Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Post 3548 - Fun Times

Pushing 10:30pm.

Another uneventful day at work. Patricia had a rough day. On the way home, she kept saying she wanted to eat read meat for dinner. Steak. Bloody. We went to Costco and picked up some steaks and went home. I cooked steaks with mushrooms, probably overcooking them, but Patricia ate hers anyway.

I ended up washing the dishes. By this time, it was 9pm. I showered and primped my hair. It looks pretty good tonight. Pretty, pretty, pretty, good.

Unbeknownst to me, my editor at Frank mailed me my cheque late last week. It arrived today, unexpected. It actually reminded me of the time I read an introduction to a set of Stephen King short stories. As a young man, he would write short stories for magazines featuring women who were, as my art professor in university called it, "undraped". As smutty as these magazines were, they also published fiction, mostly horror and crime related; and many up-and-coming writers sold their stories to them. They were an important source of revenue, now almost completely dried up, to many writers back in the day. They paid on publication, not on acceptance, so in many cases, the writers would only know their stories had been published when they got the cheque in the mail.  Stephen King stated in that introduction to "Skeleton Crew" that those cheques came in very handy. He could pay the phone bill or buy medicine for one of his kids or what have you.

I don't have kids. My phone bill is paid up. But the money I get from Frank is most welcome and appreciated. And they also pay on publication, but I get paid for my work on a monthly basis. If I write something during the month, and it is published that same month, I get a cheque by the 30th, or even a few days earlier, reflecting that work.

I still remember the time, many years ago, when I had to run around to get a pay cheque at the place I was working for a short time. I felt I was begging for the cheque. And the guy who sifted through other cheques to find mine gave me the impression he was doing me a favour, that I was inconveniencing him somehow. I never felt so debased in my life up to that point, or even since. I will never forget that smarmy little so-and-so.

My latest Frank media column is taking shape. I have had to conduct some little interviews as research for a topic for that column. Another interview subject came forward this evening, and I look forward to what that person has to say on this topic. I am hoping that the subject matter will prove interesting to my readers. We will see.

I think I will turn in. See you tomorrow.


Monday, April 24, 2017

Post 3547 - Monday Night

Well, Bevboy feels foolish.

I wrote Sunday night's blog post, but I forgot to publish it. I apologize for that. I was wondering why people didn't write and praise me for its beauty and elegance. Now, I know.

So, you get two blog posts today. How much will you pay now?

First day back to work, man. A long day. I did hear that my editor was pleased with my latest true crime article. It will likely go up in next week's Frank. I will keep you posted. I think it is one of my better articles, and I hope you agree.

I have begun researching a topic for my latest Frank media column. It may cause me some grief and aggravation when it goes up, but that is something that Frank loves, and the topic is something that I have wondered about for a very long time. Now, I have the sources at my disposal to answer the question more effectively than I ever could before I had the column. I hope to get some answers to that question in the coming 48 hours. You will know what I mean when that column is published next week.

Sorry to be so enigmatic, but that content, you have to pay for. Enigmas are free, though.

I think I will turn in. You take care of yourselves and enjoy the "extra" blog post.

See you tomorrow.


Post 3546 - Another Couple of Days Later

Past 10:30.

I didn't write yesterday, natch. Sorry about that. I spent a full six hours at the Nova Scotia Archives, looking for information about unsolved murders and missing persons cases. I found information about a murder that I had forgotten about. A quick look at the Halifax police website page that lists and discusses the unsolved crimes tells me that this particular case is still outstanding. It is now on my list to track down information about.

I also found out some radio information whilst at the archives. Some historical information, to be exact. Something you will find nowhere else. I look forward to sharing it with you, in the next issue of Frank.

Saturday night, we tried to binge watch a couple of shows, with varying degrees of success. We finished season one of "Shut Eye". There were plot holes in it I could drive my KIA through. The final plan concocted by the main characters worked in spite of their best efforts, not because of them. A disappointment in a show that mostly wasn't.

"Chance", starring Hugh Laurie of "House" fame, was monotonous. Too precious by far, and slower paced than a postal worker on Valium swimming through a vat of molasses. We watched the pilot and we're done.

"Imposters" captivated us. It's about a couple of grifters who make a few mistakes and the ones they ripped off come after them. Throw in another "mark" who is stealing from the grifters' boss, divided loyalties, cons conning each other back and forth, and the law not far behind, and you have a terrific show. We were up until 2:30 Sunday morning watching it. We finished the last three episodes this afternoon.

