Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Post 100.1 - Continuing the party!

Why not call this post 101? Why call it Post 100.1?

Well, 100.1 is the frequency of a local radio station, C100FM. I thought I'd show you some pictures of me with some local radio people. Lots of fun and good times.

Here is a picture of me with Frank Cameron. It was taken in May of 2001, when his radio station, CHNS (then 960 on the AM dial, and now 89.9 on FM and called Hal FM) was celebrating its 75th birthday. Their first major home was at the Lord Nelson Hotel in Halifax, and that is where the party was. Their most famous home had to have been on Tobin Street, though. When I moved to the city in 1988, they had already left that space and moved to 1313 Barrington Street, at the corner of Barrington and Morris Street. They were there for about 10, 11 years before moving to Sackville Street, where they over look Halifax Harbour. I am told that the Tobin Street location, where they had been for decades, was a pretty special place. After they vacated it, it became the home of the Maritime Business Academy (what was the name of the lady who ran the joint? Can't remember) before that business went belly up, and the building itself was razed to accommodate an apartment building. A little sad.

But that weekend in 2001 was pretty neat. They brought back as many of their old staff as possible to discuss the old times. I taped as much of it as possible, and still have it.

Cameron began his career, if memory serves, at CKEC in New Glasgow. He's a Pictou County boy who was friends with Patricia's uncle. One story goes that Frank and Patricia's uncle wanted to play floor hockey in what's his name's kitchen, so they attached Fuller brushes to their shoes, smeared lard all over the kitchen floor and whipped out their hockey sticks and proceeded to play hockey, right there in the kitchen.

Cameron settled in Halifax at CHNS before spending 30+ years with the CBC. Upon his retirement from the CBC in 1996, he went back to CHNS where he remained until his retirement (forced, some say) in 2005 or so. He still dabbles in radio on weekends by working for free at Seaside FM in Eastern Passage.

This picture was taken on a Saturday morning after a Friday night outing where I had imbibed a little bit. Headache. You know where I'm coming from, I'm sure.

And this picture is me with Anna Z. of Q104. I first heard Anna Z. on the old Rock 103 in Moncton. That station came blaring through on my stereo at my parents' home in Port Williams, better than Q104 did. Rock 103 became C103, and I think it's Q103 now. What a marvelous station they were, and perhaps still are. A nice variety of rock music that I fondly recall and wish I could listen to here.

Anna left Rock 103 in 1988 I think, shortly after I moved to the city myself. She took a job at Q104, where she remains to this day. Last I heard, she was the music director.

You know something? I have never understood the difference between a radio station's program director, and the music director. I know that a p.d. is responsible for all the content on a station. If a station plays mostly music, why need a music director? Does the m.d. work with the p.d., report to the p.d.? Does the p.d. delegate the selection of music to the m.d.? I just don't understand. I know that at least one local radio person reads this blog, so perhaps she could answer my humble questions. Or, maybe she could (gulp!) ask Anna Z. to respond to this post, and really make my day.

One more unrelated picture, because it's so neat. I see that there will be a service interruption to blogspot in the next 29 minutes or so, so I'll just do this one more picture and call it a night. (It's a night).

I used to watch "Whose Line is it, Anyway?", the improv-like show that used to run on ABC and CTV. I have long been fascinated by improvisational acting, the type of acting where you have no friggin' idea what the other guy is going to say before he says it; he likewise has no idea what you will say before you say it. If you're doing it right, you probably don't know what you'll say before you say it, either.

I say "improv-like" because there are improv teachers who feel that the kind of improvisation you see on shows like WLIIA is not really improv acting. The actors are prepared in advance; they know that they're going to do, say, a ho down, or a game where they have strange guests at a party, or whatever. Just knowing in advance what game they'll be playing, what the theme will be if you will, is enough to help them prepare, a little bit, for what is to come when the cameras start rolling.

Anyway, I decided to take an intro to acting class in the fall of 2003, as it was a prerequisite to this class, taught by a member of the old Improv Knights troupe that used to work in Halifax on Monday nights. The teacher is in the lower left of the photograph.

I took this class in the winter of 2004, 4 years ago now, and it continued until March or so. This picture was taken at the final class, where we had to invite friends to watch us perform an improv class.
Damn, that class was fun! It was a wonderful contrast from the job I had at the time, which was anything but. From one moment to the next, I'd have no idea what would be thrown at me. One class, we had to pretend that we were hitchhikers being picked up by someone. Each person picked up would have an unusual characteristic, and everyone in the "car" would have to take on that characteristic as well. I chose to be a pirate, and therefore all occupants in the car would have to speak like pirates as well. "Ye eyes be like a flounder's", I heard myself say to a young lady sitting next to me, "and ye hair be like the sea weed that washes ashore on a hot, sunny day!"

