November 2011

Joey deVilla, with moustache, taking a self portrait in a mirror

The End of Movember and The Magnificent Bastard

It’s November 30th, the end of “Movember”, the moustache-growing charity event to raise money for and awareness of men’s health, especially with cancer in the “frank-and-beans” area. Pictured above is my own facial hair contribution to Movember, as it appeared last Saturday night. I used to sport a moustache with my goatee but lopped it off in 2000 and haven’t had once since until this November. I even game it a name: The Magnificent Bastard, taken from this classic line from Patton (a classic dude film):

The Magnificent Bastard was beginning to poke at the corners of my mouth and annoy me, so I shaved it off on Monday, a couple of days early. Looking in the mirror afterwards, something seemed not-quite-right, and my Special Friend in Tampa, a lady whose opinion I take very seriously, concurs. I’m growing it back and trimming it, just to see what it looks like.

An Alternative to Julyna

"Julyna": Screenshot of the "Julyna" logo and a portion of the page

Movember’s counterpart for women is “Julyna”, and it too is a fund- and awareness-raising month for women’s health, especially “below the equator”. The big difference is thatyour gesture of support isn’t done with facial hair. Here’s the money quote from the Julyna site:

The rules for Julyna are simple: Women will spend the month of July exercising creativity and personal wellness by choosing a style for their hair down there and sticking to it—as a fundraising technique. Women don’t have to leave it au naturel, or choose a standard pattern like “The Charlie Chaplin.” They can make something up. Get creative!

I’m cool with the Julyna idea, but it might catch on better in the northern hemisphere if it weren’t during the bikini season. How about holding it on a month when we’re all bundled up? My suggested alternative month and name is…

Vajanuary

Say it out loud: Vajanuary. It’s got a ring to it, doesn’t it?

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Lost Moments #5: “@Bert: The Magic is Gone”

by Joey deVilla on November 29, 2011

bert and ernie break up

I saw these two at the corner of Richmond and John while biking home from the Silver Snail Hallowe’en party and couldn’t resist taking a shot. They were just two guys in costumes who were tuckered out from a night’s partying, but it looked like they were doing a performance art piece titled Ernie and Bert: The Breakup.

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“Accordion Guy’s” Tenth Anniversary

by Joey deVilla on November 28, 2011

still blogging ten years later

Life (along with those rat bastards at Bell Canada, who’ve bunged up the internet connection at my place until Thursday) has conspired to keep me from blogging here on Accordion Guy for the past little while, which is a real shame for a couple of reasons. For starters, there’s been a lot of interesting stuff going on, and I’m going to get around to posting the bloggable stuff soon. For the unbloggable stuff, you’re going to have to catch up with me in person for a drink.

joey 10 years ago

The other reasons that it’s a shame that I’ve been kept away from blogging is that an important anniversary passed only a couple of weeks ago: the tenth anniversary of The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century. This blog’s first post was made on November 10th, 2001, and between it and the accordion, life hasn’t been the same since.

a fine moment from 2003

This blog started as a response to a rapidly devolving situation at OpenCola, the startup I where I worked during the bubble. With the new CTO – a Gollum-like manager who was more wiener than man – reducing my responsibilities on the project down to the about box, I had about 7 hours and 58 minutes each day of nothing to do. So I did some programming on the side and took up blogging to fill the rest of my day. I couldn’t think up a decent name for the blog, so I went with a stupid throw-away name – The Adventures of AccordionGuy in the 21st Century – with plans to change it once I came up with something better.

(The original host for this blog, Blogger, had a limit on the number of characters a blog’s title could have, so I had to compress “Accordion Guy” into “AccordionGuy” in the title. That got fixed once I moved to Blogware, the second platform on which this blog lived.)

Since that start, all sorts of stuff, good and bad has happened, and much of it has been chronicled here, and it’s paid off in ways that I never expected. I’m glad I started blogging and am still at it a decade later.

one crazy year

This particular past year has been rather life-changing, what with getting separated, getting as close to expiring as I want to get for a good long while (“dying of a broken heart” is no longer an abstract concept to me), the largely-unpublicized reason I left Microsoft (I wrote the official reason here), the non-date gone terribly wrong followed by another gone terribly right, switching jobs, kicking loose women out of my quonset hut at SxSW, moving to Ottawa, girl trouble in varying degrees, flying all over the place (20 flights by the end of the year) and all sorts of other stuff that will eventually find its way into these pages. It hasn’t always been beer and skittles this year, but it’s been an adventure, and that’s the sort of life I’d signed up for.

