You Say “Middle Age”, I Say “Mack Daddy Age”

Joey deVilla in a pimp outfitPhoto by Liz van Gerven.

I turn 43 today, and I don’t mind a single bit. My heels mind occasionally.

This article also appears in Global Nerdy.


An Itinerant Accordion Player at Halifax’s Lower Deck

lower deck 1

It’s become a tradition that whenever my coworkers and I are in Halifax to hold the TechDays conference, we head to the Lower Deck – one of this fine city’s drinking establishments — on the evening of Day 1. Regular readers of this blog will remember last year’s performance, where I joined the band for a Blue Rodeo number followed by a rousing rendition of Steppenwolf’s Born to be Wild.

lower deck 2

This year, Day 1 of TechDays is a long one for me. I arrive at the conference venue at 7:00 a.m. and help manage TechDays’ sessions, do presentations, meet with guests, ask questions and perform all manner of conference-related tasks until the conference day ends at 4:45 p.m.. Then I switch into “student gear”, preparing for the Go DevMental student conference, which runs from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. that evening, for which I did a 45-minute live-coding presentation on web development with WebMatrix, followed by another 45-minute live coding presentation on videogame programming for Windows Phone, followed by a roundtable discussion with computer science/computer programming faculty.

Our day ended at 10:00 p.m., after which we made a beeline to the Lower Deck for dinner upstairs (a great bowl of seafood chowder and curried mussels) and then headed downstairs for beer and live music.

lower deck 3

When we arrived at the bar, we were greeted with cheers by coworkers, conference staff and conference attendees, already well-lubricated with local draught.

“I spy an itinerant accordion player!” exclaimed the guitarist from the stage, and minutes later, I was performing a couple of traditional Irish folk/drinking tunes with the band. They were a great band to play with, a a friendly bunch. Thanks for the opportunity to jam, gentlemen!


I’m in Halifax This Week


I’m in Halifax to help run the TechDays conference, catch up with a couple of friends and with a modicum of luck, sample some of the city’s pub life.