"National Treasure" stars Robbie Coltrane as an aging comedian who gets accused of sexual assault by much younger women. It was a four part series that should have been a three part series, maybe a two and a half part series. We finished watching it this evening.

My editor at Frank told me last week that he thought I was a workaholic. I told him that there is little else I enjoy more than binge watching tv shows, or reading a book on my front deck.  But if he wants to think this I won't stop him...

Another short vacation is over. Back to work in the morning. The time away from work whizzes by at a rate that is totally unfair. I know that my work day will crawl along at a very unsatisfactory rate.

On that note, I will bid you adieu. See you tomorrow.


Friday, April 21, 2017

Post 3545 - A Couple Days Later...

Pushing midnight on Friday.

I am not sure what happened to me. I wrote my blog post Wednesday night after sending in the first draft of my latest true crime piece for Frank. I was keyed up, so I stayed up and watched The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.

I should re-word that.

Trevor Noah was not with me while I watched the show that he is the star of. I was alone watching the program entitled The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. Understand now?

Anyway, after that was over, I turned in, but was still keyed up. I guess spending most of my Wednesday contemplating, discussing, and writing about local unsolved murders took an emotional toll on me. I awoke Thursday morning with a migraine. Eating something didn't help, so I returned to bed. Other than a few trips to the bathroom, and alternating between the bed and my recliner, I didn't get up until nearly 8pm. By that time, my headache was finally gone. Watched some tv with Patricia and slept yet more.

I got up earlier today than I did on Thursday. Cooked breakfast for both of us. My editor read the draft of what I sent him Wednesday night and asked for a few changes, which I was happy to make. I made those changes and sent him the revised article around 4pm, well ahead of next week's deadline. That done, I can start work on my media column, whose deadline will be Wednesday or Thursday of next week. I also need to carve out some time to start writing my next true crime piece. I have two hours or more of audio files that I recorded at dinner Wednesday night. I lost my Thursday. Hope to make up some of that time over the weekend, after I return from my Saturday trip to the Archives.

We return to work Monday morning. No idea where the time off has gone. I mean, I spent 40% of that time off asleep, I guess that accounts for quite a bit of time there.

Here's something. Earlier today I decided to take a really old laptop out of mothballs and try to get it running again. It's a Dell latitude D410. A 12 inch laptop workhorse that started giving me a hard time about six months ago. A TPM error, which I have learned is related to a security module in the bios. I booted it up with some effort and turned off the TPM security, and it reluctantly started up. I ran it for a while, and then shut it down.

It would not boot back up again. I went online with another laptop and learned that if you press the Fn button and then power, it goes into a diagnostic mode. It did, and after a bit more fiddling I got it up and running again. I keep getting the TPM warning message and press f1 and it starts up the OS. I am writing this blog post on that old computer.

I am not sure how to get around the TPM warning or it that is the new normal. The OS I am running is 7 years old, so maybe if I put on a newer distro of Linux, like Mint or something, then maybe the problem will go away. A problem for another day.

I think I will turn in. I have a busy day on Saturday.

See you then.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Post 3544 - A Rough Day

Past midnight, into Thursday.

I didn't write on Tuesday because my body pretty much shut down around supper time. We had run the roads for quite a few hours. Patricia had a doctor's appointment. I had an appointment with my tax accountant in Dartmouth. Trips to thrift stores along the way. Our first trip to Princess Auto was on Tuesday as well. We even ate at the restaurant next door, a place called Smokie's. Pretty good for what it was.

By the time we got home, we were so tired that we decided to take a "short nap", which ended up being the entire night

I got up ahead of Patricia Wednesday morning and resumed transcribing pieces of an interview I conducted a week ago. I finish that task around noon and printed it off. That done, I went through it all and noted the things I found most interesting.

I didn't have time to write the article until later on this evening because we had to meet with the family of a man who was murdered quite a few years ago. They were a delight to meet and provided plenty of good stories about this fine man.

We got a few items at the superstore in Tantallon before returning home. I retired down here to my home office, backed up the audio files I recorded tonight, wrote a few emails, and then wrote a draft of the true crime piece I mentioned earlier. That has been sent to my editor, who has been looking forward to reading a new true crime article from me for a month or more.

Thursday I will start work on the next true crime piece, basing it on the material I recorded this evening.

Hard to believe I am on vacation this week. I promise to have some fun this weekend.

Think I will turn in.

See you tomorrow, my lovelies.


