The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century Joey deVilla's Personal Blog Wed, 01 Jul 2015 19:08:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Apparently, poutine contains fish Wed, 01 Jul 2015 19:06:47 +0000

Mike Beltzner, who’s formerly from Toronto, a resident of the other, lesser bay area, and now a product manager at Pinterest, posted a photo of the Canada Day-themed menu at the office:

canadian poutine at pinterest

My first thought: poutine contains fish?

It turns out that the source of the fish is the gravy. Worcestershire sauce is often an ingredient, and that stuff is basically anchovies in brine.

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Happy Canada Day! Wed, 01 Jul 2015 13:51:41 +0000

what canadians do

Today is July 1st, which is Canada Day, Canada’s national holiday!

On July 1, 1867, the British North America Act was signed, uniting three colonies into one country under the British Empire and called it Canada. Canada’s been my home for nearly 40 years, and I’m now an importer of Canadian-ness in Florida (a.k.a. “Canada South”). From a Canadian expat to my Canadian friends and family all over the world, Happy Canada Day!

Bonus reading: How Canada is perceived around the world, an article featuring interviews with 15 people from 15 countries, in which they’re asked how they see Canada.

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Somewhere between “economy minus” and “economy purgatory” Mon, 29 Jun 2015 04:00:01 +0000

economy class seating chart

Graphic created by The Cooper Review. Click the graphic to see the source.

I’m making a last-minute flight to Boston to visit the GSG mothership for a “planning for the second half of the year” / “Hey, we’re doing stunningly well, let’s celebrate” meeting / party. My flight arrangement were last-minute, which means that the airline’s picking my seat. Wish me luck, and good luck if you’re in the same situation!

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What Soylent is trying to replace (and what it isn’t) Sat, 27 Jun 2015 15:05:40 +0000


In all the goings-on of the past few days, I’ve neglected to point to this statement by Benedict Evans, a venture capitalist at Andreessen Horowitz (often shortened to a16z), who’ve invested in the seed and Series A rounds for Soylent, the liquid “staple meal” meant for people too busy doing important things and making the world a better place to eat solid food. He posted it in a tweet, which I’m illustrating below:

“Soylent does not replace the meal you spend an hour cooking,” he writes:

dinner party

“…it replaces this:”

vienna sausages
I dunno; I’m still leaning towards the Vienna sausages. And I’m not the only one.

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I was wrong: there’s ONE straight marriage that might be hurt by marriage equality Fri, 26 Jun 2015 18:00:48 +0000

scalia and his wife maureen

If you want to see a person’s true character, just pay attention to what they do and say when thwarted, frustrated, or disappointed. Case in point: Here’s a strange excerpt from U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissent on today’s 5-4 ruling in favor of marriage equality:

One would think Freedom of Intimacy is abridged rather than expanded by marriage. Ask the nearest hippie. Expression, sure enough, is a freedom, but anyone in a long-lasting marriage will attest that that happy state constricts, rather than expands, what one can prudently say.

It’s douchey to get in a cheap shot at your spouse in conversation. To do it in writing is serious douchebaggery. But to diss the Missus out of spite because now people you think of as inferior have to be treated like equals in a government document that will be preserved, discussed, and likely be cited in future legal arguments and law classes? That takes a doucheLORD.

You might think that the good judge may have some ‘splainin’ to do when he gets home tonight, but it’s more likely that he’ll just go all Cotton Hill and say “If you got more feelin’s to express, get in the kitchen and put ’em in a bundt cake.”

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A visual guide to the different comma styles Fri, 26 Jun 2015 11:10:21 +0000

There’s the standard comma, the oxford comma, the Walken comma, and of course, the Shatner comma:

comma styles

Thanks to Brett Savory for the find!

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T-shirt of the day: Simpsonic Youth! Thu, 25 Jun 2015 15:12:16 +0000

I love this T-shirt design:

simpsonic youth

Click the t-shirt design to see the source.

It combines this Sonic Youth album cover…


…and this classic bit from The Simpsons:

In the spirit of Throwback Thursday, here’s Sonic Youth’s Goo in its entirety!

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Don’t troll on LinkedIn Thu, 25 Jun 2015 13:14:22 +0000

This appeared on my LinkedIn feed this morning:

ballsy good luck fixed

Commenter’s name redacted because everyone deserves a shot at online redemption.

In the end, the only reason LinkedIn has stayed a social networking site for professionals is that its users treat it as such. There’s lots of room for funny (or attempting-to-be-funny) replies in discussions on LinkedIn, but once the trolling begins, we lose a valuable forum for making those connections that make business possible.

