It Happened to Me



Photo by Rannie “Photojunkie” Turingan.

Dad passed away peacefully at St. Joseph’s Health Centre on February 27, 2006. He was the devoted husband of Dr. Maria A. deVilla and the loving father of me and my sister and Eileen and father-in-law to my wife Wendy and Eileen’s husband Richard. He was also the beloved grandfather of Aidan, Nicholas, and Ryan, who knew him as “Dodo” (their mispronounciation of the Tagalog word for grandfather, lolo) and the adored brother to Thelma Leelin, Regina Morabe, Elizabeth de Villa and the late Scarlet Santos.

Born in San Juan, Batangas, Philippines, he studied at Ateneo de Manila and the University of the Philippines. He trained in the U.S. then lived and practiced medicine in Toronto for over 30 years.

Dad was a friendly, outgoing, and generous man. He was devoted to work and family and was a pillar of the community, playing key roles in the Filipino Centre Toronto and the Filipino Canadian Medical Association. He touched the lives of the many patients he cared for as an obstetrician-gynecologist to the many friends and associates who sought his wise counsel, and to his family who love him and will miss him dearly.

The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century will return to its regular blogging schedule on Monday, March 13th.

In the News

"Amish Teen Fined for Wiretapping"

It reads like a headline from The Onion, but apparently it’s a true story.

Accordion, Instrument of the Gods It Happened to Me

Appearing Friday on YTV’s “The Zone”

I recorded 4 in-between-show segments for the YTV show The Zones “Musical Week” with my accordion this afternoon, and they went quite well. The hosts, Sugar and Carlos, are just as warm and friendly as they are on TV, as were the staff and crew. If you’ve got access to a TV set between 4:00 p.m. and 6 p.m. tomorrow, tune in to catch some accordion action.


Toronto Ruby on Rails Pub Night: Monday March 13th

[via David Crow] First, a quote from Nat Torkington, an editor at O’Reilly and program chair for the O’Reilly Open Source Conference:

Ruby on Rails is astounding. Using it is like watching a kung-fu movie,

where a dozen bad-ass frameworks prepare to beat up the little newcomer

only to be handed their asses in a variety of imaginative ways.”

Which in turn inspired this little bit of Photoshoppery:

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk about Accordion City, Ruby on Rails and our lively tech scene. Ryan McMinn from Unspace posted to the Rails mailing list (which I really should join) about having a Toronto Ruby on Rails pub night on Monday March 13th at 7:00 p.m. at the popular local brew pub C’est What (located at 67 Front St. East). Here’s what the posting says:

Spread the word! The inaugural Toronto Rails pub nite will be an opportunity to meet the folks

working on Rails in your community. There will be plenty of opportunity to discuss projects you’re

involved with, recruit talent, and even find out what all of the fuss is about!

Unspace wants to support the growing Rails community here, but we felt that a user group was too

formal, stuffy, and intimidating to those that are new to Ruby and Rails. Instead, the best opportunity

for advocacy is something where people can make friends and have fun in an informal setting.

We also welcome people who are working with other, similar technologies. If you are open minded and like

to discuss how we can all create better sites, come share a pint.


case you can’t make this one, it looks as though it’s going to be

monthly happening — the next one’s already been scheduled for Monday,

April 17th.

Toronto (a.k.a. Accordion City)

Design Slam This Saturday

The local BarCamp phenomenon doesn’t stop with DemoCamp (see this entry about the last one). The next event takes place this Saturday: Design Slam, or SlamCamp!

If you’ve got friends in the black turtleneck crowd or move among their number, you’re probably familiar with the concept of a poetry slam: a live event in which poets read or perform their work, which is then rated by the audience.

A design slam is something along the same lines, except it’s about technology rather than poetry. Attendees will be randomly grouped into “agencies”, who will then be presented with a problem by a fictitious company. They’ll be given a set block of time to design and pitch their idea to the company, who will then choose the winning proposal.

As with DemoCamp, there a few rules and they are simple:

  1. Bring your brain. You’re going to need it.
  2. No computers! This is about design, not implementation. Real design, as the design slam web page astutely notes, is done with your brains and your peers.

Here are the details:

  • Date: Saturday, February 25, 2006
  • Time: 2:30 – 6:00. awards ceremony to follow. Drinks afterwards for those so inclined.
  • Location: Navantis, Inc. 21 Randolph Avenue, Toronto, ON
  • Expected Attendance: All are welcome! Please add yourself to the Attendees list below so we have some idea of the size of the crowd.
  • Format: 30 minute Client Presentation, 2 hours of Slamming, 1 hour of Team Presentations
  • Drinks, snacks and Lunch Provided:
  • Sponsors: We need sponsors for things like the Slam

    consumables – flipchart paper, markers, etc as well as prizes for the

    top teams. Email mmilan at if you think you can help out with any of these.

It Happened to Me

“No Photos” Policies and Diane Duane’s “Wizards” Books

I never understand the twisted logic of many retail stores’ “no cameras” policies. They don’t make sense within the context of a place that is open to the public, even if it’s not publicly owned.

A couple of years back, I caught heat from IKEA for taking a snapshot of some of their toys, Urban Outfitters has given me heat for seeing what I look like in a hat with a self-portrait and someone at a Home Depot once thought I was dictating prices into a portable tape recorder (I was actually talking to Cory using the then-new walkie-talkie feature of my cellphone).

The last such incident of this sort took place last summer at the Runnymede and Bloor branch of the retail book chain Chapters, where I saw my friend Diane Duane’s Young Wizards series of books on prominent display. I often carry my camera with me and decided to take a photo to send to her.

“Excuse me, sir,” said a young woman in a golf shirt with a Chapters logo, “but you’re not allowed to…hey, don’t I know you? You’re the guy from the party with the accordion!”

After some brief re-introductions, I told her that I knew Diane Duane and have actually met gone out drinking with both her and her husband, Peter Morwood, she decided that it would be all right — “just this once” — to take the photo. The photo’s since been sitting in my “to be blogged” folder for some time, so here it is at long last.

This is yet another preamble for yet another story that Boing Boing caught first. I thought it was still worthy of blogging since Diane is a friend and I thought it would be nice to promote her work.

Cory wrote:

The first two volumes of the Feline Wizards trilogy drew a sizable

audience, but not enough to convince Diane’s publisher to pay her to write book three. Over the years, an anxious audience has demanded a conclusion to the series, so back in December, Diane posted an open question to her blog: would her readers support her if she finished the trilogy without a publisher?


The answer’s been a resounding yes — one reader’s even gone so far as to offer a $1,000 matching grant to Diane toward the completion of the book.

For more details, see Diane’s entry about the subject in her blog, Out of Ambit.

Toronto (a.k.a. Accordion City)

Robot Johnny’s TTC Anagram Map

It’s already been covered on BoingBoing, but I thought a Toronto-based blog like this one should mention John “Robot Johnny” Martz’s map of Toronto’s subway system with the station names replaced by anagrams of said names. It was inspired by a similar map made of the London Underground (whose creators have received a cease-and-desist notice from the don’t-know-fandom-when-they-see-it Underground’s lawyers).