Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Post 3919 - Major Announcement

First of all, I am sorry I haven't written in the last couple of weeks. Time, once again, got away from me. I will try to be more diligent, etc. etc.

The announcement?

Here goes:

I have decided to retire from my job with the provincial government. I will have not quite 26.5 years of service when I walk out the door. Patricia is also retiring. Our last day in the office will be November 29th, a scant two weeks hence.

It was a difficult decision. I agonized over it. Went back and forth. Three weeks ago I found out who my HR rep was. I did not write her for 4 days, when I told her about my decision. She told me what I had to do.

On October 29th, I produced the letter, which announced my intention to retire. It had to be signed, so I printed it off, signed it, and then scanned it in as a PDF. Emailed it to myself at work. On the 30th, before 9am, I produced the email containing this attachment to my manager and my HR rep. And it sat there in my draft folder until 4:25 on the 31st. The very last thing I did before leaving for the day was to send that email along.

Last week, on the... 7th, my manager and I talked about it. Just wanted to make sure I had made a firm decision. I told him I had.

And, yesterday, the 12th, I told my immediate co-workers. They are all happy for me.

I do not know what the future holds for me. I just know I do not want to be that guy you see shambling around the office, any office. The kind of guy who was eligible to retire long ago but continues to hold on for whatever reason. Those folks make me a little sad.

I want to leave now, or rather, in two weeks, and go off and do something else while I am still young enough, vital enough, and perhaps in sufficient demand, to go do that something else.

The decision, as I already told you, was one I considered for a long time. I did not tell you because people at my work read this blog and I did not want to burden them with this information, and the exquisite, intricate aspects that went into my reaching this decision. I tell them indirectly here, and then they go in to work and not tell others, such as management. Puts everyone in an awkward decision. I hope they understand.

As it stands, I have so much vacation time built up that I can be off for the entire month of December for vacation, and continue to be paid. My first pension cheque will be at the end of January.

There. My major announcement. I feel relieved having told you.

If you have any pearls of wisdom regarding surviving on a pension, please let me know.

I have some other tasks to finish up this evening, so I will cut this short. But... let me renew my vow to produce blog posts more frequently. I missed you guys.

I hope you missed me.

See you... tomorrow?

Bevboy



Sunday, October 27, 2019

Post 3918 - Six Days Later...

Hello and welcome to the end of another weekend. Where do these things go, anyway?

I have spent the last several days working and sleeping and doing stuff around the house. Tuesday night was interesting. We got home around 5:30, whereupon I told Patricia that I was going to take a short nap. I didn't really get up again until 5:30 Wednesday morning.  Patricia was quite worried about me, but I felt fine the next morning.

I wish I could say that we did a lot this weekend, but we did not. I ventured out around 4pm to get a couple turkey dinners from a local church that was selling them for a good price. Otherwise, we stayed in all weekend.

We had thought about going to the Valley this weekend. The Devour! festival was in Wolfville again, and we had considered going. The CBC coverage sounded interesting on Friday, but there was something that ticked me off. Here it is.

They were broadcasting from the new Church pub on Main Street. It was a church for 100 years or so before the United Church sold it along with some other churches so they could build a new super church in nearby New Minas. The thinking was that parishioners would just, um, flock to the new church. The woman Jeff Douglas interviewed made it sound like everybody was accepting of the change.

I can tell you that this was not true.

One of the churches sold was the Canard United Church, which I attended for many years. As I understand it, the people at the pastoral charge showed up one week and said that they would be selling the place, that people had "voted" for this to happen and that people would just move over to this new church. The ballots had already been destroyed so there was no going back for a recount or anything like that.

The Canard United Church, along with the cemetery, was sold to a man who was kind enough not to want to turn it into an Air B&B or a brothel or a winery or anything like that. He was amenable to selling it to the people who had attended that very church for decades. I doubt if he made a penny off the sale. He sold it to those parishioners, who had to fight tooth and nail with the United Church just to keep the furniture in the vestry. The pews, I am guessing, would have been fixtures so not something the United Church could have stripped out of the place.

The new United Church in New Minas has been far from being a raging success. More than a few people quietly started going to the new Canard church from Wolfville, from Kentville, whose own church had been sold under them. The United Church folks who sold the churches were none too pleased that Canard had managed to keep their church going, but they no longer own the place and can do nothing about it. But this new church has to use other hymn books, other prayer books, and may not use any trappings from the United Church in their services.

We attended a rummage sale at the church last year. It was nice to see the place again after far too many years. Some things that my father had built for the church were still there, and Glenn Ells was only too happy to show them to me. He and his family have been members of that church for probably 100 years. The "original" Glenn Ells, killed in World War I, is buried in the adjoining cemetery.

