Saturday, February 25, 2017

Post 3503 - Saturday

Pushing midnight.

Didn't write on Friday because my old body crapped out around 10pm. Or was it 9:30? Don't remember.

After work on Friday, we went to the casino. They have a weekend buffet, so we partook of that. Afterward, we gambled away 20 dollars each. In my case, because it was the day after my birthday, I was able to select a card from the lady at guest services. The one I chose entitled me to $20 at the slot machines, so that is how much I "spent". Apparently, the most you can win is $100. The least amount? Uh, $20.

Didn't win anything appreciably. Patricia, using her own money, didn't, either. We drove home. Watched this week's "Supernatural", during which I dozed off a couple of times, and then this week's "Speechless", which I can scarcely recall, before turning in.

Today, we got up late. After lunch, we drove to Tantallon to Otis & Clementine's, which is our fave used bookstore around. I spent the gift certificate Patricia got me for Christmas. Also, I took in a book I had a duplicate of and got a couple dollars in store credit. Spent it all.

We drove as if we were going the long way around to Peggy's Cove, but instead had an early dinner at The Finer Diner. I had the lobster clubhouse, which was quite good. Patricia had the meat perogies, which I had never heard of such a thing before. She said they were good, but I didn't have any. We shared a slice of lemon meringue pie. Patricia paid and swore up and down that it was the last of my birthday prezzies. That's fine.

We drove back here and have spent a quiet enough evening. We watched Netflix and Crave TV. The turn around time between a film being in theatres and hitting Netflix is barely six months now. We watched "Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates", one of those raunchy comedies that didn't have quite enough raunch to make me happy. Whilst Patricia was on her tablet, I watched a "Netflix original" called "Gilfriend's Day" starring Bob Odenkirk. I am not sure if this was even a film. The running time was under 70 minutes. B movies from the 1940's ran longer than what I watched tonight. There are many cameos from people who are probably good friends with Odenkirk. He plays a greeting card writer who is fired because he doesn't have the stuff any more. Then, he is threatened into writing one last greeting card for a new holiday called "Girlfriend's Day". It is about as funny as you might imagine. It is about as engaging as you might imagine. I am not sure why this film was even made. I am not sure why it is even a film at all.

Anyway, we topped off the night with a couple episodes of "Angie Tribeca", courtesy of Crave TV. Because we threatened to quit our Bell Fibe service last month, they made nice with us by giving us free Crave TV for a year, along with free HBO Canada and the The Movie Network and one other free movie service. I wish I could threaten to quit Nova Scotia Power and get a cool result like this.

I have to get up relatively early Sunday morning. I will tell you why tomorrow night.

See you then.


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Post 3502 - Happy Birthday

Past 10pm.

Yes, it is my birthday today. I am... sigh, 53 years old.

I never imagined I would get this old. I didn't have a death wish or anything. It just seemed like an impossible number when I was a teenager. Anybody who was 40 was old. Someone 40 is like a kid to me, now. It's all relative.

I did decide to attend Les Muise's funeral. Work was piling up, but I thought it could all wait, and it did. The one client who was sort of on my case because I hadn't given him split-second service apologized to me when I told him I had been at a funeral.

Anyway, Les' funeral was nice. Understated, and a little bland for my tastes. The funerals I "like" the most are the ones where family members and friends stand up and talk about the deceased, warts and all. Today, the priest just told a few anecdotes gleaned from the obituary and maybe scribbled on a napkin before the funeral started.

I did learn a bit more about his death. Apparently he was out getting groceries with his mother last week, when he suddenly collapsed. He was like gone before he hit the ground. Just. Like. That. On the one hand it meant he did not suffer. On the other hand, his family had no time to prepare, and it would have been a massive shock to them all. I don't know which way is the best to go. I don't know which one I would choose for myself. Maybe a combination, if that is possible.

