The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century Joey deVilla's Personal Blog Fri, 31 Oct 2014 21:33:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Tonight’s Halloween costume Fri, 31 Oct 2014 21:33:41 +0000

canadian superhero - sergeant-at-arms

Editorial cartoon from the Halifax Chronicle Herald. Click to see the source.

Yup, I’m taking my idea and running with it. Photos to follow.

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“You’re methspicable!”: “Breaking Bad” meets classic Warner Brothers cartoons Fri, 31 Oct 2014 13:35:40 +0000

meth season

Found via Catsmob. Click the image to see the cooks at full size.

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How Jedi knights take selfies Fri, 31 Oct 2014 11:53:05 +0000

how jedi knights take selfies

Found via AcidCow. Click the photo to see the source.

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Throwback Thursday: A man relapses into his teen goth self, German opera-style Thu, 30 Oct 2014 15:16:46 +0000

i was re-becoming a teen goth

Joseph Keckler, a New York-based performance artist, sings and plays piano in this beautiful, haunting, and hilarious opera piece in which he plays a bored office worker turning into his former goth teen self as he walks through New York City’s St. Marks Place. Listening to the piece, I thought: damn, this is pretty good!

And while we’re at it, enjoy the original 12″ single of Bauhaus’ Bela Lugosi’s Dead:

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My favorite fridge magnet has been ruined by Jian Ghomeshi Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:00:27 +0000

my stuffed animals were facing the wall

Thanks for nothing, Jian.

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Cue a Gamergate/”Men’s Rights” hissy-fit in 5…4…3… Wed, 29 Oct 2014 23:50:47 +0000

Yesterday evening, Anita Sarkeesian (in case you haven’t heard of her, here’s a good intro) tweeted this:

A few minutes ago as of this writing, she tweeted this picture:

anita sarkeesian sitting at the colbert report desk

Expect a lot of gnashing of teeth on parts of 8Chan, A Voice for Men, a few subreddits, and other internet hangouts for misogynerds, as well as for some butthurt guy to add Stephen Colbert’s name to the “Mangina” entry in WikiMANNia (yes, it’s a real thing).

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“This one time…at chamber music camp…” Wed, 29 Oct 2014 12:19:11 +0000

clarinet rectal

Don’t get it? Read it again, very carefully.

The moral of this story: always proofread your work. And use lots of lube.

Thanks to Peach Flambee for the find!

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A positive outcome of Gamergate: the coining of the term “Sea Lioning”, and some interesting data to boot Tue, 28 Oct 2014 17:40:01 +0000

sea lioning

Wondermark comic by David Malki. Click to see the source.

In a new post on Medium, Andy Baio (creator of Upcoming, former board member and CTO of Kickstarter, blogger at, co-founder of the XOXO Festival, and yes, a friend of mine) writes:

Two months ago today, actor Adam Baldwin was the first to use the #Gamergate hashtag on Twitter, solidifying a name for the movement that’s dominated all conversations in gaming since. Depending on where you sit on the issue, it’s either a widespread campaign of harassment against women or, actually, about ethics in videogames journalism.

Anyone who’s mentioned the #Gamergate hashtag in a critical light knows the feeling: a swarm of seemingly random, largely-anonymous people descending to comment and criticize.

I’ve been using Twitter for eight years, but I’ve never seen behavior quite like this. This swarming behavior is so prevalent, it got a new nickname — “sea lioning,” inspired by David Malki’s Wondermark comic [pictured above -- Joey].

