Saturday, February 24, 2018

Post 3666 - Two Days Later


I had my birthday on Friday. I am now (sigh!) 54 years of age.

I worked during the day. After work, I met up with Patricia at the Casino. I had been looking forward to dinner at the buffet, all week long.

Deeply disappointing.

We queued up. Patricia paid. She had forgotten her own casino card, so she had to pay full price for herself, while I got the five dollar discount. We got in quite quickly. The food was... well, it wasn't very good. The beef carvery was fatty. The chicken and fish were nearly cold. The mussels were swimming in grease. The pizza slices were doughy and gross.

Desserts were not much better. The rice pudding was acceptable. The white cake was okay. The bread pudding, which used to be the best thing they ever offered, looked desiccated, nearly mummified.

I did see an old friend from the Valley, though. Dave Hines was a photographer down there for many years. He took my university grad photos, actually. My dad knew his dad. We chatted for a few minutes, and caught up somewhat. Nice to see him, and meet his wife.

That was the best part of the meal.

We got up to leave and noticed about 18 people lined up to get into the buffet. They had already paid, so there was no backing out. I wanted to tell them to run away from the place, not to waste their money, or cause rack and ruin to their colons. But it was too late for them. Too... late.

We had thought about playing some slots, but the meal was so disappointing that I couldn't bear to lose money on top of that, so we went home. My body conked out early, and Patricia's gave out not long later.

Today, we have spent the day inside. I got my b'day present that I didn't get yesterday. It is a solar-powered radio/flashlight. It also has a weather band, so I can listen to the weather all day long. I have the radio upstairs, outside the bathroom, in a window that gets plenty of sunlight.

Here is what it look like:

We had looked at some other such radios a couple weeks ago, at the MEC in the downtown. They all looked flimsy, cheap even. One had a built-in bottle opener, which was neat; but it looked as if it were about to crumble to pieces if I looked at it hard. The freeplay looked much more rugged than the others, with the only vulnerability being that the radio antenna is not protected when not in use.

The flashlight is decent for what it is supposed to do. There is the ability to charge the device via usb, solar, or a big wind up thingy. It has a headphone jack, and one can allegedly charge a cell phone or other device via a mini usb connection. Not many devices have a mini usb connection any more, so that will likely not be used too much. I can live with that.

I'm pretty happy with this gift. Thanks, Patricia.

So, I'm 54 now. I have more years behind me than ahead of me, unless I live to be 108, which nobody with my last name ever has, or will. I can only hope that as many of my remaining years are as good as I can make them. That is all one can ever hope for.

Tomorrow, Patricia has a thing in Bayer's Lake. I will hang back here and make dinner or take a nap or something. The people who think I am a workaholic would be so disappointed if they saw me.

You guys have a good evening. I will bark at ya on the morrow.


Thursday, February 22, 2018

Post 3665 - One More Day To The Weekend

Thursday night.

I just sent off my next cold case article to my editor at Frank. It is a full week ahead of my deadline, so I am sure he is pleased by that if nothing else. I still plan to work on another article in the coming days.

It is another unsolved murder, from several years ago. Another case that has been nearly forgotten about, one which I hope to shed some light on. With any luck, it will be in the issue of Frank that goes on sale the week after next.

My goodness I am tired this evening. Tuesday night I had to turn in early. Wednesday night I was up until after 11. I nearly turned in early this evening, too, but instead had my shower and finished the above article. I have earned my beauty sleep tonight.

I am going to give a bit more thought regarding the numbering of the blog posts going forward. I will let you know. Dozens of you have written me or stopped me on the street. I promise I will let you all know, soon.

I think I will turn in. I have a busy and momentous day ahead of me.

See you then.


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Post 3664 - Wednesday Night Wailings

Or is this post 3748?

I am no longer sure, ladies and gentlement.

Let me explain.

I have tried to number these post consecutively over the years. You would think that this would be an easy thing to do. Look at the post number for the previous post, and add one to it.

