Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Post 3952 - Wednesday Night Thingies

Hello again.

I am now 57 years old. No. I don't know where the years went. No. I don't know what I have to show for these advanced years. Whatever your question is, the answer is no.

The birthday on the 23rd was nice, though. We went to Mother's Pizza at the Hydrostone. I had the kitchen sink pizza, which as you might expect has a little bit of everything in it. On a nice thin crust with not a crazy amount of sauce, it was nothing short of delicious. Patricia had the tapenade pizza, which is a near-meatless pizza, and she loved it as well. There were quite a few slices left over, and we grazed on some of them on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, we went to pick up our new CPAP machines. They, plus our masks, were fully covered by our insurance, which made us happy.  Here it is.


From there, we meandered over to Tantallon, there to meet up with Laszlo Lichter, to pick up a copy of his book about growing up in Hungary after the war. He used to be the mayor of the old county of Halifax, years before amalgamation. It was a lightning quick transaction. We identified ourselves. I gave him the money. We took our leave.

We met in the parking lot of Vernon's Diner in Hammonds Plains, so we decided to have dinner there. It was burger night, so we indulged, and enjoyed them very much. A shared piece of chocolate cake capped off a pretty good meal. 

From there we returned to Tantallon to get a few groceries before driving to the Sobeys in Timberlea to get something else, which wasn't there. 

We have spent the last few hours watching "Name That Tune", which confounds us with its simplicity, but is still really hard to guess, as we don't know many of the songs they play. Others, we know them, but can't name them before the contestants do. 

It is the end of another day. If I were still working, I would be exhausted after three days of working, without having had the benefit of a CPAP machine to combat the sleep Apnea I have suffered from for years now. Now, I am retired, and can focus on my health in a way I didn't but should have all along. 

On Thursday, we may, or may not, go for another drive. If it is a good day, then perhaps a trip to Peggy's Cove is in the offing. We'll see.

You all have a good evening. Talk at you on Thursday.


Monday, February 22, 2021

Post 3951 - Monday Night Fun Times!

Welcome to Monday evening. 

I know it is Monday because of the tv shows that were on. "Bob Hearts Abishola" is a dead giveaway that it is Monday in these here parts. Grateful it has already been renewed for season three or I would have to guess what day it was. You understand.

Hey, my CPAP machine reported that my AHI's were 4.7 last night. A shocking number for me. The numbers have been trending down the last several days. Very pleased by that, and hope that this continues. Other people have been telling me that when they're having a bad night, their numbers are 1.5 or less. I am not sure if I will ever get to that point. Something to try for.

We spent a few hours today watching "Tell me your Secrets" on Amazon Prime. AP is the red-headed stepchild of the streaming services. Amazon itself provides a pretty seamless delivery model, but their streaming service is subpar at best. There are a few good shows on AP, but there is an awful lot of crap, too. They need to decide whether to invest in the service and spend Netflix or Disney-type money on programming, or sell off the service to someone with pockets deep enough to provide the type of programming we all want during this pandemic.

We literally didn't leave the house today. Tomorrow is my birthday. Unless there is a storm or something, we will be going out to dinner, to one of those gourmet pizza places in the North End. They have a pizza literally called "The Kitchen Sink", which has a little bit of everything on it. It is really good, and I am looking forward to it. 

I will be... I may as well say it, 57 years old. I am not sure what I have to show for it. I am retired from a job I held for 26.5 years. After a year plus, I can look back and remember some of the good times, but there were plenty of disappointments as well. Times I was lied to and the time when someone said I was stupid and useless. I could go on and on, but it accomplishes nothing and serves only to bring me down, when that is the last thing I need right now. 

I retired at a good time. I hope to have many more good years ahead of me. I have a guaranteed income for the rest of my life. Life could be worse. It could be better, but it could be worse. I am trying to look on the good side. Beats the alternative.

"Bob Hearts Abishola" is about to start. I think I will draw this post to a close and wish you all a pleasant evening. I love you all.