72 hours of gamergate

Also worth reading: Andy’s essay, in which he describes his findings from running an analysis of three days’ worth of tweets with the hashtags #Gamergate and #NotYourShield. His findings:

  • Most of the tweets — about 69% — were retweets.
  • Many of [Gamergate's] proponents are using newly-created, often pseudonymous, accounts.
  • Roughly 25% of all Gamergate activity is from account created in the last two months, which is about when the whole mess began.
  • There’s little overlap between the communities. If you take a look at this closeup of a graph showing the connections, the pro-Gamergate site includes such charming Twitter accounts as RooshV (the pickup artist about whom I wrote earlier), the account for the “Red Pill” site Return of Kings, and MGTOWKnight (MGTOW is short for Men Going Their Own Way). If you wondered why the Gamergate crowd sounds a lot like the “Mens’ Rights” man-babies, it’s because their causes are aligned. I’m quite content not to get mixed in with that sorry lot.
  • The top RTed users are pro-Gamergate; the top RTed tweets are against.

The concluding statement is a good summary:

This network visualization is as good a metaphor as any for #Gamergate. Two massive, impenetrable hairballs of people that want little to do with one another, only listening to their side and firing volleys across the chasm.

Andy’s made his data available to everyone. If you’ve got the time and the data-crunching skills, you can download the data he used in CSV format or as a MySQL dump (each is about 40MB in size).

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What the fit of your suit says to the world Tue, 28 Oct 2014 13:32:32 +0000

get ya suit game right

A number of people have recently asked me about getting a suit on a budget, and I pointed them to the guides at Primer (they also have a good one on suit and sport jackets), Everyguyed, and Dappered. They’re all good jumping-off points.

If you do have a court date, it’s doubly important that dress well. Don’t be like “Tayla the Manatee Slaya”, pictured below…

(Need the back story? Read How NOT to dress for your manatee sport-humping court date.)

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Why I’ll have absolutely no recollection of Halloween this year Mon, 27 Oct 2014 22:59:55 +0000

halloween drinking game

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My favorite Gamergate commentary of the moment, featuring a still from “Jaws” Mon, 27 Oct 2014 21:02:21 +0000

actually its about ethics - jaws

Click the masplanation that it’s about ethics to see it at full size.

Need a primer on Gamergate? Start here: The Future of the Culture Wars is Here, and it’s GamerGate. Gotta warn you: it ain’t pretty.

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John Oliver endorses Doug Ford for mayor of Toronto Mon, 27 Oct 2014 15:19:08 +0000

john oliver on toronto's election

…and of course he would! Rob’s been a gold mine of material for late-night TV comedians for the past year and a half, and Doug promises more of the same:

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Advice for a Monday morning Mon, 27 Oct 2014 14:05:33 +0000

You’d be surprised at the number of times that taking this approach has paid off for me:

just act natural

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That didn’t take long: a painting of Canadian Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers in battle with his mace Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:26:46 +0000

kevin vickers painting

Click the photo to see this painting of Canadian bad-assery at full size.

And this is just when he’s in line to get a double-double at Tim Hortons and someone cuts in front of him! That’s a +10 Canadian Mace of Parliamentary Smackdown, and Vickers looks like he’s about to roll a natural 20.

Found via Imgur.

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Clearly I need to up my accordion game…with BICYCLE HORNS! Fri, 24 Oct 2014 15:18:38 +0000

konis hupen

I’m always trying to bring new, unexpected elements into my already-unconventional accordion playing. I may have to borrow this trick from the band Hoch Tirol, as shown in their “why is this not a viral hit?” number Konis Hupen, which spices up accordion polka with bicycle horns:

Here’s the full version of the song, with lyrics:

And in case you just can’t get enough of this catchy little ditty, here’s a seven-hour instrumental version, suitable for pranks, brainwashing, or driving someone who’s barricaded themselves into surrender:

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A chilly morning (well, chilly for Tampa, anyway…) Fri, 24 Oct 2014 13:15:00 +0000

kitchen window oct 24

The view from our kitchen window at 8:53 this morning.

It’s 63° F (17° C) in Tampa this fine late October morning, which led the Future Missus to say “Chilly!” as she stepped outside. In Toronto, we’d be saying “Balmy!”

