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

Slice of Life: Playing Accordion on a Calgary Street Corner

Rodney Buike took this photo of me on Tuesday evening. I look as if I should be backing up Tom Waits or playing in a cojunto band:

playing accordion in calgary

Geek It Happened to Me

Scenes from TechDays Calgary

I – along with a good chunk of Microsoft Canada’s Developer and Platform Evangelism team – am in Calgary for the fourth leg of the TechDays Canada seven-city tour. TechDays Calgary is taking place in the BMO Centre on the Calgary Stampede grounds. Wanting to be a good guest, I decided to observe a local custom:

joey devilla

I haven’t worn my flaming cowboy hat in ages!

As far as I can tell, I’m the only attendee who brought a cowboy hat. The only other similarly-haberdashed people on the premises are the Calgary Stampede staff and the washroom signs:

washroom signs

There are a number of Christmas-related events taking place at the BMO Centre before and after TechDays, so the place is all decked out for Christmas:

nutcracker and tree

The isn’t a Santa Claus on site, but we do have IT Pro Evangelist Rick Claus delivering goodies:

rick claus

…and Rick’s session has drawn quite a crowd:

ricks room

ricks room 2

Another well-attended session was Introducing ASP.NET MVC, which was delivered by Tom Opgenorth:

tom opgenorth

Here’s the ASP.NET MVC room, already filling up a full 15 minutes before the start of the day:

asp net mvc room from stage

Tom ended up speaking to a room packed to maximum capacity:


The people who couldn’t fit into the ASP.NET MVC sessions were still able to catch the proceedings on a monitor outside the room:

asp net mvc overflow

Meanwhile, next door, Developer Evangelist John Bristowe delivered the Practical Web Testing presentation:

john bristowe

And one door over, Adam “Adam Bomb” Carter (the first guy to suggest to me that I get a job at Microsoft) spoke at the Inside the Application Compatibility Toolkit 5.5 session:

adam carter

Here’s a scene from the speaker prep room that reminded me of the Sesame Street song One of These Things is Not Like the Other:

speaker room

“Look! I’m at a conference, watching the proceedings of another conference!”

john bristowe watches PDC stream

And just outside the speaker prep room, Rob Burke and D’Arcy Lussier chat:

rob burke darcy lussier

Things seem to be going well, if IT Pro Evangelist and TechDays man-in-charge Damir Bersinic’s thumbs-up is any indication:


And down the hall, the Ford Flex featuring Microsoft’ Ford Sync technology awaits some passengers:

ford sync

Someday, arranging for conference wireless will not be an arduous, expensive affair, but in the meantime, we set up these hard-wired internet access stations. Note the anti-bacterial lotion beside the laptop – a sign of these H1N1 times. If I’d had any foresight, I’d have bought a lot of Purell stock:

internet station

This article also appears in Canadian Developer Connection and Global Nerdy.