Enter... a minor case of dyslexia.

I have transposed digits in numbers nearly my whole life. If someone told me to write down, for example, 13728, there is a good change I would jot down 17328. Not to be plucky or irreverent, but because the digits would get mixed up between my brain and my hand and some out the wrong way. Happens all the time. It is a good thing I didn't go into Accounting, huh?

So, why did I start numbering these posts?

I am not sure. I think it may have been that when I started with post number one, in late 2007, that I would never make it to post 3664. It was such a far away goal that it seemed like science fiction, so I dutifully kept adding one more to the next post until here we are.

Except, when I look at the blog's history, it says that there are actually 3748 posts. This would be 3749, actually.

I can explain some of the discrepancies. Early on, to be cheeky, I had things like post 100.1 and 100.5 and that kind of thing. But I know that there are times when I threw the sequence off entirely, forgetting that this is the 3600 series of posts, and lopping off one hundred, and starting up again at 3526 or whatever it was. More than one post that has the same post number, in other words. Once or twice, I plumb forgot to put numbers on the posts at all.

So, what do I do?

I am thinking of doing a "post jump" to catch up with the actual number of published posts, which would mean that the next post would be something like 3750, and not 3665. This would confound the archaeologists who, one hundred years hence, would discover this blog on some ancient hard drive Google left behind after it colonized Jupiter in 2062. These people would read the blog, love it of course, but then wonder why some 85 posts were no longer there. I have to think about my legacy. You understand.

I could just blithely go on and continue with this faulty number, of course. But I don't like that, either. I have written those other 85 post, gosh darn it. I have earned that higher number. The blog should not suffer because I messed up the numbering a few times over the years.

Or, I could stop numbering the posts. I like this suggestion the least. How many other blogs have the numbering built right in? It is comforting to the reader, and to me, to be able to see that there is a unique stamp on each and every blog post, here on Bevboy's Blog. No other blog post in the world is ever going to be called "Post 3664 - Wednesday Night Wailings". I guarantee it.

Perhaps I could use two numbers. "Post 3664/3749 - Wednesday Night Wailings", for example. Then, over the course of a couple of weeks, I could drop the earlier number, and just keep the higher number. This way, the archaeologists in 2118 will have a fighting chance of figuring out why the blog post numbering jumped that way.

So, what should I do, folks? Keep this numbering? Go for the "actual" number for the blog posts? Drop the numbering altogether? Use both numbers for a spell? Adopt a Dewey Decimal-type approach? How about a logarithmic scale? Astronomical units? Scientific notation?

Help a Bevboy out.

See you tomorrow.


Monday, February 19, 2018

Post 3663 - Monday Night -- Bevboy Needs Your Help!

Another long weekend is behind me. I wish I could say I got more done.

I did spend some time doing some work for Frank. But, you know, otherwise, I was here at home sleeping and watching stuff on Plex and on Netflix.

I cooked breakfast this morning, and dinner tonight. So, there is that.  I washed some clothes, so I don't have to worry about running out of underwear any time soon. So, there is that. I just spent 30 minutes re-arranging a storage area here in my home office, throwing a bunch of stuff out in the process. There is that.

Newbie has enjoyed having us around the house the last few days. He will be disappointed when we return to work in the morning.

Before I ring off this evening I need your help with something.

I want to buy a decent usb-powered light. I presently have one I got with some other similar items a few years ago. It is a very small lamp, on a stand. It has five small led lights. An on and off switch. Two of those lights have burned out. If one more goes, leaving me down to two, then it is pretty much useless to me. That can happen any day now.

Does anybody reading this have a suggestion for a usb-powered light, similar to the one I just described? It would be great if it had enough light to allow me to read a book by, but I would make do with it being strong enough to enable me to see this keyboard if I am here late at night with no other lights on. Most usb-powered lights are crap. I don't know why that is. Surely to heck there is a decent one out there. Your mission is to tell me about it, and how to go about ordering one.