 All... 5.3 of you.


Sunday, February 21, 2021

Post 3950 - Sunday Night Frolics

It is late. Very late. Past midnight.

My sleep pattern is such these days that I stay up late most nights now. It is not like I have to get up early in the morning or anything. Indeed, I could sleep in until noon every day if I wanted to. Sometimes, if I am not feeling well or something, I do. It is not a good habit to get into.

Today we enjoyed some telly. Patricia made a lovely salmon dinner with asparagus which tasted nearly as good as the salmon. It means my pee will smell funny for a day or so, but it is a price well worth paying. 

Patricia asked me earlier tonight what was on tap for Monday. I told her that I want to pick up where I left off on Sunday, cleaning up the recroom a bit. 

I finally found a book I had misplaced during the flood when it was put in a box with other stuff. I was cursing myself for misplacing it, as the book has always meant so much to me. I have told you about it before, but here is the cover:

It is the very same book, the same copy, that I picked up around May of 1988. I had just moved to the city from the Valley. I was trying to find my way around the big city of Dartmouth, where I was living at the time. 55 Dahlia Street, furnished apartments. Hated the place. But I digress.

I drove around one Sunday morning and found the Pennhorn Mall fleamarket. I had been to Pennhorn Mall in 1986 when I had worked with a fella at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography and had had to drive him home. Robin Wylie, that man's name was, and he was a hoot. But I digress.

I went to the fleamarket, which occupied pretty much all the floor space of the mall, as this was before the days of Sunday shopping, and the stores could not open. I picked up a few things and decided to leave to go back home. I was heading for the door and walked past a vendor selling paperbacks. For whatever reason, my eyes landed on the above book. The guy only wanted 50 cents for the thing, and I bought it. 

I may write about true crime for Frank Magazine, but I don't read it all that much. However, I got that book and went back to my crappy old apartment and cracked open the book. 

It scared the hell out of me.

I had just moved to the city. Didn't know many people. Weekends I didn't have much going on and had nobody to play with. I was as single as the number one at a number one convention where no other number one's show up. And this book, extremely well written by Derrick  Murdoch, picked me up and carried me through the next 240 pages, with chapters about people who had gone missing in Canada, and how they were mostly found, and usually quite dead. Murdoch's writing style captivated me. I kept looking behind me as I read it, convinced that someone was going to bash me over the head and carry me off to a fate similar to some of the victims in this magnificent book.

I later learned that Murdoch was a founding member of the CWC, the Crime Writers of Canada, of which I am now a proud professional member, and that there is an award given out in his honour every couple of years. Murdoch wrote about crime literature for the  Globe and Mail for quite a couple of decades and died in the mid 1980's. I would like to find some of those columns some day. But I digress.

I have told people about this book for years. As I moved from place to place, and aged and moved around some more, that book has always come with me, but not always in a way that would make you think I respected it. It would go into a box and be forgotten about, sometimes for years at a time. I had been looking for the book lately and knew it would turn up. On Sunday afternoon, it did. 

On Monday I will place it on a bookshelf in such a way that it should - should! - not be misplaced again. The book has meant so much to me and has informed my own approach to writing true crime. In my own small, pathetic way, I want to do right by Derrick Murdoch, to approach my articles with the sensitivity he employed and as clumsily as I can, write with some degree of style and panache. You can decide if I have succeeded at any level. I am too close to the process to gauge for myself. 

Yeah, a book I bought in 1988 for fiddy cents and which I have kept all these years is that important to me. I consider it the best true crime book ever written in this country, and it is out of print and unjustly forgotten. Makes me a little sad, but it happens all the time. It is not like anybody will remember my cold case series five years after I finish it.

On that happy note, I will turn in for the evening. Been a long day doing not much.

See you on Monday.


Saturday, February 20, 2021

Post 3949 - Saturday Afternoon Stuff

Hello once again.

