Dream team: Colonel Sanders and Alice Cooper


Click the photo to see it at full size.

Alice Cooper (or the person or people on his social media team) recently posted the photo above to the Alice Cooper Facebook page. I would’ve loved to witness that meeting.


Hey America, you’re great!

Yours Truly, stopping to admire the West Virginia scenery while moving to Tampa
(and yes, I still own that jacket).

Click the photo to see all this America at full size.

In the midst of a bitter, divisive, and surreal election season, the Toronto-based creative agency The Garden Collective have come up with an idea that feels like a breath of fresh air: a campaign for Canadians to tell America how great it is.


The idea behind the Let’s Tell America It’s Great campaign is simple: America could use some cheering up right now, so why not rally Canadians, the people who make up America’s neighbour (note the Canadian spelling) and largest and most trustworthy trading partner, to send it some love?

They created this video and told their fellow Canucks to do the same:

In their campaign, they also us to to post tweets with the #tellamericaitsgreat hashtag. Here’s a sampling:


Speaking as a Canadian who was born in the Philippines and now living in the U.S., here are the reasons why I think America’s great:

  • Star Wars and Star Trek!
  • Creating not just the industries in which I’ve worked — computers, telecommunications, software, the internet, e-commerce, RFID, the internet of things — but also the job that I do: technology evangelism. And let’s not forget giants, from the originals like IBM, Unisys, and Honeywell, to Apple, Microsoft, and Google, and Oracle, to the scrappy startup cultures of Route 128 and Silicon Valley.
  • Only in America could both the piano accordion (everywhere else, they used button accordions) and Weird Al rise to greatness.
  • The Avengers and the Justice League!
  • My home country couldn’t have been liberated without the Americans.
  • Bourbon. ’Nuff said.
  • Barbecue.
  • America’s contributions to music, which include jazz, country, gospel, bluegrass, rock, hip-hop, house, and Ween.
  • Spaceships, as both big government projects and scrappy private efforts.
  • The “can do” attitude that underlies America’s official philosophy — “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” — as well as the unofficial one — “Hold my beer. I’ve got this.”

Let’s not forget this American ideal:


And finally, what I love most about America: Anitra.


How I spent my weekend


Leading the group in a rousing chorus of the Engineering Hymn.
Click the photo to see it at full size.

This weekend, I returned to Crazy Go Nuts University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada for the 25th reunion of what should have been my graduating class — the Applied Science (the university’s term for engineering) class of 1991, a.k.a. Science ’91. I took a little longer than I’d intended to, graduating with a computer science degree in 1994, but with a string of accomplishments, skills, and experiences that would’ve made heroic perma-students like Van Wilder or Animal House’s John “Bluto” Blutarsky green with envy.

Chief among the many skills that Crazy Go Nuts University engineering students have is the ability to get things done. While many other graduating classes were content to simply show up for homecoming, Science ’91 organized their own events, fired up the Facebook group to keep everyone up-to-date, made our own banner for the parade, and had caps and t-shirts made. The parade banner and t-shirt featured Spot, the Science ’91 mascot that I designed when the upper-year students gave us freshmen the onerous duty of repainting the engineering pub one hungover Sunday morning (we repainted the pub, and improved the paint job with a huge mural featuring Spot).

Here’s the artwork that I made for the t-shirt and parade banner, prior to my erasing the penciling:


Spot, the Science ’91 mascot.
Click the photo to see it at full size.

We got the crowd going at the Saturday morning pep rally, and with our fantastic banner, exuberant spirit, and the assistance of the accordion, got a feature interview on local news:


Getting interviewed by CKWS.
Click the photo to see it at full size.

Here’s the video of the interview. You can see Anitra in it, too, which makes this her first Canadian television appearance!

With the pep rally done, we made our march to the game and had a grand old time:


Photo by Anitra Pavka.
Click the photo to see it at full size.

I had a grand old time at homecoming, and as I’ve said before: it’s not the buildings and campus that make a school (although we’ve got nice ones), but the people, relationships, and experiences. The class of Science ’91 is a collection of amazing, wonderful folks, and I’m proud and pleased to know them and to have the count me among their number. My thanks to my classmates, and especially the organizers, for putting together a fantastic homecoming weekend!


Florida of the day: Rock you like a hurricane!


When Hurricane Matthew rolled through and over Jacksonville, Florida, rocker Lane Pittman didn’t evacuate like a lightweight or cower in a boarded-up house. He did the most American rock and roll thing you can do — put on some swim trunks and Slayer, break out Old Glory, headbang defiantly against the wind, and dedicate the whole thing to Emma Watson on Facebook:

For those of you who don’t know the background song, it’s Raining Blood by Slayer:

Pittman made Florida news last summer when he was arrested for shredding the Star-Bangled Banner too well:

Lane Pittman is the embodiment of Florida rock and roll. Sir, I salute you with a gator steak on a flaming sword!


Sign of the day

Photo: Printed signed taped to a bathroom wall that features Japanese and English text that reads 'Please urinate with precision and elegance'.

You’re asking for a lot there, sign.