A Little More on the Election

“Anonymous” got it right when s/he guessed at the reason for my hope for a Conservative minority as the result of the election on Monday:

Let me guess: a minority government as
holding pattern to keep things
moderate until they get their collective acts slightly more together. A
Tory (that’s “Conservative Party” for my non-Commonwealth readers)
minority would punish Liberal arrogance, and the Tories couldn’t
successfully pass any socially conservative legislation if they had a
bare plurality of seats. A chastened Liberal party would come back and
win a majority in 18 months and would Do Better.

I strongly believe that reasoned compromise and moderation is one of the best ideals of the National Character:
between English and French, between ties to the countries from which we
came and the country we adopted, between free markets and socialism and
yes, between being like and unlike our neighbour to the south. I think
that a Conservative minority allying itself with the Bloc (who would
agree on decentralization and granted more powers to the provinces,
which works given Canada’s vast size) and an opposition alliance of the
Liberals and NDP would’ve been a workable solution and would’ve given
the Liberals the “time out” that they so richly deserve. At the very least, it would result in Paul Martin’s ouster.

I also believe that repairing some of the damage to the US/Canada
relationship is in order, and I think that the Tories are probably
better able to do that than the Grits. We may not necessarily agree
with everything they do (my own stance on the Iraq war is that they’re
invading the wrong country), but as anyone who’s made it even part-way
to adulthood will tell you: friends can disagree and remain friends. I think we make a pretty good Simpsons to their Flanders.

“Anonymous” also says:

But I can’t vote for the Alliance, which is all the current Tories are.

While I find a good chunk of their social agenda repugnant (and I’m
sure that for at least some of them, their Canada does not include
Accordion Guy), I’m of the “I don’t have to like you to work with you”
school of thought — hell, anyone who’s been to any of David Janes’
“poliblogger” get-tyogethers knows that I’m even of the “I don’t have
to agree with you to have a friendly beer with you school of thought”.
They can do their job and keep the government running and the swindling
down, and I can do mine, which is making the Internet go. A minority
position would forve them to curb their retrograde social enthusiasms.
I won’t go to
their barbecues and they don’t have to attend my hot tub parties.

I live in the Trinity-Spadina riding, where the race was between
current MP Tony Ianno and the challeneger Olivia Chow. David Watters,
the Conservative candidate, is a non-entity in this riding,
“non-entity” being defined as “not being able to get more than twice
the votes for the Green Party, around whom I can’t even sustain a straight face, never mind the environment“.
Given that I wanted to give the Liberals a time-out and the fact that
Olivia had the best shot at usurping Ianno and since she was probably
the candidate with whom I could actually buttonhole for a half-hour
over coffee (she once tried to recruit me to play accordion at an event
she was hosting), I held my nose and voted NDP.

(By the bye, Ianno won, but by just about 1000 votes)

It may have been madness, but there was a method.

One wonders what the Colbinator (who wrote a good piece on why one should vote Tory) and Judy Rebick (who co-wrote a predictably finger-wagging piece on why one should NDP) would think.

(Truth be told, I’d gladly have a beer with Colby, who seems like the
sort of fella with whom one could imbibe many fine brews and discuss
just about any topic under the sun. On the other hand, I would probably
avoid ingesting anything — even air — with Judy. It’s not from any
political disagreements I have with her; it’s fear of catching The

A wag at Tucows noted: “The maritime provinces voted to keep getting
handouts, and Ontario voted to keep giving handouts to them.”

Accordion, Instrument of the Gods It Happened to Me

I’m Honoured

In the process of prototyping an application for Blogware (the blogging tool used in creating this blog) that made use of its stats package, I noticed some incoming referrals from Wikipedia, of all places. It turns out that I’m listed under the “Accordionists” section of the Accordion entry. I’m listed alongside some serious bright lights: Guy Klucevsek, Weird Al, Lawrence Welk and my accordion role models John Linnell (from They Might Be Giants, for making the accordion cool) and Art van Damme and Dick “Daddy-O” Contino (hipster accordion legends, who made the accordion sexy).

It’s sort of odd that I’m listed among these people: with the glaring
exception of me, they’re all pros; I’m an amateur and a seriously
goofball one at that. I’m deeply honoured.

Wikipedia, being a wiki, is designed to accepting editing and
contributions from anybody. One of the necessities of such a design is
a history for each entry, which allows you to see what changes were
made, when they were made and who made them. Thanks to the history page for the “Accordion” entry, I know that a contributor named Bob Jonkman added me to the list on April 13, 2004. Thanks, Bob!

I’ll have to add some people to the “Accordionists” list: Jason Webley and Domenic the Accordion Beatles Guy both of whom have been doing accordion rock far longer than I, Astor Piazzolla, the undisputed king of accordion tango. And I can’t forget my accordion partner in crime, Karl Mohr, without whom I wouldn’t have become the Accordion Guy.

Accordion, Instrument of the Gods

“I’m Lookin’ Queen-Spadina…and Feelin’ Minnesota…”

I’ll be wearing my American flag tie deep in the heart of America on
the 4th of July, as I have been invited to play accordion at the Dystopia Party, which takes place at the CONvergence science fiction conference in Minneapolis this weekend.

According to the Dystopia Party site:

The Dystopia Party is a recurring theme party held at CONvergence, an
annual science fiction & fantasy convention in the Twin
, Minnesota over Fourth-of-July weekend. We offer music,
fun, food, and stifling oppression in a dark, dystopian-future
themed environment. 2003 was our first year hosting a con
party and we took the place by storm. We intend to go to even
greater lengths this year.

For 2004 our party will run from 7pm ’till 3am both Friday,
July 2nd and Saturday, July 3rd. We’re in Room 230 of the
Sheraton (nee Radison) on Highway 100 south of 494. Just come
on by the hotel and you’ll see us immediately upon entering the
pool/cabana/party space.

I’ll be there, as will my lovely girlfriend, The Redhead.

Dystopia is organized by some friends. Bridget, Dystopia’s promotions and staffing person, was the first and only person to ever PayPal me a beer, and she and Joe came to Accordion City in late 2002. Ry4an
(no, that’s not a typo), the party’s money guy, is a coworker from
those heady dot-com days at OpenCola. These fine people saw fit to
cover my plane ticket and hotel expenses, so you’d better believe I
will be perfoming my brains out.

It’ll be good to see Bridget, Joe and Ry4an, and I’m also hoping to see swarming network guru and Roshambo champion Justin Chapweske and his wife Natz, big fun guy Dave Polaschek and Luke Francl, the Lizard Picture King. As a special treat, I shall make Dave Ahrens a very happy man by performing Brecht and Weil’s Alabama Song (the Doors’ version) with him.

If you’re attending CONvergence, drop by the party. It’ll be fun!

(By the bye, this entry’s title is a riff on the lyrics to Soundgarden’s anthem, Outshined.)

It Happened to Me

Happy Birthday, Canada!

July 1st is Canada Day, and this one marks the 137th birthday of this fine country, my adopted home since January 1975.

Happy birthday, Canada!

And just for kicks…

(The story behind the banner is here.)