Suit-Friendly Articles on "The Farm"

There’s more to being a programmer than just programming: a lot of the job involves “managing up”. I do it with Boss Ross, Boss Ross does it with his Boss Noss,

and Boss Ross’ Boss Noss does it with the Illuminati/Mason/Alien

Conspiratorial Triumvirate, often with a suitable sacrificial goat and

a PowerPoint deck.

But seriously, folks — over at the blog I get paid to write, The Farm,

I’ve started posting articles that you, a techie, can take to

management. These articles are marked with this unmistakably suit-y icon:

Graphic: 'Suit-Friendly' icon.

The first of these articles is Ajax Linkdump,

a laundry list of some recent interesting articles covering the web

programming paradigm of the moment. The last item in the list points to

an Adaptive Path white paper which explains Ajax to management,

including some answers to the all-important question: how’s it going to affect the bottom line?

Feel free to use these “Suit-Friendly” to make your case, support your

arguments or just to make it look as if you don’t spend 30 minutes doing

actual work and rest of your day looking at pictures of women with no

pants on.

Don’t say I never did nuthin’ for ya!

Music Toronto (a.k.a. Accordion City)

"I need to dress up like an idiot and get beerlarious"

This Sunday, a special “Scare-e-oke” Hallowe’en edition of Kickass Karaoke will take place at the Rivoli.

Host Carson T. Foster has requested that women dress like tramps and men dress like women. In other words, business as usual.

The fun starts at 9:00 p.m., and Wendy and I plan to be there.

I have no Hallowe’en party plans for Saturday night, so if any of my friends/readers are reading this, let me know of any party action that you’re aware of. In the words of my friend Charles G. Watson, “I need to dress up like an idiot and get beerlarious.” I’ll bring Wendy, scintillating conversation, booze and an accordion.

It Happened to Me

“Totally Dismal and Excellent” / Anarchie

Yesterday’s posting of the goth-themed Archie comic got BoingBoing-ed, leading to a spike in visits to this blog. Welcome, folks!

A number of posts across the blogosphere that linked to it made a couple of astute observations:

  • This may be the first time in a long time that the goth subculture hasn’t been portrayed as unstable Columbine-style Trenchcoat Mafia killers. The goths in the comic seem pretty cheerful — they must be part of the perkygoth subcategory — and quite friendly to Betty, whom when she meets them is dressed as a “normal” (the term sometimes used by goths to describe non-goths, especially mainstream ones).

    My own experience with goth-dom has been overwhelmingly positive. Being a keyboard player, I’m fond of much of the music, which tends to be synth-y. I’ve had many a lovely evening at the no-longer-existent local haunt, the Sanctuary Vampire Sex Bar, a wonderful establoshment owned by my friend Lance Goth. And lastly and most importantly, my first onstage appearance with an accordion was in front of a roomful of goths at Sanctuary, where my friend Karl Mohr and I played our first accordion rendition of Nine Inch Nails’ Head Like a Hole to great applause.

  • Many have noted that Betty, like many kids who join some kind of subculture, is doing it for the attention.
  • Reggie’s line at the end of the comic, “It’s totally dismal and excellent!” is an awesome catch phrase.

It has been said that the goth subculture is derived from two earlier subcultures: the new romantics and the punks. I don’t know if Archie or his pals ever appeared in a new romantic incarnation (wearing clothes from Parachute, listening to Visage and Vince Clarke-era Depeche Mode), but they’ve gone punk at least once, most notably in a “comic-within-a-comic” in issue 1 of Anarchy Comics:

Comic sample: Anarchie
Click the image to read the full comic.

Check out the full comic segment, titled Anarchie [433K JPEG file, may not be safe for work if your workplace is a little on the conservative side].

I rather like the lampooning of hippie parents — the pot-smoking Mr. Andrews (Archie’s dad) reminds me of a few of my friends’ folks.

[A tip of the hat to Josh Karpf for providing the comic!]

Geek Toronto (a.k.a. Accordion City)

Web Site Integrator Postion in Toronto

Here’s the job that my friend Jay Goldman is offering. Tell ’em you heard about it from the “Accordion Guy” blog.