(And seriously, trolling the Cancer Society? Ballsy! Good luck!)

This article also appears in Global Nerdy.

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For the want of a comma… Wed, 24 Jun 2015 21:15:53 +0000


Pictured above is the cast of Bend It Like Beckham: The Musical wishing England luck in the Women’s FIFA World Cup with a cheer and a banner that’s in very desperate need of a comma.

(In case you were wondering, the phrase “come on” is used in the UK in the same way we in North America use “let’s go” to cheer someone on.)

Here’s the tweet from which it came, which also features a video:

Here’s the banner, fully (ahem) extended and ah, unwrinkled:

phrasing 2

Remember, people: punctuation is important!

Blast from the (recent) past!

It’s been only a year since I last posted an article titled For the want of a comma. Clearly, we’ve learned nothing.

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Ronnie C. Rouse’s take on the “Confederate” flag Wed, 24 Jun 2015 20:35:12 +0000

ronnie c rouse

I’ll let other people post videos featuring famous “talking heads” talking about what’s properly identified as the “Virginia Battle Flag” and popularly (but incorrectly) called “the Confederate flag” or the “Stars and Bars”. I’m going to post this piece made by one Ronnie C. Rouse that I stumbled into on Facebook. Yes, it’s as off-the-cuff and rough around the edges as every other YouTube rant, but but I like Ronnie C’s message and style, so I’m giving him some love by sharing his video:

DON'T WATCH THIS IF YOU HAVE A SMALL MIND IG: TheRonnieC910Twitter: TheRonnieCSnapChat: TheRonnieC

Posted by Ronnie C Rouse on Tuesday, June 23, 2015

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This 1950s comic shows how playing the accordion will change your life Tue, 23 Jun 2015 14:21:09 +0000

This 1950’s comic book advertisement is pretty much my life after May 1, 1999, the day I first took the accordion out on the streets:

accordion comic 01

accordion comic 02

accordion comic 03

accordion comic 04

accordion comic 05

accordion comic 06

accordion comic 07

accordion comic 08

I’m pretty sure that “no cost” promise is akin to the old “9 albums for a penny” offer from Columbia House. It doesn’t matter — the accordion is a worthwhile investment!

Thanks to Natalie Brahan for the find!

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#CrimingWhileWhite Tue, 23 Jun 2015 02:56:26 +0000


Kill nine people in an attempt to start a race war but you’re white and hungry? That’s okay, we’ll get you some Burger King. That’s what the #CrimingWhileWhite hashtag is for!

#CrimingWhileWhite means that when your story gets featured in the news, you’re written up more sympathetically as white a killer of nine than a black savior of one:

If you’re white, the media looks for your graduation photo. If not, they look for your most gangsta one:

Walking while brown? That’s a ground-slammin':

Here’s Mr. Patel recovering in the hospital after the incident: In case you were wondering, the trial of Eric Parker, former (thankfully) police officer, was delayed for a few months because a crucial witness is out of state until September. Carry your loaded AR-15 while white through an airport, largely to be a dick about it? You’ll get some reasonable questioning, and you’ll live to complain about it: jim cooley airport ar-15 I strongly recommend not doing this if you’re any other color:

Not even with a pellet gun: tamar rice Crime is cuter when you’re white:

What does a mall cop do when an angry racist white guy threatens a bunch of pro-Palestine marchers and a black guy who’s just trying to get to his destination? Hey, why tell you when I can show you?






Raymond Wilford — he’s the black guy — took a defensive stance, but never threw a punch.





Ah, good, a mall cop! Now we’ll see some justice served.


You go, Paul Blart!



Wait, what?




Oh, sheeeeeeeit.













Here’s video shot by Alex Garland:

The shirtless white guy was never apprehended or even identified. Stuart Hind, the mall cop who maced the wrong guy got off with no charges. And Raymond Wilford will just have to deal with it.

I don’t think the cops would’ve offered Dajerria Becton — she’s the 15-year-old girl who got thrown to the ground and pinned there by (thankfully) ex-police officer Eric Casebolt at the now-infamous pool party in McKinney, Texas — some Burger King? I have my doubts.

texas pool party

You white kids go have your fun #CrimingWhileWhite. I’m going to go brush up on the advice in the videos below…

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Pilots, add this to your pre-flight checklists: “Remove cat before flight” Mon, 22 Jun 2015 20:14:47 +0000

An ultralight pilot had to cut his flight short when he found that his flying club’s cat mascot had stowed away in the wing. It’s all captured in the video above, titled Remove Cat Before Flight.

