January 2018

Here’s how my car greeted me this morning:

“Oh, come on, you big baby,” I said to my dashboard. Surely this couldn’t be an engine warning! A car is a machine literally powered by exploding gasoline inside a four-stroke internal combustion engine. It’s “intake, compression, ignition, exhaust”, or as your raunchier mechanic friends will tell you:

A quick look at the manual — the online one, not the paper one in the glove compartment; we’re not animals — revealed that the default setting for the dashboard systems is to display the “Low Outside Temperature” warning when the engine’s on and the outside temperature is below 37°F (3°C, a.k.a. “almost warm enough to drink on the patio” temperature in Canada):

I changed the setting, because this whining about a couple of days of freezing cold in a place that’s a subtropical paradise the rest of the year shames us both.


Bundle up, central Florida!

by Joey deVilla on January 18, 2018

If you’ve come down to central Florida for a break from winter — perhaps you’re in Disney World or visiting friends or relatives — you might be surprised when you step out this morning and feel a little chilly. That’s because it’s one of those precious few days when the temperature goes below freezing and the locals actually stop wearing flip-flops.

In fact, this morning’s temperature — -2°C / 28°F — is a record low. It hasn’t been this cold here since 1981. It’ll probably feel a little colder than that, thanks to wind and humidity.

Here in Tampa, we’re a little north of iguana territory, so we’re not likely to see them falling from trees due to the cold, but the peacocks that roam our neighborhood will probably be in hiding today.

What we’re more likely to see are t-shirts like this in a couple of weeks:


Damn it, Mr. Floofles!

by Joey deVilla on January 16, 2018

This is what it feels like to be a decent human being on the internet in 2018:

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Seen at the Sourcetoad office kitchen yesterday

by Joey deVilla on January 16, 2018

Yesterday, when I stepped into the kitchen at the Sourcetoad office kitchen, this was on the table:

For those of you who don’t recognize the squid-like character on the “FREE CHIPS” sign, that’s Admiral Ackbar from Star Wars, who’s remembered for a particular line of dialogue:

In case you were wondering about the chips, here’s the bag from which they came. It was a trap:

Ghost peppers clock in at 1 million units on the Scoville scale, which is why the chip packing says “Paqui is not responsible for any injuries that may result from ingesting this delicious terror”:


In honor of MLK Day 2018

by Joey deVilla on January 15, 2018

Timely words from Dr. King:

“When evil men plot good men must plan. When evil men burn and bomb, good men must build and bind. When evil men shout ugly words of hatred, good men must commit themselves to the glories of love.”

In the age of the president trying to keep people from “shithole” (or “shithouse”) countries out, asking Americans of Asian descent where they’re really from, being soft on white nationalism, and still somehow claiming to the be the least racist person he knows with a straight face, what Martin Luther King said applies more than ever.

“Orange Julius Caesar” is taking MLK Day — like so many other days — off to golf. As for me, I’m at the office, running with an idea put forth by Canadian poet Dennis Lee* in his poem Civil Elegies and paraphrased by Scottish writer Alasdair Gray:

“Work as if you live in the early days of a better nation.”

* If you went to elementary school in Canada, you might be familiar with one of Dennis Lee’s poems, Alligator Pie. If you’re from outside Canada but are into ’80s pop culture, you might be familiar with these works of Lee’s: he wrote the lyrics for the Fraggle Rock theme and co-wrote the story for the movie Labyrinth.


That’s pretty much my story, too.

by Joey deVilla on January 12, 2018

Thanks to Mitch Wagner for the find!


The most “California” car in Tampa

by Joey deVilla on January 6, 2018

Seen near my gym a couple of weeks ago: A Tesla S 70D with John Lennon plates that read KALE YEA.