Thank you.

See you tomorrow.


Saturday, February 17, 2018

Post 3662 - Saturday Night

Turned in crazy early Friday night and slept in this morning. I have spent quite a few hours today working on some stuff that has taken a bit longer to do than I had originally expected. I need to finish that task in the morning.

I did have time to day to make a nice breakfast for us. Western sandwiches, only I used bacon bits instead of -- ugh! -- ham. Ham is not food, in my opinion. It should not even be a thing.

I showered after that, so I am smelling all purty now. Newbie and Patricia are impressed.

I need to turn in. I have an early day tomorrow.


Thursday, February 15, 2018

Post 3661 - One More Day To Go

I didn't write last night because I got home late. I was at the Archives until 8 or so. Then, on the way out, the commissionaire recognized me and we spent 20 minutes talking about unsolved murders, missing persons, and Denyse Sibley. Denyse was mixed in there, popping up every few minutes.

I went to Atlantic News to pick up the newest issues of Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine and Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine. I learned that local journalist Dean Jobb is the new columnist at EQMM. They are combining the very long running Jury Box book reviews section, and the Blog Bytes section written by Bill Crider, who died on February 12th and who had been unwell for some time.

Anyway, as sorry as I am to learn of Bill Crider's death, and the ending of The Jury Box (which went back to the 1970's, if not earlier), I am excited to learn that local Dean Jobb, a true crime writer several of whose books I have here in my home office, is taking on this prestigious job. EQMM's editor, Janet Hutchings, takes the time to say some very nice things about Dean Jobb. I'm very much on board with this new column.

Here is a link to Dean's first column. You will be able to read it for free, so check back every month.

Anyway, today was another work day. Busy. And things promise to get even busier over the next couple of weeks.

The weekend is nearly here. It can't get here quite soon enough.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Post 3660 - A Great Find

I am cheap.

Well, let's go with thrifty.

If I can save a buck somewhere, I will.

The computer which I am using to type these humble, sub-par, slightly pathetic words, was purchased at the Staples in Bayer's Lake in January of 2009. Nine years ago. It was part of a Boxing Week Sale. A HP Slimline machine that came with 2gb of Ram, a 500GB hard drive, and which ran Windows Vista.

Vista was utter crapola. I eventually installed a Linux distribution on it, and used that version until long after it had become outdated and its developers had abandoned any updates. I am now running Linux Mint, and it is very nice indeed.

But it was starting to show its age. The traditional hard drive gasped and wheezed and apps took too long to load. I was starting to think I would have to break down and get a newer machine. But instead,  I took a 120GB SSD (solid state drive) and installed that a few months ago. The 500GB drive now holds my data. Now, it runs like the wind. It does everything I need it to do, flawlessly. Unless something untoward happens with this machine, I can probably get another couple of years out of it. I may yet, however, double the ram all the way to 4GB.

But I had a mere 15 inch flat screen monitor. I had a 19 inch one briefly, but it did not work on this computer. It would blink out after a few seconds. Maybe it was the drivers. Maybe it was just a dud monitor from the thrift store.

I took that monitor, and three others, to an enviro depot over the weekend. When cleaning out the closet that had those monitors, I found this one, a 17 inch LG. I swapped out the 15 for the 17 about 20 minutes ago, and it works very well. I will save you the math. It is about 13% bigger than the 15, which makes quite a difference to me.

This upgrade this evening cost me nothing. It was a monitor I had forgotten about. Swapping out the two monitors took me about 45 seconds. And I have a better computer experience now than I had before.

When I bought this machine nine years ago, I had no idea I would still be using it in 2018. I figured three or four at the very most. Now, like I stated above, I think I can get a few more years out of this.

What things have you bought that lasted you much, much longer than you expected they would?

You know how to contact me.

See you tomorrow.