One Week Remains!

Just so you know…

Photo: 'One week till my party!'

In the News

Heavy-Hearted Endorsements for Kerry

Photo: Cover of 'The Economist', featuring photos of Bush and Kerry. Heading is: 'The Incompetent or the Incoherent?'

The havey-hearted endorsements are popping up: The Economist, Andrew Sullivan and even Mr. “The End of History” and one of the signers of the Statement of Principles for the Project for the New American Century, Francis Fukuyama.

There’s even a blog called Kerry Haters for Kerry, which by the bye is hosted by our friends at BlogHarbor and powered by our blogging tool, Blogware.


Blog Anniversaries, Corrected

Meg pointed out to me that she started her blog in May 1999, so it’ll be six

years old in May, not five as I reported in yesterday’s blog entry. She

also pointed out that if it were a kid, it would be ready for the first grade. My blog would’ve just been a recent toilet trainee.


"Normalized data is for sissies"

Here’s a graphic I posted on The Farm that I couldn’t resist posting here:

Click the picture to see the Farm article.

It Happened to Me

Blog Anniversaries

According to BoingBoing, Tom Coates’ blog, will celebrate its fifth anniversary on Monday. Cory also notes that BoingBoing will be five years old in January. Meg Hourihan’s blog will turn five next May, but two months before that,  Jason Kottke’s blog will turn seven. Dave Winer’s blog will turn eight, which in weblog terms is like an Old testament lifetime.

The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century is not quite as long-lived; it got its start on November 10th, 2001.

Not counting this one, I have posted 3,194 articles and my photo albums

hold 1,042 photos. Since moving to Blogware, I’m at 3,093 comments;

this unfortunately does not include the comments made when my blog was Blogger-based and I used Enetation

to handle my comments. I’ve gone from around a thousand pageviews a

month — this blog got a lot of visitors to Cory’s linking to the entry

titled Breach of Security

— to being just shy of a quarter-million. I know it’s a bit early to

say so, but thanks for your readership over the past three years!

Accordion, Instrument of the Gods It Happened to Me Music

Accordion City’s Newest Accordion Player

Saturday night: The last errand I ran prior to hopping in my car and going to Homecoming at Crazy Go Nuts University was to buy up as many copies of The Globe and Mail as I could. Ryan Bigge’s story on Wendy’s and my engagement (“There he goes again…does he talk about anything else?”, I can hear you say) appeared in the Saturday issue, and I wanted enough copies to send to relatives and as personal souvenirs.

Saturday’s edition was a special one spolighting China as a great power — if not the dominant one — of the 21st Century (Adam Yoshida must’ve had a total conniption fit).

It was a popular issue, so picking up a dozen copies as I’d planned took travelling to five separate stores. The last store, from which I bought the last two, was the magazine shop beside the Lettieri cafe at Queen and Spadina.

As looked for an available bike rack, I noticed that someone sitting at one of Lettieri’s outdoor tables had a small accordion. An old-school accordion case — the sort that looks like one of those stiff cardboard suitcases from old black and white movies — lay open at her feet. She sat beside two of her friends and was talking to a rubby on rollerblades.

“You really play accordion?” asked the girl, the incredulity showing on her face.

Shhhhhure I do,” said the rubby. “Jush han’ it over, and I’ll play you something.” He held out his arms, making “gimme!” gestures with his hands.

I wasn’t about to let anything bad happen to this nice girl or her accordion, so I intervened.

I play accordion,” I said.

She turned and looked relieved to see me. “Okay, you play.”

I slipped the accordion on and started riffing in C minor, easing into Baby One More Time.

“Ahhh, I didn’t want to play anyway,” grumbled the rubby, who lurched northward on his rollerblades, his ankles almost running against the ground. For a guy who probably was on his fifth bottle of cough syrup that day, he skated pretty well.

Accordion Girl explained that she’d bought the accordion earlier in the summer and really wanted to learn how to play. I offered a couple of pointers.

I found out that the girls were big fans of Nine Inch Nails’ Pretty Hate Machine. I played Head Like a Hole [Windows Media link], and snippets of Down In It [Windows Media link], Terrible Lie [Windows Media link] and Only Time [Windows Media link].

It was then that I noticed that I’d forgotten the keys to my bike lock.

“Hey, could you watch my bike for a moment? I have to go buy some copies of the Globe and Mail. And hey, there’s a picture of me and my accordion in it.”

One of them pulled the bike closer to their table as I ran into the magazine store and bought their last three copies of the Globe. I returned and showed them the engagement article.

“Aww, she’s pretty!” one of them said, looking at Wendy’s picture.

“I’ll bet you use the accordion to get chicks,” said Accordion Girl.

“It helps,” I said. “It’s also good for making money. On a good night on Queen Street, you can make anywhere from fifty to a hundred bucks. You can also use it to gate-crash parties; most people at the door assume you’re the entertainment.”

“I could eat feel-eh meen-yon in a fan-cy res-toh-rant,” said Accordion Girl, affecting a posh accent.

I quickly went over the important chord patterns for most rock and pop songs: I-IV-V, I-IV, I-III-IV and so on.

“Look, I have to go,” I said, “but can I get your picture for my blog?”


“You know, like a LiveJournal,” said one of her friends.

Except without all the drama and psychological problems, I mentally added.

“Oh, cool!”

I snapped their picture:

Photo: Toronto's new sensation, Accordion Girl and friends. Taken outside Lettieri Cafe at Queen and Spadina.Miranda [Accordion Girl], her accordion and her friends.
Taken at Lettieri (southeast corner of Queen and Spadina) last Saturday evening.

“Okay, I’ve got to run now, but promise me this: don’t let that thing gather dust in the attic, okay? Play it!” I was already on my bike and heading north.

“I will, Mister Accordion!” she said.

Ten minutes later, still enjoying an accordion high, I was in my car and turning onto the Don Valley Parkway. Nice start to a good evening, I thought.

Accordion, Instrument of the Gods It Happened to Me


I’m in Che Kothari’s series of photo portraits taken at the 2004 Om Festival back in June:

Accordion badass!

That photo belongs in an ad for jeans. Or maybe bourbon or whiskey. I

look as though I could kick your ass and dance and play zydeco on your


If you want to see more, check out my photos from the 2004 Om festival in photo album or slideshow format, my housemate Paul’s photos and my short videos.

[Thanks to Dan Cochran for telling me about the photo!]