8, 2016

Greeting card with the text 'Raisin cookies are why i have trust issues'.

I subscribe to the hypothesis that raisin cookies are the biggest disease vector at conferences where they leave snacks out for the attendees. People pick up what they think are chocolate chip cookies, get a closer look at them and see that they’re actually raisin cookies, and put them back, leaving their germs behind.


July 2005: Arrested after shoving an undercover alcohol agent while his friend was being arrested for underage drinking

The officer asked Zimmerman to leave. He reported that Zimmerman replied with “I don’t care who you are,” and when asked asked to leave again, Zimmerman’s response was the classic retort that never de-escalates a situation: “Fuck you.”

Zimmerman was charged with a felony, which was then reduced to a misdemeanor and court-ordered anger management classes. Had he been convicted of his original felony charges then, it would’ve made him ineligible for a concealed weapons permit.

August 2005: Restraining order filed against him by then-fiancée, allegedly for domestic violence

restraining order

Veronica Zuazo, his fiancée at the time, filed a civil motion for the restraining order, alleging domestic abuse. Zimmerman, following the tried-and-true “I know you are, but what am I?” tactic, filed a similar motion, alleging the same on her part. Both orders were granted.

February 2012: Shooting Trayvon Martin

trayvon martin

While on patrol as a Neighborhood Watch volunteer in Sanford, Florida, Zimmerman calls 911 to report a “suspicious person”. He is instructed not to get out of his vehicle or approach the person. Zimmerman, likely indulging his fantasy to become a police officer or a judge, disregards the instructions and the rest is now an object lesson in racism and poor life choices.

Related to the ensuing trial: Zimmerman’s then-wife, Shellie, pleaded guilty to a reduce misdemeanor charge for perjury on August 8, 2013 for lying under oath. She lied about their assets during Zimmerman’s bail hearing after his arrest for shooting Martin.

September 2013: Zimmerman’s soon-to-be ex-wife calls 911, alleging he threatened her and her father with a gun, and punched her father in the face

zimmerman and ex-wife

Zimmerman was briefly detained and questioned by police. No gun was found at the scene, and video of the incident could not be recovered from the broken iPad from the incident. Zimmerman’s wife declined to press charges, and the police department announced that no charges would be pressed against Zimmerman, his wife, or her father.

November 2013: Charged with aggravated assault, domestic violence battery, and criminal mischief

zimmerman trial

After asking Zimmerman to leave her home, Zimmerman’s girlfriend — yup, he already had a new honey, because the ladies love an mentally unhinged a-hole — calls the police, alleging that he had pointed a shotgun at her and started to destroy her belongings. Zimmerman barricaded himself inside the apartment, so the police had to make their way inside to arrest him.

In December, Zimmerman’s girlfriend — yup, even after that, she stayed — requested that the charges be dropped and asked for the lifting of the restraining order barring him from seeing her be lifted.

December 2013: Portrait of the artist as a young celebrity sociopath, part one

zimmerman us flag painting

Zimmerman embarks on an art career creating jingoistic paintings. One panting featuring the American flag sells for $100,000 on eBay; it’s later reported that the painting was copied from a stock image without attribution.

September 2014: Apperson incident #1: Road rage

road rage

Zimmerman in named by police in “road rage” incident with one Matthew Apperson, who claimed that Zimmerman followed and threatened him. Zimmerman said that Apperson approached him about his rear tire leaking air, and in the ensuing conversation, Apperson asked Zimmerman if he knew that he was “wrong for killing that little black boy”.

January 2015: Charged with aggravated assault with a weapon

He allegedly threw a bottle at his ex-girlfriend and destroyed her mobile phone. He claimed that he was only trying to prevent her from entering his home. Police say they heard the sound of glass breaking at the residence and saw broken glass on the driveway while on patrol.

The charges were dropped after the ex-girlfriend recanted.

May 2015: Apperson incident #2: Gunplay

matthew apperson

Apperson shot at Zimmerman on a street in Lake Mary, Florida, causing minor injuries to Zimmerman’s face from flying glass and debris. Apperson said that he was acting in self-defense and that Zimmerman was the aggressor. Zimmerman was armed at the time of the incident but his attorney said “George absolutely denies having shown it, waved, displayed, pointed it.”

Apperson was later ordered to wear a monitoring device that would alert Zimmerman when he was nearby, and would later stand trial for second-degree attempted murder.

August 2015: Portrait of the artist as a young celebrity sociopath, part two 

zimmerman confederate flag painting

Zimmerman began selling “limited edition” paintings of what’s commonly known as the Confederate battle flag to raise money for bigoted gun dealer Andy Hallinan, who has a “Muslim-free” gun store in Inverness, Florida, bringing together three highly controversial topics with which the nation is dealing: the deaths of young black men, the Confederate battle flag and discrimination against American Muslims.