I had a couple finger sandwiches and treats at the reception, introduced myself to Les' daughter, signed the guest book, and left. I dipped into Fairview to the "Best Choice Chinese Food" place, because I had not eaten there in some time and didn't want to go back to work on a relatively empty stomach. Pulled into their parking lot about 11:50 and learned that they do not open until noon. I left, and returned to work, and got caught up on the things I had missed while I was gone.

Patricia had her Pilates class after work, so I hung around my work until 6:20 or so before picking her up. We got some food at the Young Street Superstore. I recognized my former neighbour, former Global TV's sportscaster Stacey Jones, and she remembered me. Wished me a happy birthday. That was nice, too. I miss having her as a neighbour. It was neat having an actual tv celebrity just up the street. Jamie Bradley lived at the other end of the street when I first moved here, by the way. Remember him from Street Cents and local Improv groups?

We didn't really do much for my birthday, today. That will happen over the weekend. We will be going to a roast beef dinner at a local church, and then to a movie. I wanna go to Otis  & Clementine's, the bookstore in Tantallon, so I can spend the gift card Patricia got me for Christmas.

A birthday is a funny event. I am older now. My parents are gone. I have nothing to do with my sisters. Or, maybe, they have nothing to do with me. We have nothing to do with each other. Yeah, let's go with that. While that bothers me a bit, it doesn't bother me as much as I thought it would. It feels nice not to have to grit my teeth and tolerate them for all the years I had to when Mom and Dad were alive to rein me in. Life could be better. It could be worse. Middlings.

I think I will turn in. Another record breaking birthday draws to a close.

See you tomorrow.


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Post 3501 - Wednesday

Past 11pm.

The work day ended suddenly this afternoon when the power went out on our street. Some folks were doing some work and clipped the power line outside. I don't know about the Superstore across the street from my work, with all those lovely meats and cheeses going bad, but the metro deli, where I was at the time the power actually went out, probably ended up throwing things out.

I ended up going to Staples to get some reinforcements for looseleaf. I have been going through a pile of those little hole covers since I keep actual paper notes for most of my Frank work, in a big binder, and need to protect the sheets from just falling out.

After that, I drove downtown and was lucky enough to find a parking space. I went to Maritime Centre, where Patricia worked. She took a break and we met up at Dust Jacket Books and then wandered over to the foodcourt. That whole area will become a parking lot in the coming months. All the retail and food vendors will have to move upstairs, into a space that hasn't been configured just yet. They are spending a pile of money to bring the building into the 21st century. About time.

We chatted for a bit, and then I returned to DJ Books. I learned that the owner, Renee Lewis, succumbed to her pancreatic cancer in January. The store itself, her baby, is in a state of flux. In the next six weeks or so the family will make a decision.

If they shut the place down, they have to do something with the, what, 10 000 books or so in the joint, plus all the books Renee told me she had back at her home. Throwing the books into a huge number of recycling bags sounds like a lot of work. Maybe someone will buy the inventory and move the business.

If they keep the business going, or someone takes it over, there is the small matter of where to put the books. As I mentioned, they have to get out of there, along with the food court vendors, the hair place, the nail place, the lottery place, the convenience store, the flower shop, the Capitol Theatre display, and so on. The latter places apparently all have a place to go, are promised a spot in the building. But the bookstore is very likely SOL. And that big a pile of books needs to go some place that can accommodate that much stuff. At a reasonable rent. A tall order.

I bought two books there today. I got the receipt with their name at the top. I grabbed a bookmark from the place. I figure I will never set foot in there ever again. Sad.

Waited for Patricia in the car for a little while. She showed up just as the parking guys were hassling me to move the car. Apparently, between four and six pm, that section of Hollis Street becomes a tow away zone. They were getting ready to tow the car away that was parked in front of me. The one behind me was vulnerable as well. She got in the car and we scooted away.

I hate like hell parking, even navigating, in the downtown. Inconvenient. Construction is eating up many of the parking spaces. Bicycle lanes that nobody asked for take up many of the remaining spaces. The snow piles eat up many more. Is it any wonder why more and more businesses and companies are moving out of the downtown to the burbs or places like Burnside or Bayer's Lake? I don't miss working downtown, one little bit.

