“Nobody show this to our Asian parents!”

by Joey deVilla on January 14, 2020

It is a long-standing tradition for Asian parents to goad their kids into achieving more with the classic “Look at [other high-achieving Asian kid] — why can’t you be like that?” It was tough enough already, and now Dr. Jonny Kim has raised the bar impossibly high. Check out this Tweet from the U.S. Embassy in Seoul:

In response, Jenny Yang tweeted exactly what I was thinking:

I can take some solace in these facts:

  • Hardcore Tiger Moms are reading that announcement and thinking “…only the moon and potentially Mars? That’s not even a quarter of the solar system. Slacker.”
  • I have infinitely more apps in the App Store than he does (I have 2; he has none), and
  • For the time being, I have more Twitter followers:


Creative Commons photo by ArtBrom. Tap to see the source.

As a musician, a Canadian, a Torontonian, and someone who’s seen him live a half-dozen times over the years, it is with sadness that I have to report that Rush’s Neil Peart — not just “Your favorite drummer’s favorite drummer” but also the band’s lyricist — passed away on Tuesday in Santa Monica, California at the age of 67. The news has been out for less than an hour at the time of this writing.

Let’s all toss a drumstick in the air and catch it to honor his memory — then play some Rush at full blast. Here are some suggested tracks…


Taking its name from the airport code for their hometown, this track features the drum solo that even the most casual Rush fan knows about. This is taken from a concert in 1988, the era of the Hold Your Fire album:

La Villa Strangiato

Can Rush write a song so complex that even they couldn’t record it in one take? Yes, and it’s this one, which goes beyond zigging and zagging and straight into dimension-hopping. They ended up recording it in sections and piecing it together in post.

Songs to play “Dungeons and Dragons” by: By-Tor and the Snowdog / 2112

And not this 5th edition junk — we’re talkin’ old school, TSR, Gary Gygax, Tomb of Horrors-era D&D.

Passage to Bangkok

Every Canadian rock fan remembers that tender teen moment when they realized that this song was about drugs. Kudos to Neil for writing very good stoner lyrics and referencing E.M. Forster!

In the Mood

Neil! Cowbell! Their only “Hey, baby!” song! ”Nuff said.

Tom Sawyer

Even if you strip away Geddy’s opening synth line and Alex’s opening chord, leaving Neil’s drumming as the only thing, you’d still recognize this song. And let’s not forget those lyrics:

No, his mind is not for rent
To any god or government
Always hopeful, yet discontent
He knows changes aren’t permanent
But change is
And what you say about his company
Is what you say about society
Catch the witness
Catch the wit
Catch the spirit
Catch the spit


One of my favorites. From their synthy era, this song features some of Neil’s best and most accessible lyrics.

Spirit of Radio

One of the best observations of modern music:

All this machinery making modern music
Can still be open-hearted
Not so coldly charted
It’s really just a question of your honesty
Yeah, your honesty
One likes to believe in the freedom of music
But glittering prizes
And endless compromises
Shatter the illusion of integrity, yeah


A delightful find while researching my new industry

by Joey deVilla on January 10, 2020

Lately, I’ve spent lunch reading up on the industry in which in work:

Tap the photo to see it at full size.

Before you say “Wait a minute — don’t you work in the software/mobile app/IT industry?”, let me make it clear. I work in the beverage alcohol industry; I just happen to do that work with software.

While flipping through the pages, looking for the Using Narrative to Win on Menus article, I stumbled across this full-page ad:

Tap the photo to see it at full size.

It’s a full-page ad for Lilypad, which is the name of both the company I work for and the beverage alcohol software suite it produces, which includes the mobile app, which I work on. I’ve worked on all sorts of software before, but never for something that has its own full-page ad in an industry magazine.

This article also appears in Global Nerdy.

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Buck Henry in 1978, after the premiere of the movie F.I.S.T.. Photo by Alan Light. Tap to see the source.

Yes, he helped create the Get Smart TV series and adapted The Graduate for film (and oddly enough, also wrote the screenplay for that weird sci-fi film The Day of the Dolphin), but I will always remember his Saturday Night Live appearances — especially the classic “Lord and Lady Douchebag” skit.

(You have to remember that this was in the 1970s, when saying the word “douchebag” on TV was positively shocking.)


Tap the photo to see it at full size.

It’s a real place — in fact, it’s a chain of real places. The Orlando location looks a little livelier.


The big disagreement at the office

by Joey deVilla on January 7, 2020

I, for one, am on Team Salt.


Tap the photo to see it at full size.

Not long after the Storefront Safety Council’s recent announcement that Florida is one of the top U.S. states for vehicles crashing into storefronts, a Florida driver drove through a fence and straight into a community pool.

No one — aside from Pasco County’s reputation (it’s where many “Florida Man/Woman” stories come from) — was hurt, and the driver was able to escape from the car through the window.

As is the tradition on this site, here’s how far this “Florida of the day” story is my usual stomping grounds: