February 2007

Apparently, People Have to be Told That

by Joey deVilla on February 26, 2007

Sign attached to tree in Thai, Chinese and English that reads 'Please do not sit on crocodile'.

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A Reason to Switch Away from Bluenotes

by Joey deVilla on February 25, 2007

I’m in the middle of cleaning out my wardrobe, getting rid of stuff that’s worn out or hasn’t been worn in over a year. In the process, I’ve noticed the following trends in my clothing:

  • Since meeting Wendy, I’ve bought a lot of clothing in Boston, most often at “pricey stuff at discount prices” places like Filene’s Basement and T.J. Maxx. Although Winners here in Canada is owned by the same parent company as T.J. Maxx, the selection isn’t as good. For nice stuff at lower prices, I go to Tom’s Place in Kensington Market.
  • A healthy chunk of my wardrobe is made up Nautica and Claiborne dress shirts.
  • I like dress shirts but hate button-down collars.
  • Blazers and vests rule.
  • I wear running shoes, track pants and other clothing you can buy at Foot Locker only to the gym.
  • Okay, I have a decent number of Hawaiian shirts. I’m from the South Pacific and in the computer industry, I’m allowed!
  • I buy only two things at The Gap and Old Navy: boxers and t-shirts. My casual pants come from Tip Top and Eddie Bauer now.

'NO MEANS have aNOther drink' t-shirt from Bluenotes.

There remains one “kiddie store” from which I’ve been buying clothes: Bluenotes, where I get one particular pair of jeans that Wendy likes on me (they’re dark blue with a tan undertone). They also have a couple of nerd-related t-shirts that I’ve picked up specifically for techie conferences — I’ve had my eye on on that reads “Nobody cares about your blog”.

I figured that I would eventually stop buying stuff there as a function of moving into my forties in November, but perhaps that’ll start sooner. I vote with my dollar, and the t-shirt pictured to the right has convinced me that it’s time to cast my vote elsewhere.

[via Torontoist]


This one goes out to my brother-in-law, Andy Ramoniac, who like me, is a fan — it’s the Boris Vallejo-inspired poster for the upcoming Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters:

Aqua Teen Hunger Force movie poster.

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Where the Single Men and Women Are

by Joey deVilla on February 24, 2007

In the late 1990s, a surprsingly large number of friends-of-friends who were women were involved in relationships with older married men (it was never clear to me how much thought they’d given to the long-term prospects for the relationship). I remember a Globe and Mail article from that time that talked about “The Man Glut”, a situation in which the author estimated that there was something in the order of 10,000 more single men in Accordion City than women. It’s probably no coincidence that I took up the accordion at around the same time.

When I lived in San Francisco around the end of 2000 and the first half of 2001, a number of people I knew complained of the lack of single women. There were a number of news reports that made the claim that the male-female ratio in Silicon Valley was even higher than in Anchorage, Alaska. As for the available men, women there had a saying about the nerds in the Valley: “the odds are good, but the goods are odd.” I remember hearing about some very expensive “how to meet women” courses in the valley in which nerds paid hundreds or even thousands of dollars to workshop their dating and socializing techniques.

Returning in Toronto in 2001, I came back to the complaints about the lack of eligible single men. In one particular case, the expectations of a friend of a friend were impossibly high.

It turns out that my experiences were indicative of larger trends, as the map below showing the ratios of single men to women across the United States shows. The west coast has a higher ratio of single men, while the east coast has a higher ratio of the single women. You might say that the country looks like a middle school dance:

Preview of map showing ratios of single men to women across the US.
Click the map to see it at full size.

My proposed solution: a big barn dance in “flyover country”.

[found via Reddit]


"Sex attacks blamed on bat demon"

by Joey deVilla on February 23, 2007

Batman and Robin scaling a wall.

That’s the strangest headline of the day, courtesy of the BBC:

Men in parts of Tanzania’s main city, Dar es Salaam, are living in fear of a night-time sex attacker.

A BBC correspondent says the attacks are being blamed by some on a demon called “Popo Bawa” meaning winged bat.

Some men are staying awake or sleeping in groups outside their homes. Others are smearing themselves with pig’s oil, believing this repels attacks.

Well, all righty then.


Damned Jedi Fratboys

by Joey deVilla on February 23, 2007

[via How Now Brown Pau] Tequila + testosterone + lightsabers = trouble [video, typical college kid swearing]. “A bit Forced,” says Paulo, but it made me smirk.

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Don’t Mess with the Senior Slayer

by Joey deVilla on February 23, 2007

I’ve fended off a mugger while travelling once, with a little help from the accordion (See the December 31, 1999 section), but I have to salute the 70-year-old tourist who killed a 20-year-old mugger — who had two buddies armed with knives — in Costa Rica with his bare hands with a filet mignon on a flaming sword.

Yes, I think it’s a shame that the mugger died, but the old guy was well within his rights to defend himself. If I ever end up in a similar fix, I hope I have the wit, wherewithal and the courage that he did. At the very least, I’d like to be in his shape at 70.