I don't  know what to say about the keyboard on this laptop. Some days, a couple of the keys don't work. Today, it is fine. I can type in as many 888888's as I want. Other days, it is like pulling teeth on an elephant to get just one. 

I have been pricing laptops this past couple of weeks. I use it more than I do my desktop downstairs, and can print from this laptop to my printer downstairs as I choose. 

The other day I picked up my mail and a replacement keyboard was waiting for me. Sent from the other side of the earth. It arrived all bent out of shape. The keys have a flimsy feel. There is no "pencil eraser" pointing device on it, not that I use it much anyway. I cannot return the thing, so I am stuck with it. 

So I started looking for a newer laptop. Even a $500 "refurbished" (there's that word again!) would be leagues better than this machine, which is quite old. I am of two minds about this. Spend the money, or try to coax a bit more life out of this machine, which otherwise works fine. 

We are still thinking about whether to remain in the Halifax area or not. Selling Casa Bevboy would not be difficult. It is in a location that would make it attractive to many. Plus, there are new doors and windows throughout, and a pretty magnificent new deck out back, as well as  pretty good veranda out front, not to mention a "refurbished" (grr!) set of side steps. But there is such an undersupply of houses in the Halifax area, and what there is is expensive, that we are either stuck here or will have to consider moving to another part of the province. Which we might do.

People are stopping me on the street and at Sobeys and at the Guardian Drugstore and asking me about how Newbie is doing. He is pretty good today. I checked the upstairs litterbox a couple of hours ago. There was... good evidence of activity in there, if you catch my drift. As a result, Newbie is running around like a crazy person and is on my lap while I am using this computer. He is staring up at me with... well, I am not sure it is love. He is a cat, after all, so the best I can hope for is moderate tolerance. The special stuff we are putting in our food seems to be doing its job. All good. Thank you for asking.

Also, my AHI's according to my CPAP machine were at 5 over night. Slightly better than Thursday night, which makes me happy. 

Tonight, we will have the fish dinner we did not have on Friday. The lives we lead!

You have a good rest of the day. Talk at you tomorrow.




Friday, February 19, 2021

Post 3948 - Friday Night Stuff

 Well, hello again, my lovelies.

I didn't write on Thursday because I was dog-tired by 9:30pm. I turned in for the night and pretty much slept for the next 12 hours. I was stressed over Newbie's visit to the vet on Thursday afternoon.

The little tyke is in pretty good shape for a 14.5 year old cat. He is on a kidney-friendly diet and is a bit bunged up, so a gentle laxative, the same a human would use but in a dramatically smaller dose, is being given to him twice a day. We are hoping it will bear... fruit... shortly. 

I also got him some new food, also kidney friendly. He has been turning his hose up at the Iams stuff lately for some reason. He has been interested in wet food as well, so I got him a bag of kibble along with a case of wet food, which he likes a whole bunch. 

He was good at the vet's, even though getting him there was a chore. Rounding him up for his carrier is always an adventure. Patricia distracted him while I got the carrier, which he somehow sensed I was fetching. She scooped him up and I nudged him in and closed the door. He mewled the whole time. But he was quiet at the vet's. When they took him out for his tests, they took the following picture, which they sent to me on Friday afternoon:

All swaddled and everything. They were so taken with him that they want to put him up on the animal hospital's Facebook page, but sought my permission first. i said it was okay with me if it was okay with Newbie. I made a point of asking him, while the receptionist laughed. When I got Newbie's "permission", it was a go. 

While the ordeal took a lot out of Newbie, it seemed to take more out of me. Even if you put aside the financial outlay, which I didn't mind because Newbie is my buddy, the stress affected us both. He took to his new food but was otherwise standoffish for the rest of the evening, although he was fine on Friday. He is in fact literally looking over my right shoulder here on the chair as I type these humble, sub-par words for your enjoyment and edification. 

Friday, we returned to the vet's to get a case of the wet food as I had only purchased one can on Thursday. Then we went to Bedford Common, there to check out the Value Village and Tomavo's stores before grabbing a bite at the Sunnyside  Restaurant in Bedford.