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Sign of the Day Thu, 23 Oct 2014 18:30:25 +0000

i scream you scream

Found on Imgur. Click to see the original.

I would gladly patronize an establishment with such a sense of humor.

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Sergeant-at-Arms deserves to be the number one Halloween costume in Canada this year Thu, 23 Oct 2014 14:04:49 +0000

kevin vickers with mace 4

Are you having trouble deciding what to dress up as this Halloween? I have a suggestion: Canada’s Sergeant-at-Arms, Kevin Vickers.

Until yesterday, this was the photo most associated with Kevin Vickers, decorated former member of the RCMP and Sergeant-at-Arms of the Canadian House of Commons:

kevin vickers escorts brigette depape

It’s of him escorting Canadian Senate page Brigette DePape off the floor after she abused the privilege of her position a held up a protest sign during the 2011 speech from the throne, which is part of the opening of every new session of Parliament. As Sergeant-at-Arms, it’s his job to maintain order, eject any disruptive or rowdy people, and maintain security. The position goes back to the times of King Richard I, when the position was more akin to being a royal bodyguard.

After yesterday’s event, it’s this photo that will be most associated with him:

kevin vickers with gun

This photo was taken shortly after Vickers shot the assailant identified as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, who entered Centre Block (the big building on Parliament Hill) in the Hall of Honour with a rifle after shooting Corporal Nathan Cirillo, who was standing guard at the National War Memorial. According to reports, he went to his office to retrieve a gun and shot Zehaf-Bibeau before he could get farther into the building.

kevin vickers with mace

Sergeant-at-Arm Kevin Vickers and the mace.
Click the photo to see it at full size.

Here’s an excerpt from The Globe and Mail:

Each day, for the opening and the closing of the House of Commons, Kevin Vickers travels the centre aisle, wearing the outdated black robes of the sergeant-at-arms, carrying the parliamentary mace upon his shoulder and the ceremonial sword swinging at his side – a throwback to tradition few Canadians ever see.

But Wednesday, with the whole country watching, the 58-year-old RCMP veteran became a modern-day hero. According to reports, he grabbed a gun from his office, and shot a gunman who had stormed into Centre Block. On Twitter, cabinet ministers and MPs were crediting Mr. Vickers, 58, with “saving their lives.”

kevin vickers with mace 3

“His role may look ceremonial, even something like an anachronism,” said Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, who has known Mr. Vickers for years. “[But] he is always on the lookout. He thinks about security with a 360-degree antenna. If there is anyone you want with you when there is trouble around, it would be Kevin Vickers.”

That’s his job – to safeguard the House, and oversee security on Parliament. During Question Period, he sits by the main doors, monitoring the public galleries in the balconies above with television screens on his desk. His office is just about six metres down the hall from the Parliamentary Library, near where the gunman was said to have been killed yesterday.

kevin vickers with mace 2

Mr. Vickers’ heroic actions saved lives yesterday, and it would be a nice tribute to him and to his underappreciated position if his official Sergeant-at-Arms uniform became the number one Halloween costume in Canada this year. Hence the photos strewn throughout this article — they’re there to help you fashion one.

kevin vickers with chain

Recommended Reading

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CityNews in Toronto is apparently from the “If it BLEEDS, it LEADS!” school of journalism Wed, 22 Oct 2014 21:39:33 +0000

Here’s their graphic for the situation in Ottawa:


Click the schlocky graphic to go to CityNews’ live site.

But can you blame them? Ever since the film Panic Room’s title sequence, floating metal letters over cityscapes have become a graphic signifier for “Bad shit’s goin’ down, yo!”

Thanks to Mike Freeman for the find!

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In times of crisis, it’s nice to have neighbors who have the best of intentions Wed, 22 Oct 2014 21:20:51 +0000

its going to be okay canada - just tell us who to liberate

In fact, they’re such good neighbors that I came for a permanent sleepover!

Thanks to David Janes for the find!

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