Whether you’ve stumbled across this blog only recently or have been a long-time reader, thanks for coming along for the ride. There’s still a lot of road left up ahead, and I promise the view will be scenic.

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Pepper Spray, Meet Lemon Pledge

by Joey deVilla on November 25, 2011

pepper spray meet lemon pledge

There’ve been a lot of photo remixes of the “Casually Pepper Spray Everything Cop” (a.k.a. Officer John Pike); this one featuring Consuela (the Mexican-or-Filipino maid from Family Guy) is my favourite.

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I’ll Take a Four-Pack, Please

by Joey deVilla on November 17, 2011

4 sleeping husky puppies, all in a row.

This picture of four sleeping husky puppies stacked like Lego is doing the internet rounds right now and it’s just too cute not to post.

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Scenes from Bordeaux “After-Work” Party

by Joey deVilla on November 17, 2011

bordeaux 0

Between work, travel and living in Ottawa for the summer, I’ve been missing the Bordeaux After-Work Party events that have been taking place in Accordion City all year. I’ wish I could’ve made this one at Marben:

Or this one at Eight Wine Bar:

However, on Monday, October 24th, the date of the final one of the year, my schedule was wide open and there was no way I was going to miss it.

bordeaux 1

I like Crush Wine Bar, where this event took place. I’ve been going there for years, both to simply have some wine and cheese at the bar in the front as well as to have a full meal in the larger room in the back, and for reasons ranging from business to dates. They’ve been preparing continental bistro food in the same consistently good way over the years, and I’ve come to think of them as an ever-reliable spot for an evening out. For a party like this one, it’s a natural fit.

bordeaux 2

For the Bordeaux After-Work Party, they cleared the large tables out of the dining room, replacing them with smaller stand-up cocktail tables and win serving stations. Even with the extra room gained by this arrangement, the place was packed pretty solidly – easily 200 people – not bad for a Monday night.

bordeaux 3

For this event, they served six wines: three reds, three whites. I’d give you more details, but alas, the brochures are at home in Toronto, and I’m in Chicago as I write this. I stuck with the reds and one in particular caught my fancy. I’m going to have to check my hand-written notes when I get back at the end of this week.

Crush complemented the Bordeaux with great appetizers. I was pretty fond of the sliders and selections from their charcuterie plates. These guys do food wonderfully, and I was only too glad to return a couple of weeks later when an old pal from high school took me there for a birthday dinner.

bordeaux 4

The crowd were a lively bunch. They guys appeared to have come straight from work, which a number of the women looked as through they’d managed to change into something more suitable for a cocktail party, and both were a chatty bunch. I struck up a number of conversations and even played a couple of requests (of course I brought the accordion!) and exchanged some business cards, email addresses and digits. If you’re looking to make friends, acquaintances, business contacts and accordion fans, the Bordeaux After-Work Party’s a pretty decent place to do so.

I’m looking forward to the next one!

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50 Cent is Now on Shopify!

by Joey deVilla on November 17, 2011

Curtis Jackson, the rapper better known to the world as “Fitty Cent”, has a company called SMS Audio and they launched their Shopify-based shop today. The shop is called SMS By 50 and it’s the go-to place for premium headphones.

Headphones offered by SMS By 50: Earbuds, wired and wireless

The headphones come in three flavours: wired, wireless and earbuds. They’re currently available for pre-sale and range in price from $129.95 to $399.95, which is “right in line with current market trends” according to this TechCrunch article. SMS Audio recently bought KonoAudio, who’ve been making funky high-end headphones for ages, presumably for their headphone manufacturing expertise, which will be backed by Fitty’s street cred.

SMS By 50 T-shirt and Cap

In addition to headphones, SMS By 50 also carries shirts and caps, suitable for just plain old hangin’ or hittin’ da club.

Screen capture of the main page of the SMS By 50 shop

If you’re working on your own Shopify shop or designing Shopify themes, give SMS By 50 a look. It’s got a great design whose look and feel works for its audience; it also shows you how flexible Shopify’s templating system is.

Oh, and by the way, if you think you’re not “street” enough to sport “Fitty” gear, here’s something just for you:

This article also appears in the Shopify Technology Blog.

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