Nearly all of the new residential construction is geared toward people several strata beyond my price range. I am not bitter about that. I am just wondering how many people exist in that upper tier who would want to live in the downtown, given all the issues I just listed, and several I haven't?

When Patricia retires, whenever that is, she has told me several times that she would have far less reason to go downtown. I, even less than that.

I just realized something: This is the kind of blog post that Les Muise would have read and responded to in a comment. In his usual upbeat way, he'd chide me and tell me that the city will look so much better in five years once this work is done.

His funeral is tomorrow. Thinking about going. A friend told me tonight that he would know that I was thinking about him whether I went to the funeral or not. But I still think it is more respectful to go than not. I'm sure you know what I mean.

Pushing 11:30. Think I will turn in. See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Post 3500 - Happy Anniversary (I Think!)

Past 10pm.

Well, this is as close to post 3500 as I think I can get. Over the years I have mis-typed, mis-entered, mis-forgotten, the post numbers, more than a few times. I was mis-entering the post number a couple of months ago, for a period of a month or so. I gave up and entered what I thought should be the next number, and here we are. Post 3500. Thereabouts.

The dryer in Casa Bevboy crapped out some time ago. We haven't replaced it yet. We took some towels to a laundromat after work tonight. A place that has "laundromat" of the year in The Coast. The owner gave us a dirty look. It wasn't until we were leaving that he apologized and asked us to read the sign on the window as we left. Turns out that they don't want you to dry stuff there unless you have washed it there first.  We told him we would remember that for the next time we were there.

There won't be a next time.

We got home. Patricia had a glass of wine. I had a rum and coke. Thought about having a second one and decided not to. Watched the second episode of "The Good Fight" and realized that the episode was a full 52 minutes long. When it runs on Canadian tv this weekend, they will have to run it in a longer timeslot, doubtful, or they will have to cut it to ribbons. I noticed in watching the show last night that they had edited out some cussing. The version we saw tonight, besides being 52 minutes long, had plenty of cussing in it, starting with the very first line of dialogue. Cussing in texts sent to one of the characters, too.

Love the show so far, but I think I will stick with watching downloads on my Plex Media Server, so I can watch and see the cussing.

A bit of caution, though. I thought that the show starred Diane Lockhart's Christine Baranski, but there are plenty of scenes where she isn't there. I thought it was an ensemble show, but I think I was wrong, and that mildly disappoints me.

Just finished watching this week's Flash episode. The show is getting very silly. Characters were speaking like gorillas. The word "speedster" is overused. There are too many characters who can run like crazy, but you seldom see them run like crazy. Increasingly, I think they are trying to save money on the budget. You see characters about to run like crazy. Then, the camera shifts to another character's reaction to Flash/Kid Flash/Jay Garrick/Jesse Quick running like crazy before shifting back to the aftermath of the "speedster" having done some... speeding. All in a way to save some damn money. They don't have money for special effects or writers. This whole season has been a disappointment.

Complain. Complain. Complain.

I think I will turn in. Need some sleep. At least we have nice, warm towels after the shower tomorrow morning.

See you then.


Monday, February 20, 2017

Post 3499 - Monday

Just past 10pm.

The end of another four day weekend in Nova Scotia. I could get used to them.

Back to work in the morning. After days of sleeping in, it is back to reality. 5:30 will come very early tomorrow indeed.

We got caught up on "Too Close to Home" today, or at least all the episodes I had on hand. I think my IQ dropped 10 points. I need all the points I can get, so curse them. Watched the first episode of "The Good Fight" this evening, too. It is the spin off of The Good Wife, and it was terrific. I can hardly wait to see where they take this show, going forward.

Very little else is going on, so I think I will call it a night. It's a night.

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Post 3498 - Sunday

Past 1am.

Did very little today. Cooked some more haddock. Patricia used the little machine she has to suck the moisture out of the rest of the haddock, and put it in better freezer storage. It is now in the freezers.

