Accordion, Instrument of the Gods

Happy World Accordion Day 2021!

It’s May 6th, and since 2009, this day has been designated World Accordion Day by the CIA! In this case, the CIA is not the Central Intelligence Agency, but the Confédération Internationale des Accordéonistes, the International Confederation of Accordionists, which was founded in 1935.

World Accordion Day was created to be “a unified global effort to celebrate and promote the Accordion”, which is something I can get behind. You can find out more about what’s going on today at or by checking out the 2021 World Accordion Day video below:

How I became the Accordion Guy

That’s an interesting story, and you can find it here.

A few performances

Here’s one with Seattle band The Beatniks at Safeco Field:

The accordion karaoke performance where I won an iPad:

Entertaining a delayed flight:

Internet Finds It Happened to Me Stranger than Fiction

The forklift safety training video I’ll never forget (and neither will you)

During the summer between high school and university, I landed a job at a warehouse where I was often required to drive a small electric forklift.

Prior to getting my 15 minutes of “training” on the use of the forklift, my manager and I sat in the break room and watched the mandatory safety video.

This “circular saw to the groin” scene could’ve come straight out of one of the Final Destination movies.
I can see the director calling for more red corn starch syrup.
I’m reminded of the song by ’80s synth-pop band Heaven 17: Crushed by the Wheels of Industry!

It was the 1980s, which was the golden age of gorehorror worker’s compensation workplace injury ads and videos in Ontario, and the one we watched took things to a red-corn-starch-syrup-soaked new level.

There’s a scene that’s forever seared into my memory. It starts with the Merry Prankster’s golden prize: an unattended forklift with the keys still in the ignition. A carefree teen decides to take it for a joyride, does a couple of donuts in the warehouse, and quickly loses control.

He plows the forks, which have been raised to the “halfway up” position (which you don’t do when the ’lift isn’t carrying anything), into an oh-so-fake wall:

Look out for the fake wall!

As if that isn’t bad enough, the lunchroom is on the other side of that wall, and so was someone who was just having lunch — he’s now just been forked from behind:

“Finally, I can enjoy my swiss and pastrami on ryAIEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!”

I remember going home that evening and thinking with great disbelief:  “Grown adults commissioned, wrote, and made that video. And got paid for it.

I’d forgotten about that video, and had even begun to think that I’d misremembered it — until this compilation started making the internet rounds. And yup, it features the “forked from behind” scene!

Once again, in case you missed it the first time:



Picture of Din Djarin (“The Mandalorian”) with the struck-out headings “May the 4th” and “Revenge of the 5th”, and below them, the final heading: “THIS IS THE MAY”
Thanks to Jeannie Cool for the find! Tap to view at full size.

While the expressions “May the Fourth be with you” and “Revenge of the Fifth” are quite good, nothing quite captures the badassery (and a whole month) like the expression “THIS IS THE MAY.”

The Current Situation

John Oliver’s fantastic piece on COVID-19 vaccines

If you watch only one YouTube video today, make it Last Week Tonight’s piece on COVID-19 vaccines, or at the very least, follow the advice that John Oliver gives at the end:

In researching this pieces, experts repeatedly told us that the vaccine-hesitant generally don’t respond well to hearing from politicians, celebrities, or athletes telling them to get the vaccine.

I’m not going to be able to convince the people in your life who are hesitant. The person with the best chance of doing that is…you.

So if you know someone who is worried for whatever reason and you want to convince them otherwise, don’t show them this video. But maybe do show them some of the information inside it to tell them yourself.

And when you are trying to do that, don’t dismiss or judge them for having doubts.

I think we should also popularize Oliver’s very apt description of Tucker Carlson:

Here’s the video:

Florida Stranger than Fiction Tampa Bay

When you move into Florida, a little bit of Florida moves into you

Tom Brady wearing a black suit, black hat, white shirt, polka dotted black tie, and pocket handkerchief. Caption reads “Tom Brady is dressed like he’d going to kill Roger Rabbit and the rest of Toontown”.
Thanks to Jeannie Cool for the find! Tap to view at full size.

But go ahead, Tom, you’ve earned it.

Tampa Bay

Seminole Heights sights you might have missed: The 24-hour “Ice ATM”

Seminole Heights’ seal, which depicts a two-headed alligatorIf you’ve ever driven south on Florida Avenue past Trip’s Diner, you may have seen the structure pictured below on the south end of Trip’s parking lot:

The automated ice dispensing station on Florida Avenue, as seen from the sidewalk through some palm trees.
Tap to view at full size.

It’s the local “Twice the Ice” ice vending machine, run by Ice House America, which boasts a network of more than 3,500 ice vending machines around this world. It’s automated, open 24 hours, and a convenience that I’ve overlooked until recently.

This one is Seminole Heights’ very own, where you can buy filtered water for 25 cents per gallon (3.8 liters) or  dispenser, a five gallon (about 19 liters) bag of ice for a dollar, or fill your cooler with 20 pounds (9 kilograms) of ice for $1.75.

A closer look at the automated ice dispensing station on Florida Avenue, as seen from the sidewalk.
Tap to view at full size.

I moved to the neighborhood two years ago, and on the rare occasions that I’ve had to purchase ice, I’ve been paying way too much for too little at the gas station like a chump. Later this year, when it’s time to have guests over for cocktails, I’m going to have make use of this machine’s services.

The Current Situation

Happy “Hitler Dead” Day!

Front page of the U.S. Armed Forces newspaper, Stars and Stripes, on May 2, 1945. Photo by Jeff Nyveen. Click here to see the source.

On this day in 1945, Hitler did the best thing he ever did. He killed Hitler. In his basement.

It’s a pity I have to point this out to some people, but here goes: “Hitler Dead” is a good thing.