Skyping the news

I like seeing everyone’s houses and offices when they skype into the news.

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Al Roker has been doing the weather from his kitchen at home on the Today Show.

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He shows different angles of the room on different days.

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Here Ari Melber is interviewing our Miami Mayor Francis Suarez. Suarez has been all over tv lately because he has the corona-virus. But interestingly enough, many people are asking him why he doesn’t shut down the beaches that are crammed with spring breakers and he may be too polite to explain that the City of Miami really doesn’t have big sandy beaches. All those beaches you see are in Coral Gables or Miami Beach of course, or Key Biscayne, so Suarez has no jurisdiction over these beaches.  But I heard the county stepped in and shut down the beaches to protect those college kids from themselves.

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Ari Melber on MSNBC interviews a lot of people from their homes.

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Joe Biden has the best room, looks like a comfy den, well appointed.

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This is a doctor, you can tell by the degrees on the wall.

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Books are a common denominator, I’ve noticed many people are in their home offices or living rooms, which have great book shelves.

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Another bookshelf, a small one.

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Here is a bookshelf and a living room setup.

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Nesting, social distancing, whatever you call it; let’s do it!

my-caronaI have been trying to stay home and not “congregate anywhere,” practicing social distancing. I’m not doing things or going places where I don’t have to be. I did run to the supermarket yesterday to get a few things and it was maddening, of course people were buying up all the toilet paper, paper towels and water. I went early in the morning to avoid the crowds, but at 8 am the store was packed.

I think I am helping the cause by staying home, in this way I am trying to keep the whole country from closing down like Italy and France.  I heard that if the virus gets worse, they can close us all down, make us stay home for weeks or a month. Not sure if that is true, but it sort of makes sense. So many local events have been shut down including Ultra, the big music festival, St. Patrick’s Day events, Spring Break!, schools are closed, churches, too, etc., so there must some validity to people congregating in large numbers.

I have friends who are out and about – biking, going to restaurants, theater, church, gym. Not sure what to make of that. I tell them they are selfish and could be carriers even if they don’t get infected. Maybe I’m getting paranoid and they aren’t. But I’m more worried about loss of business than of catching the virus myself and I feel that the more we all stay healthy, the more the economy and life in general will remain normal to some degree.

This isn’t to say I am not worried about people catching the virus, that is my main concern of course. But I do want life to return to normal and it won’t until the infections decrease. The best way to do that is to stay home and not be a potential carrier.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says that if we don’t start taking this seriously, we will all be quarantined for 14 days or more. The whole country!

I’m still cartooning, getting ready for the Tomversation comics debut on May 4. So I’m keeping busy. I’ve also been binge watching Breaking Bad and Shameless.

Why did the peacocks cross the road?

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I’ve been giving more interviews these days one one single subject, now that I ended the Coconut Grove Grapevine, than all these past years. I ended a publication I did daily in our town – the Grapevine was our daily news for 15 years. It was time.

Anyway, these interviews aren’t about me or the Grapevine – they are about the roaming peacocks we have in our neighborhood. Recently the City Commission declared that the offending peacocks will be removed humanely and that has put everyone in an uproar.

The peafowl roam the streets, you literally have to stop as you are driving to allow them to cross the street. It’s cute and picturesque, but I guess not if they are a nuisance to your property.

I was interviewed by NPR, WLS in Chicago, just now by some publication in Washington, DC and I think some paper in Chicago, also I see I am quoted in the New York Post and now The New York Daily News contacted me too.

I personally like them, but of course they haven’t been pecking at my car or jumping on my roof. I probably would feel differently if that were the case.

All these interviewers have me as “Tom Falco, editor of the Coconut Grove Grapevine,” and I’d like to now be, “Cartoonist, Tom Falco,” but I guess that doesn’t have as much authority and they think a title like “editor” makes me smarter and gives me more authority. A couple of them emailed me here, to this Tomversation account. When I see a newspaper contacted me, I hope it’s them asking about publishing my comics, but no, it’s those damn peacocks.

Today is Tom Falco Day!

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So this happened – February 14 is now Tom Falco Day in the City of Miami.  I received a proclamation that says so. It may be just today, but I am claiming it in perpetuity so every February 14 is Tom Falco Day! That’s me at left with one of our City Commissioners Ken Russell.

For 15 years I published the news and was an activist in our little village and I decided to end the publication this month. So many of my friends and townspeople came out, such memories. It was bittersweet. It was so nice to see so many faces.

I am still living here, I’ll be around town, I just won’t be publishing the news every day, which is a big responsibility off my shoulders. I feel like it’s the last day of school. Forever!

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An earthquake? In Miami?

earthquakeI was sitting here typing away on my desktop computer, when it started swaying. I thought I was imagining it at first. I didn’t look up to see if the blinds or other things were moving, I just noticed the monitor moving back and forth. It was shaking, sort of like when you shake your leg as a nervous habit – I thought I was doing that and making the desk shake.

I was at home in my home office in Miami.

At first I thought it was my neighbor upstairs on his treadmill or something. Then I thought it might be the construction crew down the block. When they first started building a new condo a couple of years ago, each time they drilled in the pylons, it shook the buildings in the neighborhood, we are on landfill. Lamps swayed, things shook, so I thought it was that again.

But I realized they were almost done with the job so it probably was not them. Then I thought, “An earthquake? Could it be an earthquake? Nah.”

I ran to the back balcony and looked out into the water, thinking someone was working out in the bay, again, maybe installing pylons. Nothing there, and then it popped up all over my Facebook feed that it was the residual effect from the earthquake between Jamaica and Cuba.

Maintaining an institution

The Miami Herald, my daily newspapers, is dropping the Saturday edition this spring, they will only print six days a week.

A few years back, The Times-Picayune in New Orleans dropped a few printed editions during the week, but I think they publish six days a week now. And today I saw a story on tv about the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock’s daily newspaper going digital. It’s been published for 200 years or so and the current publisher Walter Hussma wants to keep it in business. Their new plan – give every paid subscriber an iPad so that they can read the paper online! His goal is just to pay the bills and to keep the institution going, not to make a killing in profits.

“It’s a lot more interactive. We have slide shows. We have video. You know, when the Arkansas River flooded a few weeks ago, we had ten videos on the front page,” said Hussma

When they first talked about going digital, someone asked, “But what if people don’t have an iPad?” So the newspaper invested $12 million in iPads and now every subscriber receives a free one!

These videos explain it all.

NY Post has the best headlines

The New York Post has two of the best headlines this week.

Today’s paper is about Jeff Bezos being blackmailed by David Pecker.

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If you haven’t seen the news, Bezos, owner of Amazon and the Washington Post is being blackmailed by David Pecker, publisher of the National Enquirer. Pecker is threatening to expose Bezo’s pecker, literally, he has naked pictures of him. Story here.

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Yesterday’s cover is a play on the slogan, “Virginia is for Lovers.” The top guys in the state are all in some sort of trouble for either donning black face in their youth or sexual harassment. Story here.

These headlines are right up there with the NY Post’s 1983 headline: “Headless Body Found in Topless Bar.”

The best!

 

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