Glenn is a Liberal and served as MLA down there for several years. George Archibald was a Tory and later served as MLA down there. They attended the same church! I recall it was in... 1988 I think, when they were running against each other in the provincial election. They were decorous toward one another, but I do remember George standing up and reading some lay scriptures one week. I wonder if Glenn considered doing the same thing?

I had such good times at that church in the 1970's and 1980's. People treated me well. Even the kids my own age treated me well, something in sharp contrast to the kids at the junior high I was attending at the time.

Ha! Funny story time. I will never forget the time the janitor or whoever it was, failed to show up one week and they were worried about being able to conduct the service on time, so I, a little one, was boosted up on the shoulders of a taller man and shimmied the window open. I broke into my own church!

I later became the janitor at that church. I was not very good at it, and nobody reading this would disagree. I would go there after classes were over at Acadia University for the day and I had a bit of time to myself. I would have my radio on while I was vacuuming or mopping the floors or cleaning the collection plates or the bathroom. It gave me time to reflect on my classes and got me away from the halls of academe for a much-needed few hours. I cherish that time to this day. The times were simpler, and much-missed.

I stopped going to church when I moved to the city in 1988. I have never found a place that I was comfy in, but I haven't looked much, either. If I did find one, it would have to be the kind of place that let me form the kind of memories of the Canard United Church of all those years ago.

But one last comment on the United Church, and its pell-mell shedding of properties, with or without the permission or blessing of the people who supported them all along. Shame on them. How dare they conduct these votes and then destroy the ballots? How dare they play hard ball with the people who just want to continue to go to a local church? Where the... hell... is their Christianity?

On that lovely note, I wish you all a pleasant evening. I hope to see you all here tomorrow.

See you then.

Bevboy






Monday, October 21, 2019

Post 3917 - Four Days Later...

Well, there you are!

Welcome to Monday night.

I returned to work on Friday, but then had the weekend, so that felt a little weird. On Saturday we went to the Valley to check out the house. It looked the same. I did bring back with me the cordless drill I was keeping down there because I haven't unearthed the one that I keep here. It is in storage somewhere in the house, likely in the recroom, but don't ask me where. Just... don't.

Sunday we just kinda took things easy. Got caught up on a show called "Emergence". Patricia didn't like the pilot very much, but I did; and I managed to convince her to watch the remaining episodes with me.

And today, being Monday, I returned to work a second time. After work I got the new issues of Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine and Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine from Atlantic News on Queen Street. Then we went to Bonehead's for dinner. We have to stop eating out so much. Costing too much money. We had dinner in New Minas on Saturday night before we returned to the city. It is fun and everything, but we have other ways for the money to go.

I have been listening to the election results on News 95.7 since 8pm. It is interesting talk. I have barely had the tv on since I came down here at 7:45.

I don't typically discuss politics here on the blog. I have nothing to add to any political discourse. I have friends of all political persuasions and have voted for nearly all parties over my long and event-less life. I figure that there are plenty of blog and Facebook pages and everything else where people who don't know what they're talking about, talk about politics and politicians.

But I follow politics. I follow elections. I take an interest in the process. And I continue to be astonished that there are people who choose to put themselves out there and seek public office. I don't understand why. So many of them take pay cuts when they are elected. And they put up with a level of scrutiny and criticism and general BS that would put off the average, even above average, person.

No matter what you do, people criticize you for it. You cannot have made any mistake in your life, even as a youth, without someone bringing it up, years later, and not letting you forget about it.

And every few years, you have to run for your job, against other people who oftentimes are extraordinary candidates, who would be perfectly good elected representatives if they won and you didn't.

Yet, despite all the above, people continue to put themselves out there. It astonishes me.

My hat is off to them.

I will turn in and now and listen to some of the election results on the radio.

See you tomorrow.

Bevboy



Thursday, October 17, 2019

Post 3916 - Short and Sweet

10pm, Thursday night.

My brief vacation is over. I return to work on Friday. Then, I have two more days off.

I got up early and drove Patricia to work. Filled up the gas tank on the way back home. Got home, and decide to take "a short nap". Then, I proceeded to sleep until nearly 12:30pm. Feeling a little sheepish, I went downstairs and did some chores around the house before preparing a salmon dinner for Patricia and me. There are plenty of leftovers for lunch on Friday.

I purposely did not take my work phone home with me last week. I do not have any idea what tsunami of emails awaits me, but it can wait until 8 o'clock Friday morning.

I am not sure why I am tired this evening. I just am. For that reason I am cutting this short and turning in.

See you tomorrow.

Bevboy




Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Post 3915 - A Blog Post, Three Days In A Row? Are You Kidding Me?

No. No, I am not.

