Toronto (a.k.a. Accordion City)

Cherry Bomb Coffee

Photo: Cherry Bomb Coffee's storefront.

Over at the Greater Toronto Area Bloggers (GTABloggers) site, Aaron sings the praises of a new coffee shop in the Roncesvalles area of Accordion CityCherry Bomb Coffee:

A new coffee shop just opened on the south end of Roncesvalles – Cherry

Bomb Coffee. It’s half a block from my apartment, so I’ve been

anxiously awaiting this. I went in today and had a slice of their

Ontario sour cherry pie…delicious

The owners are earth-friendly; the plates and cups are all

post-consumer recycled, and the plastic cups made from corn –

biodegradable, and very cool. They have vegetarian soups and

sandwiches, organic teas, loads of baked goods, etc.

Cherry Bomb Coffee is located at 67 Roncesvalles, just north of Marion. I’ll have to drop by sometime.

It Happened to Me Music

The Pink Wig Gig

I thought I’d post some more “crazy hair from my past” photos.

Before I was an accordion player, I played synths. I owned a number of synths and samplers through my years at Crazy Go Nuts University.

During my time there — September 1987 through December 1994, guitar

players were worshipped and synth guys were viewed with some suspicion.

It was a time bookended by the jingle-jangle of U2 and R.E.M. at the

beginning and grunge at the end. Being a small college town like

Athens, Georgia or Olympia, Washington, the guitar was also king in

Kingston, Ontario. Those damned plank-spankers, as I used to refer to

guitarists, got all the attention, love and respect, leaving we few

keyboard players — namely myself, my buddy Karl Mohr and

“Craigertronic” — in our own quiet musical backwater. My friend Sarah

English once wrote in a music review in the Queen’s Journal that she could never trust a band with a keyboard player in it.

This ghettoization made us synth players a closely-knit bunch, and we

often gigged together, even after graduation. For the April 1999 launch

party of his mother Merilyn Simond’s book, The Lion in the Room Next

Door, Karl invited me and another Kingston-based synth guy, Steve

Skratt, to be the entertainment. Along with our friend Chantal from a

gazillion Kingston bands as well as Rachel Smith and Krista “Lederhosen

Lucil” Muir, we formed the improv synth trip-hop band Lion.

On a lark, we decided that we’d all wear wigs for the gig. I went for

the “anime hair” look, but since Rachel had already claimed the blue

one, I had to take the pink. It didn’t look too bad…

Photo: Joey deVilla in pink wig.

The wig. Attention Mom, Dad and parents-in-law: I promise not to wear this at the wedding…much.

Photo: Keyboard section of the band 'Lion', featuring Karl Mohr, Steve Skratt and Joey deVilla.

Kraftwerk ain’t got nuthin’ on us!

From left to right: Karl Mohr (who’s switched from wig to fez), Steve

Skratt, me and Rachel Smith. I’m playing my Ensoniq EPS Sampler and

Roland MC-303 GrooveBox.

Photo: Keyboard section of the band 'Lion', featuring Karl Mohr, Steve Skratt and Joey deVilla.

Not all the instruments were synthetic…but our hair was!

Photo: Keyboard section of the band 'Lion', featuring Karl Mohr, Steve Skratt and Joey deVilla.

In the background: Rachel, Chantal and Krista, who also

played violin at the gig. Krista is now the Montreal indie pop darling

known to the world as Lederhosen Lucil.

Photo: Keyboard section of the band 'Lion', featuring Karl Mohr, Steve Skratt and Joey deVilla.

“More major sevenths! MORE MAJOR SEVENTHS!”


Another Real Estate Find

As long as I’ve got house-hunting on the brain, how ’bout another story about US$200K+ property rife with drug activity?

An appraiser somewhere in the southwestern US posted some photos of a

house located in “an area undergoing intense renovation right now”. Three of the photos are shown below, and you can click here to see the full set.


The leaning toilet of Pisa! Perfect for those hung-over mornings wehn you need to rest your head against the wall. Click the photo to see the full set.

Fully-equipped laundry room. Bonus: if you’re too short time to do a wash, you can always simply hose your clothes down. Click the photo to see the full set.

The living room — best-kept room in the house.

It’s quite telling that the most pristine object in the place is the TV

set. The doilie is a nice touch too — the appraiser reports that the

owner uses it for his bong. Click the photo to see the full set.


appraiser says:

The current owner’s “ol’ lady” left him last year and he’s been on an

eleven month drug binge because she won’t let him see his daughter

anymore. He was a very nice guy, he even offered me a hit of meth or

pot or “whatever else I can find around here.” I declined, but he

continued on saying he would be getting about $30k out of the sale of

his house, and the only thing he could think to do with it is to buy

more drugs.


appraiser reports that the appraisal value is expected to be around

US$105K and that after renovation, the place should sell for about


In the News

RIP Pope John Paul II

…and in tribute, my favourite photo of the Pontiff (yes, it’s real):

Vaya con Dios.

It Happened to Me

I Hope It’s Made with Free-Range Organic Pandas…

Seen at “Super 88 Grocery” the last time I was in Boston…


Free Icons!

In addition to writing a Blogware article, I’ve also made some royalty-free icons called “Dread Pirate Roberts”, just for kicks. Feel free to grab ’em from the Blogware blog.


More Blogware Mechanic Goodness…

Favicons are custom icons associated with

a website. In this installment of The Blogware Mechanic, we’ll look at

how to make a favicon for your blog and in the process get a better

look at Blogware’s filesystem.