August 2015: Terrible Tweets, part one

Here’s his tweet about a statement made by Barack Obama about guns…

zimmerman baboob tweet

…and here’s how he responds to challenges: by reminding you that he killed someone!

zimmerman last moron who hit me

September 2015: Terrible Tweets, part two

zimmerman z-man retweet

It’s considered bad form to retweet compliments, and doubly so when the compliment is about shooting an unarmed kid while indulging in your vigilante fantasies.

December 2015: Terrible (and topless) Tweets, part three

zimmerman ex-gf topless tweet

This is the tweet that got Zimmerman’s Twitter account suspended.

May 2016: Murderabilia salesman (and Martin Shkreli too!)

zimmerman gun auction

In yet another attempt to profit off his ill-gotten fame, Zimmerman announced the auction of the gun he used to shoot Trayvon Martin, calling it an “American Firearm Icon”. The original auction site removed it from sale, saying they wanted nothing to do with the listing. Zimmerman found another auction site on which to sell the gun, which was flooded with offers, including one from douchey price-gouging pharma bro Martin Shkreli, who said he’d either like to destroy it or put it in a museum. Zimmerman later claimed that he accepted a bid of $250,000 for the gun.

July 2016: “Can’t a man brag about killing someone without getting punched in the face? I’m sorry, I thought this was America!”

zimmerman bragging

I’ll leave it to the New York Daily News to tell the story:

George Zimmerman was punched in the face at a Florida bar after bragging about killing Trayvon Martin, officials and witnesses said.

The former neighborhood watchman said he was clocked by a drunken diner who mistook him for someone else at the Gators Riverside Grille in Sanford around 5:00 p.m. Sunday, according to a police report obtained by the Daily News.

“This man just punched me in the face,” Zimmerman told a 911 dispatcher. “He said he was going to kill me. You need to send three or four cops.”

But staff at the restaurant and witnesses countered the acquitted murderer’s account and said the incident was nothing more than a shoving match that stemmed from Zimmerman bragging about his notorious past.

“They shoved each other and that was the end,” Gators Riverside Grille owner Edward Winters told The News.

“He said, ‘You don’t know who I am, do you?’ And Zimmerman said, ‘I’m George Zimmerman,’” Winters added.

Witnesses told investigators Zimmerman announced himself in the restaurant as the man cleared on self-defense grounds in the 2012 shooting of Martin.

The 32-year-old complimented a man’s Confederate flag tattoo and then started talking about Martin.

“You’re bragging about that?” a man said as he approached the group.

Zimmerman told the Orlando Sentinel Thursday that his drunken assailant, identified in the police report as “Eddie,” thought he was Matthew Apperson, the man accused of shooting at Zimmerman during a road-rage confrontation last year.

“You better get the f— out of here you n—-r lover, you ain’t welcome here,” the man told Zimmerman before punching him and breaking his glasses.


sultans clock

Photo by Yours Truly.

This clock, located by the northwest corner of East Kennedy Boulevard and Marion Street, doesn’t have a plaque or any other marker explaining its origin, nor have I been able to find much about it online.

It appears in a couple of Getty stock photos…



…but beyond a handful of photos, there doesn’t seem to be anything written about its history.

Here’s how it appears when looking north from the corner of Kennedy and Marion:

sultan's clock street view

I’m increasingly becoming a regular at Tampa Bay WaVE, the local entrepreneurial incubator / co-working space / meeting place, which means that I see the clock pictured more often. It’s rather unusual, so I tend to snap a photo of it every time I’m in the area.

The clock is now a Pokéstop in Pokémon Go, where it’s called The Sultan’s Clock:

sultans clock - pokemon go

“The Sultan’s Clock” probably isn’t its official name. The names of many places in Pokémon Go came from its predecessor, Ingress, where players gave certain locations fanciful names. For instance, there’s a local car wash that’s called the “Car Swallowing Wave”.

I hope that it sticks around. It currently stands beside a street-level parking lot that will eventually house a building, and I worry that it may get torn down when that new building eventually goes up. It’s little things like this that add character to a city, and I’d hate to see this clock go the way “Cantankerous Quincy”, an old clock in South Tampa, did.

If this were Toronto, I’d know to go to Mike Filey, who’s a family friend and historian who’s forgotten more about Toronto more than most people will ever learn.

Is there anyone in Tampa who can tell the story of the Sultan’s Clock?

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Meanwhile, on the internet…

by Joey deVilla on August 3, 2016


Click the comic to see it at full size.

Alternate title: Scott Adams’ blog, summarized in a single, non-Dilbert comic.

(If you’d like to see what Scott Adams’ blog summarized using Dilbert comics, you’ll want to read MRA Dilbert.)

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Remember when…?

by Joey deVilla on August 1, 2016

good times

Here’s the text:

Remember when watching an unpredictable womanizer in a toupée rant about someone named Khan was how we took our minds off the real world?


I wish I could say that this clever observation was mine, but all credit goes to Yossie Bloch, who came up with the quip, Skye Gray, who added Captain Smirk to the mix, and Jeannie Cool, who let me know that this thing existed.

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