The flight starts out as expected: smooth takeoff and a climb to altitude…


…and that’s when a little head appears in the hollow space inside the ultralight’s left wing:


The cat moves closer to the cabin…


…and that’s when the pilot discovers that he has a stowaway.


He quickly comes in for a landing…


…hops out of his seat…


…reaches to extract the cat…


…but it turns out that the cat is quite capable of freeing himself.


The caption for the video reads: “Pour info le chat va très bien, il continue avec application son rôle de mascotte du club”, which translates as “FYI, that cat’s fine, he remains the club’s mascot.”

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Happy Father’s Day, Dad! Mon, 22 Jun 2015 00:58:58 +0000


I inherited a lot of Dad’s qualities. He loved to speak in public, work the room, tell jokes and stories, and hold court. He was driven to set things right and make things better. He loved helping people. And most of all, he loved putting the “Asian” in “Rabelaisian”. He was Dr. Guillermo O’Hara de Villa, Jr., he was my Dad, and I owe what I am to him. He passed away in 2006, but he’s still with us in spirit.

Happy father’s day, Dad.

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How I cook pasta Fri, 12 Jun 2015 03:44:56 +0000

pasta and me

I don’t have this problem with rice, because I measure that stuff.

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RIP Christopher Lee, Sith lord, evil wizard, superfluously-nippled Bond bad guy, and virgin-sacrificing pagan Thu, 11 Jun 2015 12:28:05 +0000

christpoher lee villains

Christopher Lee’s many villain roles: Count Dooku and Saruman (top row), and Scaramanga and Lord Summerisle from The Wicker Man (bottow row).

R.I.P. Christopher Lee, wonderfully evil movie villain, who recently died at the age of 93. You younger folks know him as Count Dooku from Star Wars: The Lesser Trilogy and Saruman from the Lord of the Rings films (he’s the only LOTR cast member to have actually met Tolkien), but he’s been a movie villain for far longer. He played characters like Dracula and Fu Manchu long before the age of CGI, and you should check him out as a superfluously-nippled Bond villain Francisco Scaramanga in The Man with the Golden Gun (which was referenced in the Kamp Krusty Simpsons episode) and virgin-sacrificing pagan in The Wicker Man, which he considered to be his best film.

In tribute to him, here’s the scene from The Wicker Man where we get introduced to Lee’s character, Lord Summerisle:

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It’s National Iced Tea Day! Wed, 10 Jun 2015 13:17:27 +0000

ice cube ice-t dispensers

Happy National Iced Tea Day! We’ve had hot tea for centuries, but we had to wait for readily-available ice — first provided by ice harvesters, and later via refrigeration — for iced tea to become a popular summer drink. Whether you enjoy it as actual tea poured over ice or as “sweet tea” as we call it down here (actually sugar water with just enough tea to give it a brown color), today’s its day. I’m going to celebrate as I hunker down with some of the real stuff over client work at my local tea shop, Kaleisia, later this afternoon.

iced tea yard

As you enjoy an iced tea, be sure to check out this NPR piece: As American as Iced Tea: A Brief, Sometimes Boozy, History.

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Scenery #1 Mon, 08 Jun 2015 23:20:06 +0000

Outside the house: the sun’s starting to set.


Inside the house: dinner’s almost done.


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Toronto friends: Subway crisis over, TTC’s less-than-stellar service resumes [Updated] Mon, 08 Jun 2015 11:39:54 +0000

system is running normally

The scene this morning at Spadina subway station.
Photo by Antonio Gomez-Palacio (@aurbanist). Click to to see the original.

The TTC has announced that all trains are back up and running. Get moving, Toronto working stiffs! Be advised that there will still be some “residual delays”.

This article was originally titled Toronto friends: The subways are down, expect a terrible morning commute. The original body appears below.

Toronto’s public transit system — the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) — has announced that the radio system and even the backup radio system used to communicate with the subway trains is out of commission. Without working communications, they decided to shut down the trains until the problem is resolved. If you live in Toronto, you might want to hold off your commute and keep an eye on the official TTC Twitter account. Remember that even if you drive to work, a subway outage means terrible traffic on the streets (and Tampa folks, our terrible transit system, coupled with urban non-engineering is why our traffic is terrible).

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Meanwhile, in Florida… Sun, 07 Jun 2015 15:54:38 +0000

joey and watermelon

…it’s grocery shopping day for me and Anitra. This is a photo of me earlier this morning at Bearss Groves, our local year-round open-air fruit and vegetable market, hefting a watermelon that weighs about as much as my big accordion.

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