A blog post, three days in a row.

Are you on vacation or something?

Yes. Yes, I am on vacation or something.

Patricia went off to work and left me all alone. I was fairly busy. I did laundry. I washed dishes. I hung out the laundry. In anticipation of the "weather bomb" on Thursday I took the barbecue and furniture off the deck, likely for the season. Those things are resting comfortably in our shed.

Patricia got home around 6:30. I had dinner waiting for us.

Newbie was content to be around today, but did not hang around me all day long. I imagine he will be unhappy, in cat terms, when I return to work on Friday. But then he will have us again all weekend long. So, it works out.

For a vacation day, I got a lot of work done around the house. I think I will reward myself by going to bed comparatively early.

See you tomorrow.

Bevboy


Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Post 3914 - Tuesday Night Stuff

Welcome to Tuesday night. It is pushing 11pm.

I still have two more vacation days to go through before returning to work on Friday. I have quite a few chores to do around the house. I have some administrative things to take care of. And I will. But I just spent 20 minutes or so reading through a book about Halifax during World War II. It came out in 2002 and is called "Sailors, Slackers, and Blind Pigs", by Stephen Kimber.

Kimber has been around writing about the province for about 50 years now. I saw some of his early editorials in the old Fourth Estate newspaper, which is online at the archives, and which I used as a reference for one of my cold case articles last year.

In fact, Kimber devotes a chapter and a bit to a Halifax murder mystery, which may yet be unsolved. The 1943 drowning murder of a 10 year old girl named Nadia Johnson, possibly at the hands of her father, Frank, a Commander, whose own body was found not far from hers. Meanwhile, his wife Vava went all-but mad, presumably living out the rest of her days in a mental asylum in New York. There are still unanswered questions about the possible murder-suicide, and Vava's fate, and the lifestyle they led up to Nadia's death. Unless some miracle happens, some kind of death-bed confession from a relative, or some treasure trove of documents brings unpleasant details to light, we will never know. But it is a very interesting story. I should go back to the archives some time soon and see if I can find the original articles!

Today, I had coffee with a friend from work. He retired six months ago and we decided to catch up. He is enjoying his retirement so far. He likes being able to sleep in a bit every morning and to go by his own schedule rather than one dictated to him. I cannot say that I blame him.

Over the weekend I was sleeping in until noon, stuff I did routinely as a teenager so long ago. I don't know if I am entering my second childhood, or if sleep is just so comforting that I want as much as I can get.

I think I will try and find out...

See you tomorrow.

Bevboy




Monday, October 14, 2019

Post 3913 - Made My Day!

Hello, folks.

Earlier this evening, someone left a comment on a 2017 blog post. Here it is:

Hi Bev,

Earlier today I listened to previous podcast that you were on. I was moved by your passion to be a voice for the unsolved murders, in Nova Scotia. You displayed so much empathy and compassion for the loved ones,..."the voice for the voiceless"! 

In regards to this blog post, I am sorry that you were bullied in school. School is so tough, and to add being bullied, just makes it that much tougher. Please know, I'm proud of you, even though I don't know you personally, I'm still proud of you as a fellow human being. You are a shining light in the darkness, of this mixed up crazy world! Keep on keeping on!

God Bless You



Well, wasn't that lovely? I did not expect that. It made my day. While we're at it, it made my week, my month, and my year.

Oftentimes, with the Frank articles about unsolved murders and missing persons, and the occasional follow up podcasts I record with Jordan Bonaparte, I think that I am broadcasting to an empty stadium. That my articles are going out to the magazine, and they are either read avidly, or not at all. That nobody is out there, that nobody cares, and that this is all an elaborate and time consuming near-Sisyphean task. But then I get a comment like that, and it puts things into perspective.

It puts into perspective that the untold hours I spent trying to keep my Plex Media Server up and running could be better spent sleeping, or eating or going for walks or doing anything else than the time I put into keeping PMS up and running. I am actively considering other streaming servers here at home. As long as they work and don't cause me the grief that PMS does.

(Ha! PMS! Lovely acronym, given what an ginormous pain in the nether regions it is to keep it up and running.)

I read the comment to Patricia after I saw it show up on my phone. She wanted to know who had written it. It just said "anonymous", but I can put two and two together and guess that a woman wrote it. Very few men have the innate sense of decency to even think of writing something like the above. I know I don't.

Ms. Anonymous, thank you so much for writing that comment. It meant a great deal to me. It has given me some strength to continue this fight to continue this process.

Now, do I spend 30 minutes trying to get Plex up and running yet again? Become frustrated to the point of being unable to sleep all night? Or do I get it up and running tomorrow?

Tomorrow, it is!

See you then!

Bevboy