Long-time Halifax people would know that Sunnyside was the original name of that part of Bedford. I do not know when Bedford took over that area, but there are still vestiges of the old name, such as the restaurant, and Sunnyside Mall, as well as the office building next door to the restaurant, Sun Tower, which almost certainly got its name from its proximity to Sunnyside. 

Anyway, the restaurant left much to be desired. In these Covid times, the menu was much reduced from my last visit there, some 30 years ago. The cheeseburger was okay. The fries were addictive. The water was wet. Patricia said she liked the meatloaf. She paid for the meal as my birthday is coming up. 

We drove up through Hammonds Plains to Tantallon to the Superstore, where we got some salmon, on sale this week, along with some other food. I got some cash at the credit union on the way home, and then we drove back to Casa Bevboy. Newbie was waiting for us, wondering where the hell we had been, and why we were late feeding him. 

The evening has gone by quickly, as they always seem to. 

Another week gone. This retirement thing is interesting, especially during a pandemic. The only reason I know what day it is, is because of what tv shows are on, on a given evening. If they ever switched, say, The Masked Singer to another night, we are lost as to what the day is. Such things keep me up at night.

But not tonight. It's one am, and I should turn in. So, I will.

See you tomorrow.




Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Post 3947 - Wednesday Night Stuff

Hey, another day not doing much.

I did go to Sobeys on Wednesday afternoon. When the store opened in 2019, it was a Godsend. Saved us the trouble of driving into Bayer's Lake, or going to Tantallon to get victuals. Not that these are that far away, but rather that the Sobeys is much closer and convenient to get to.

We had a nice chicken dinner and stayed in and watched television again. 

Retirement is an interesting experience. I left my civil service job because it was getting to me. No job is worth the destruction of one's mental health, and I found mine getting worse and worse. Things came to a head for me in October of 2019, when I finally sent my manager an email that had languished as a draft for several days. This was after I had mailed in my retirement papers to the Pension people. 

I do not regret retirement, but I do second guess the decision sometimes. I could have stayed and "padded the pension" as the saying goes, but I have virtually no debt and the pension pays all the bills quite comfortably. Not having to get up at the crack of dark was nice, too. 

But I admit that if I had known that the world was going to hell in 2020, I would have hung around a bit longer. 



Oh, well. Did I tell you that I have no debt, and the pension pays all the bills quite nicely? Good.

On Thursday, I'll call the vet. Newbie has been losing weight lately, and we are becoming a bit concerned. He still runs around and meows and mewls and everything,  and still uses the litter box with a Dionysian abandon, and drinks water aplenty, but even so, he is getting lighter and eating less. Worth a trip to the vet.

I will try not to worry unless and until I have to. 

I think I will turn in. Want to get up at a decent hour in the morning.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Post 3946 - Tuesday Night

Hello again, my lovelies.

It is pushing 11:30. Slept in this morning. My ahi's on my CPAP machine were 10.7 over night. While a big improvement over the 43 I had a few months ago, it is still off putting to me. I would like to see it every night, below five incidents per hour. 

We didn't do much today. Schools were cancelled. We didn't go anywhere. I only went outside to take out the garbage at seven this morning. I was otherwise in the house all day. 

I still think about that house in Timberlea that we looked at on Friday. If that is the kind of house you get for $250, 000, then I don't know what I have to say. The basement was nearly impossible to access. The stairs were more like a ladder going nearly straight down. I looked around in the basement for maybe five seconds and then went right back up. We left a moment later. The house will probably sell. There is such demand for properties these days that nothing remains on the market for long. But I can't imagine they'll get close to what they're asking for. 

Here. See it for yourself

We will likely remain in this place for some time to come. There is no place for us to go to at a price we can manage, and there are certain amenities we insist upon, which we mostly have now. Giving up any of those things is not something that we want to do. You understand.

Wednesday we both have things to work on. Whether we do them or not is a really good question.

I think I will turn in.

See you tomorrow.