Accordion, Instrument of the Gods It Happened to Me Slice of Life Work

Slice of Life: Official Photos from Techdays

For the TechDays conference’s stops in Vancouver and Toronto, Microsoft hired Vancouver-based photog extraordinaire Kris Krug to take photos of the Developer and Platform Evangelism team, which includes Yours Truly. The photos were taken during the conference, which meant that most of us were wearing the official TechDays shirts, which were colour-coded to match the conference track in which we were leading or participating. The track that I lead is Developing for the Microsoft-Based Platform, and its colour is orange. Luckily the folks who made the shirts had a pretty snappy shade of orange (the label refers to the colour as “Spark”) that I can rock.

Most of our photo shoot was on the promenade outside the Vancouver Convention Centre, looking out over the water. He just had me play tunes on the accordion while he shot photos, so they’re all pretty candid shots. Here’s one of the photos that Kris took of me.


There are more of me and the rest of the DPE team in Kris’ Flickr photoset.

This article also appears in Global Nerdy.

It Happened to Me Slice of Life

Slice of Life: Teppanyaki Onion Volcano

The scene: one of the tables at the teppanyaki restaurant Kobe in downtown Vancouver. We’d just wrapped up running the TechDays Vancouver conference and were having a celebratory dinner.

Here’s a classic bit of teppanyaki stagecraft, the onion volcano, getting put together:


Here’s chef Eric filling it with cooking oil as my co-worker Rick Claus looks on:


We have ignition…


…and banzai! I love Rick’s expression in the background. That’s an IT pro’s reaction to illumination from natural sources: “The light! It burns!”


It Happened to Me Slice of Life

Slice of Life: I See That Steamworks Carries My Favourite Magazine


Steamworks’ Gastown pub, located right by Vancouver’s waterfront, is falling distance from the Fairmont Waterfront hotel, which is where I usually stay when I’m flying in for business. They brew some tasty beer and serve great pub fare and in my experience the service goes above and beyond what you’d normally expect.

A couple of nights ago, I got rather, er, beerlarious at Steamworks and in the process managed to leave my camera there, along with its case. Luckily for me:

  • I keep a business card in my camera case
  • I set the “startup screen” on my camera to be a photo of a piece of paper on which I wrote my name, phone number and email address.

Steamworks left a message on my phone informing me that they found the camera and that I could pick it up when they opened the next day. The camera was assigned to me by Microsoft, and they saved me some hassle and the embarrassment of losing company property, so I must thank the fine people at Steamworks for finding it and letting me know! You’re definitely getting return business from me.

It Happened to Me Slice of Life

Slice of Life: Happy New Underwear Day!

Seen outside Smart Mouth Cafe in Vancouver’s Gastown neighbourhood:

Chalkboard sign outside Smart Mouth Cafe: "Welcome! It's new underwear day! Well, new to us."

It Happened to Me Slice of Life Work

Slice of Life: Working Away at the Smart Mouth Cafe

Rick Claus working at the bar at the front of the Smart Mouth Cafe, Gastown, Vancouver.

My co-worker Rick Claus (that’s him in the photo above) and I have spent the morning working on the final preparations for Microsoft Canada’s TechDays Vancouver conference at the Smart Mouth Cafe in Vancouver’s Gastown neighbourhood. It’s a rather nice place the work, the staff are friendly, the coffee’s pretty good, and the bar at the front offers a nice view of the street.

It Happened to Me Slice of Life

Slice of Life: Taco in a Bag!

The Ginger Ninja and I went back to the Canadian National Exhibition yesterday to catch the Superdogs, see the sights and sample some more so-bad-it’s-good food. One item on our list was Taco in a Bag, which many people speak of only in hushed tones.


Taco in a Bag is made by taking a bag of Doritos and giving it a couple of whacks to break the chips into smaller pieces. The bag is sliced open along one of its long sides and then the taco filling is added: ground beef, grated cheese, salsa, sour cream, guacamole and lettuce. You eat it right out of the bag with a fork. It’s like a Frito pie, but you can pretend it’s healthier because it has some lettuce.

It’s just one of the deliciously unhealthy items that the poutine place in the corner of the CNE’s Food Building serves. They also serve a number of different types of poutine. Here’s the left half of their menu:


The first two poutine items on the menu are:

  • The Lumberjack: French fries covered with gravy and cheese curds, sausages and a fried egg. I need to try this sometime.
  • The Canadian: French fries covered with gravy and cheese curds, topped with two strips of bacon.

Here’s the right half of the menu:


The poutine items on the right side of the menu are:

  • The Mexican: French fries covered in gravy and cheese curds, ground beef, salsa, guacamole, sour cream and jalapeno peppers.
  • The Traditional: Good ol’ fashioned poutine – just french fries covered in gravy, cheese curds and nothing else.

Getting back to Taco in a Bag – here’s what it looks like when you get it:


It just needs to be stirred up. Here’s what the first bite looks like:


It’s so dirtylicious. If you get the chance, try it. The CNE’s open until next Monday, so keep in mind that time’s running out.

Play Slice of Life Toronto (a.k.a. Accordion City)

Slice of Life: A Giant Cheque from HoHOTo

A couple of weeks ago, I attended the HoHOTo party and last week, I posted a “Slice of Life” photo from it. Here’s another, more important photo from HoHOTo: the giant cheque displaying the amount of money that was raised for the Daily Bread Food Bank: $10,500. Nicely done, folks!