Job Code: DEV02

Location: Toronto

Type: Full Time


Radiant Core has an immediate opening for a full-time Integrator. You

will be responsible for implementing client sites based on Architecture

and Design Documents, including HTML/CSS, images, and integration with

Radiant Core’s Foundation Website Management Platform. You feel at home

in a self-directed team environment and love producing work that

pleases both you and your clients. You are comfortable building HTML in

a text editor, fixing cross-browser/platform rendering issues, and have

some amount of programming experience in either JSP, PHP, or ASP. You

understand the importance of web standards and are often heard

muttering about validation and cross-browser compliance testing.


You will work very closely with our Architects, Developers, and

Designers as a member of our Professional Services Team, reporting

directly to our Vice President, Professional Services. You will be

responsible for implementing client websites based on Architecture and

Design Documents, as well as ongoing work to improve our processes and

client services.

Required Skills/Education

  • One or more years experience designing and building

    standards-compliant websites (XHTML 1.0 Strict, CSS2.0) without the use

    of WYSIWYG editors as we hand-code our sites. We are not, at this time,

    hiring implementers who are not fluent in CSS2. Please do not apply for

    this position if you use tables to lay out your websites as your

    application will not be considered.

  • Experience in a client-service environment and an understanding of the politics of client work
  • Experience in design software and web tools (e.g.: Photoshop, Illustrator)
  • Knowledge of cross-browser and cross-platform issues and workarounds
  • Ability to work quickly and efficiently in a self-directed environment and a willingness to learn new things
  • Bachelor degree or equivalent from a related program
  • Knowledge of web programming in one or more of JSP/PHP/ASP
  • Experience with JavaScript

Bonus Points!

  • Experience with JSP specifically (rather than PHP/ASP)
  • Experience building dynamic websites based on Content Management Systems
  • Working knowledge of Macromedia Flash and ActionScript
  • Familiarity with team development environments including CVS, etc.


Compensation will be commensurate with your level of experience. Our

employees enjoy competitive pay, flexible hours, a prime downtown

location, and potential ownership opportunities. We are in the process

of finalizing our benefits package and stock plan.

How to Apply

Please send your resume, in an electronic format (e.g.: Microsoft Word,

PDF), along with a link to your portfolio site, to “careers at radiantcore dot com”. Please reference job code DEV02 in your

subject line.

It Happened to Me

My Housemate Went to Poland and all I Got Was This "Osama and Friends" Nesting Doll Set

Last weekend, my friend and former housemate Paul gave me a very eastern European gift — a set of matreshka (Russian nesting dolls) that he picked up during his summer visit to Poland and the Czech Republic. This was an unusual set — rather than the whey-faced women and girls typically depicted on such dolls, these had the Middle East’s most notorious characters:

  • Osama Bin Laden
  • Mullah Omar
  • Saddam Hussein
  • Yasser Arafat
  • Ayatollah Khomeini

Click the image to see a photo album of shots of this matreshka.

He wisely chose not to give them to me at my wedding, which took place in the United States. If American airport security found this in your carry-on luggage, I’d bet that your next stop would be the body cavity search room.

I took a few shots of the matreshka and put them in a photo album. You can view this album in album format or as a slideshow.


Archie Goes Goth

Excerpt from the 'Archie' comic 'She's Goth to Have It'.

The last panel will shock you!

It’s a little-known fact that your subculture is over the minute it becomes a plot point in an Archie Comic. In She’s Goth to Have It, Betty gets tired of being ignored by her friends and tries a new look to get their attention:

In the News

R.I.P., Porkins

Star Trek may have led to the term “red shirts”, but the expendable characters in Star Wars were more memorable. Most memorable of them all was Porkins (a.k.a. “Red Six”), played by William Hootkins, who passed away last weekend. Hootkins also played the crooked police lieutentant Echkardt in Tim Burton’s Batman and Frobisher in the Blackadder II episode “Beer”.

Photo: Porkins in the cockpit of his X-wing fighter.