Spent hours today watching episodes of "Too Close to Home", a trashy, barely professional-looking, low-rent scripted show that features a very bored-looking Heather Locklear, who likely wants to fire her manager. Just a few more and we are done.

There are lots of far better tv shows to watch, but sometimes the crap, that floats to the top, gets skimmed off and that's what we watch. I can't explain it.

Trying to get material on my next true crime case for Frank. Had a few cases fail to pan out for me recently. Discouraging. Will keep trying, though.

I think I will turn in. Maybe do something productive tomorrow.

See you then.


Saturday, February 18, 2017

Post 3497 - A Sad Day

About 12:30AM, Sunday morning to be precise.

We went to the BFM (Bibles for Missions) thrift store on Saturday. Got some vintage paperback books. Things were picked over. The men's shirts were in short supply. Usually you can find real cheap things like older flat screen computer monitors, but the only one they had took a proprietary power supply, which did not come with the monitor. The last time I bought such a monitor, I had to order the appropriate power supply through ebay, and it was not inexpensive.

We drove through Caledonia Road and out to Waverley. Decided to go to Dartmouth, to Gateway Meat Market. Their main sale today was haddock for $2.97 a pound. You could get a maximum of 10 packages, so that is what we got. I'm told that the items that are on sale, especially a price like that, are sold at a loss, a loss leader in marketing parlance. They must have lost a ton of money during this sale, because the lady was putting out more and more of that fish just during the 20 minutes we were there.

Gateway is designed in such a way that you go in one side, work your way up the first aisle, which is wide and has food on both sides, then to the left where the produce is (once again, on both sides), and then you hang another left toward the cash registers. All the while, you're throwing "just one more thing" on to your shopping cart. It is hard to spend more than, say, 20 minutes there, as the new people just entering push you along. Astonishing way to run a business, but it sure works for them.

We checked out the Sally Ann on Main Street after that. Got nothing. Drove home. I cooked some fish and some steak for dinner. Then we watched episodes of "Too Close To Home" before we tried to watch "Doctor Strange", only it wouldn't load, so we jumped on to a friend's Plex Server and watched "The Secret Life of Pets", which was a pure pleasure. Do yourself a favour and watch that movie.

Got some bad news this evening. A guy I knew named Les Muise died suddenly on Friday. Met him the better part of 10 years ago when we were having coffee downtown. He was at the next table and was chuckling at what we were saying. He just started working his way into our conversations.

Over the years, he and I became closer. Well, at least until 2011, when I was moved from downtown to Young Street. Just didn't run into him that much. But before that, we chatted a lot about his earlier life as a business man. I once worked with a woman he liked very much, and about whom he revealed a lot to me. She does not know that I know these things about her, and I don't think I will ever tell her. I seldom see her anyway, but seeing her and knowing her, I would never have suspected the things about her that Les told me. He told me with a tone that told me that he really cared for her. She knew it, but did not return that affection.

He told me that he had a volunteer role with the RCMP, which is how he became aware of other people he hinted to me about. He told me about a now-national broadcaster whose shady past may yet catch up with the person. No proof, so no names, folks. Don't ask.

Most importantly, Les encouraged my writing. He frequently left comments on this blog, and you can have fun finding them. A couple of times he said I should be up for the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, which was sweet of him, even though the word "humour" has always bothered me, and I have never found anything written by Leacock to be... humourous. But it was very nice of him to tell me that, and to write that, too. He very much liked the obituaries for my parents that you can find here, too. The "Year in the Life" feature I did here a few years ago was something he liked, too. And I know he was happy that I was writing for Frank.

Les was always a gentleman with me, never anything less that polite and cordial, even friendly. His company was something I had missed, and now, I will have it again. That makes me sad.

I wish I had better words tonight. Les would be disappointed with me. Sorry, bud.

I have not heard when Les' funeral will be. Likely by Wednesday, and likely at the funeral home on Lacewood Drive. I will let you know when I find out.

I think I will ring off for now. I just don't feel like writing anymore.