October 2009

Accordion City is often referred to as the most multicultural city in North America, if not the whole planet, and we generally get along. If we ever decide that we need a city anthem, I would recommend that we simply adopt Deuce Poppi’s My White Friends:

[Attention Carson T. Foster and Wil McLean! You need to get the karaoke version of this song!]

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While going out for brunch with our friends Liz and Keith and their kids on Roncesvalles, I saw these signs promoting Kennel Cafe’s services. If you never played Dungeons and Dragons, the jokes are totally meaningless, but if you have, they’re pretty amusing:

Kennel Cafe sign: "Cats add a +5 modifier to all persuasion and intimidation skill checks. Adopt a cat!"

Kennel Cafe sign: "Cats provide 15% base mana cost reduction for all spells -- even Lay on Hands!!!"


The “High-Brow/Low-Brow” Chart

by Joey deVilla on October 23, 2009

I don’t know when this chart classifying the spectrum of tastes from high-brow to low-brow was created, but the graphic style puts it sometime in the “Mad Men” era of the late 1950s and early 1960s. You can click the chart to see it at full size:

high-brow low-brow chartClick the chart to see it at full size.

I took a couple of columns from the chart and turned them into an enlarged version, shown below. The columns show “high-brow”, “upper middle-brow”, “lower middle-brow” and “low-brow” tastes in clothes, entertainment and drinks.

high-brow low-brow closeup

Some thoughts on these columns from the chart:

  • I’ve worked at a good number of place where coming to work in a t-shirt and jeans was perfectly acceptable. If you showed up in what the chart calls the “low-brow town outfit” you’d have been asked “Hey, why so dressed up?”
  • The present-day analogue of “Western movies” is most likely “action films”.
  • Beer can be pretty high-brow these days.

Someone needs to recompile this chart for the present day.


Burger King’s Windows 7 Whopper

by Joey deVilla on October 22, 2009

To celebrate the release of Windows 7, Japanese Burger King franchises are offering a Windows 7 Whopper with 7 patties, selling for 777 Yen (CAD$8.92 as of this writing), available only for the next 7 days. I have no idea why they’re not doing this on this side of the Pacific; I’m sure it would be a big hit:


According to Julie from ObjectSharp, the Japanese text after “13cm” says “American-size buns”.

[Thanks to Ian Irving for pointing this to me!]

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection and Global Nerdy.


Slice of Life: Me and Steve B.

by Joey deVilla on October 22, 2009

I bought a fuzzy “Cat in the Hat”-style raver hat with a Canadian flag pattern on a whim earlier this year, thinking that I’d probably find a pretty good use for it some day. That day, it turns out, was yesterday, where I turned it into what I believe was yesterday’s only Steve Ballmer photo-op with a non-management Microsoft Canada employee:

Joey deVilla and Steve Ballmer, wearing Joey's Canadian flag raver hatPhoto by Barnaby Jeans.

Yesterday was a busy day at the Harbour Castle Convention Centre, where we had an all-day Steve Ballmer-rama. In the morning, Steve keynoted an event showcasing Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 and Exchange Server 2010 for the media, key customers and partners. This was followed by an employees-only “town hall” where Steve did a short presentation followed by a Q&A session. On a whim similar to the one that led me to buy it, I took the hat (along with the accordion) along with me.

Following a suggestion from my co-worker Damir, I arrived very early for the town hall, grabbed a seat by the stage and donned the hat. When Steve made his appearance, he did so in classic Ballmer style, running and whooping, high-fiving people as he made his way to the stage. As soon as he saw me, he yelled “Hey!”, put the hat on and posed with me for the photo above.

I’d made a decent splash at Microsoft in my first year, and I’d been wondering if I could match it in my second, which began on Monday. This isn’t a bad start.

This article also appears in Global Nerdy.


Tonight on “The Hour”: Steve Ballmer and Snoop Dogg

by Joey deVilla on October 21, 2009


Fo’shizzle my Ballizle: on tonight’s episode of CBC’s news show The Hour, “Strombo”’s interviewing an unlikely pair: the CEO of the company for whom I work, Steve Ballmer, and Snoop Dogg. Alas, they’re taping the segments separately, so there’s no chance of Ballmer and Snoop doing a rap duet called Win and Juice.

The Hour airs on CBC tonight at 11 p.m. Eastern.

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection and Global Nerdy.


Reporting From the Canadian Windows 7 Event

by Joey deVilla on October 21, 2009


The official launch of Windows 7 doesn’t happen until tomorrow, but we’re having a big launch event with Steve Ballmer today in Toronto! I’ll be blogging and tweeting all day from the launch venue – Toronto’s Harbour Castle Westin Convention Centre.

For the full skinny on the event, follow the #cdnwin7 (short for “Canadian Windows 7”) hashtag on Twitter.

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection and Global Nerdy.

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