Monday, April 17, 2017

Post 3543 - A Working Vacation

Easter Monday is nearly over.

Apparently, some people are offended by the very notion of the phrase "Easter Monday". They don't understand why some folks get that day off, while others have to report to work. My understanding has always been that since Easter Sunday is a holiday, it is "observed" if you will, the next day. But lots of companies and businesses and retail outlets do not respect that policy.

When I was a student at Acadia University, perhaps because of its Baptist roots, it did not acknowledge Easter Monday as a day off work or away from classes or even exams. I probably wrote some exams on Easter Monday during my time there. I do know that Good Friday would be a day away from work, from classes, and even exams. Then, Saturday, exams aplenty. I may even have written an exam on a Saturday evening between Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

When I graduated university and started working for a living, my company gave us Easter Monday off. I just assumed it was the way things were. Then, I learned that white collar workers at the phone company were expected to work on that day. Radio stations had live morning shows today with the regular hosts. Even CTV, which loves its stat holidays, had their regular two hours of news and public affairs this evening.

I don't get it.

Anyway, we had a relaxing day. I was up until 2 o'clock this morning, so I slept in, but not as late as I could have. Got up and ate something. After lunch, I spent some time preparing for my meeting with my tax accountant Tuesday afternoon. Then, I worked on a true crime article for the next Frank.  Still not done with the prep work on that article. Will finish it on Tuesday and write a draft on Wednesday. Hence the title of this blog post: "Working Vacation".

Tonight we watched a couple episodes of hulu's "Shut Eye" before catching the most recent episode of "Feud". Only one more episode to go. Patricia was asking me if there would be a season two. I doubt it. Joan Crawford died in 1977, about 12 years after the events of this week's "Feud". Bette Davis lived until 1989, and managed to work until nearly the end. I am not sure what they could do for a second season. Maybe they will have a different "Feud" every season. That would be smashing.

Tomorrow will be busy. I plan to get up quite early to take out the garbage, shower, work on the true crime article, and then hit the road mid morning. Good times await.

See you tomorrow, my lovelies.


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Post 3542 - Easter Sunday

Hi. Two am on Monday morning, the 17th.

Didn't write on Saturday. We ran the roads, ending up in Spryfield where Patricia got some nice clothes at the Sally Ann and the Frenchy's. The other thrift store in Spryfield was not open. I have to wonder what kind of banker's hours they keep, anyway.

We watched some shows on Plex and Netflix that evening. Turned in.

Slept in Sunday morning. We spent some time this afternoon and into the evening watching the most recent episodes of "Feud", about the hatred between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. Excellent show. Then, we watched the last episode of season one of The Good Fight, The Good Wife spinoff. In many ways, it is better than The Good Wife. Then, we watched the first three episodes of "Shut Eye", the Hulu show about some psychics who may have some abilities after all. It is a little hard to classify, so we are not sure if we like it yet. Ask me in a couple of days.

Then while Patricia was on her phone, I watched 1933's "Wild Boys of the Road". It is known as  "Pre Code" film, meaning that even a film code had been implemented a few years earlier, it was not enforced until July 1, 1934. Before that, film depictions of sex, adult relationships, and so on were quite normal. The movie is about some teenagers whose families fall on hard times and decide to leave home to find work, reasoning that their families will have one less mouth to feed. Apparently, during the Depression, that was a relatively common thing. Rather than find work, they find trouble.

The film is about their downward spiral. In 2013, the film was added to the US National Film Registry, as it is deemed to be of some cultural significance. It is on my Plex Media Server, so if any of you are hooked up to it, why not take an hour and ten minutes from your lives and watch it? If you want further incentive, this is the film debut, sort of, of Alan Hale Jr, who many years later went on to play the Skipper on Gilligan's Island.

Movies like that reinforce for me that I have been relatively lucky in life. I have not had a moment of unemployment since 1986. Either I was working, full-time, or I was a student, which I don't really count as unemployment. Even as a student, I had part-time work. Others much smarter and more talented than I am, have had to struggle to find and keep work. I have been lucky. Other times, I have kept my mouth shut when my instincts told me otherwise.

You can tell those times when I kept my mouth shut at work by reading blog posts for those days, by the way. Most of those posts are about my cat, Newbie. Read between the lines.

Monday, when I get up, I have to do some work on my next Frank true crime article and prepare for a meeting I have in Dartmouth on Tuesday afternoon. So, no binge watching tv shows on Monday.

Well, maybe a little bit.

See you later on today.