Ever since I took that class, I have a respect for the extras in a film or television program. They're the folks who get paid nearly nothing to wait around all day, oftentimes in the mufti befitting the milieu in which the show or film is set. They wait and wait and wait; and then they're called to the set, where they have to sit in the back of the set, saying nothing, perhaps moving their lips in a silent prayer, all while playing their characters, all while not looking at the camera, all while not upstaging the main characters in the scene, all while being, well, set dressing. It is not an easy thing to do, and this acting class taught me that. I don't know why anyone would want to do it. When they shoot a film or show in Halifax, there is no shortage of starry-eyed yokels who queue up to be an extra. I wonder how many of those people do it more than once?

I am a few minutes away from losing my blog spot connection, perhaps for the evening. I guess that's it for now. I still have some pictures to put up, but they will be for another post on another day.

I hope you have enjoyed my 2 part 100th Bevboysblog post. Please, feel free to post a comment or three. And, the more I posts I write, the more I feel I am just getting warmed up.

Have a good one. See you soon.


100th Post - The 100th Post!

Welcome, everyone, to the 100th post of Bevboy's Blog!

When I began this blog a couple of months ago, I wondered how I could ever find enough material to fill a more-or-less daily blog. You have learned by reading this blog, of course, that this fear was fully justified. I mean, this really is the most boring blog you have ever seen, right?


I thought I would begin this blog by showing you some pictures of interesting people I have met in the last few years. The first one is me (on the right) with Bill Carr, the popular local actor and renaissance man who most recently hosted a Saturday morning radio show on the Rogers talk stations in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The show was abruptly canceled this past summer, and more's the pity, as Carr was easily the most improved talk show host I'd heard in a long time. He used to fill in for Andrew Krystal or Tom Young on the same radio stations, often times while also doing an acting gig at Neptune Theatre at night. Boy, was I disappointed when he was no longer on those stations. I seldom listen to News 95.7 now, mostly because I am not overly fond of the content, and also because of the shabby treatment accorded fellow Acadia Grad Bill Carr. This picture was taken at the IWK telethon after party in 2002, I think.

The next picture is pretty neat. You remember Joyce DeWitt, from Three's Company? A few years ago, she was doing a play at Neptune Theatre in Halifax. She was on a local radio station plugging it. During the engagement, Patricia and I went to a local mall one evening, and Joyce Dewitt walked right past us. I said something profound like, "Wow! That's Joyce Dewitt!" Patricia looked at her and said, "Yep! That's Joyce Dewitt!" Sharp. We're sharp.

Joyce DeWitt, not being a deaf woman, heard our eloquent remarks, and turned and smiled and acknowledged that she was, indeed, Joyce DeWitt. She looked at me for a moment and said, "Bev! Is that you?" And I said it was, indeed, Bev. It wasn't quite as momentous an occasion as the time, say, Dr. Watson was introduced to Sherlock Holmes; or the guy carrying the peanut butter bumped into the guy carrying the chocolate, but you get the idea.

Anyway, Joyce DeWitt was kind enough to pose for this photo with us (I happened to have my digital camera with me, years before I had a BlackBerry with a built-in camera) and answer a question or two from us. Joyce DeWitt was in a hurry, so she dashed off; but a few minutes later she found us to make sure that the picture had turned out ok! That was pretty classy. Plus, she gave me her phone number and invited me to call her at her big, scary hotel room at 3 in the morning. I said, "What about Patricia?". Joyce DeWitt said, "She can watch!". And I said, "Well, as long as she has something to do, it's ok with me". But that is a story for another time.

Oh, this is fun. What's next?

Two Premiers of Nova Scotia, that's what.

On the left is me in 2003 with former Premier John Buchanan; and on the right, John Hamm is posing with me. Or the other way around. Your pick.

Hamm was running for re-election in 2003 when I learned he would be appearing at the local Tim Hortons. I managed to finagle an opportunity to have my picture taken with him. And john Buchanan was easy to meet as well. He was at a local nomination meeting, and he kindly agreed to pose with me that evening. A very nice man, and a funny one, too.

More later. Post 100.1! Appropriate for reasons you'll learn shortly!

99th Post - So Very Close!

I am home much earlier tonight than I normally am. Patricia is still not feeling well, so I drove her home after work rather than go to my Toastmasters meeting. She is home resting now, while I am here, plugging and blogging away.

It may interest you to know that I have already begun work on Post #100. It should be the longest post by far. Just think of it as a special bonus feature, like the ones on dvd that you don't bother to watch.

Interesting day at work. But then again, pretty much every day at work is interesting. Color me... contented professionally, and it can only get better.

Someone teased me at work today about the name of this blog. Honestly, folks, I have been called Bevboy for about 20 years now. The name goes back to the beginning of my career when I was in an office where there was also a female named Bev. When someone called out, "Bev!", we both looked up, which was confusing to say the least. So, they called her Bev Girl; and me, Bev Boy.

And, in my Toastmasters club, there is also a female named Bev. She goes by "Beverly" mostly, and that is a dirty word to me. Hate being called Beverly, as I have already explained. To tell us apart in the club, they call her Bev Girl; and me, well, I guess you're already ahead of the game. Bevboy.

The name "Bevboy's Blog", and the associated url ( confused her as it seemed to suggest that, I suppose, I had children, and that this blog concerned my children, or that the blog fixated on children in a creepy, inappropriate manner best not discussed any further. I swear to you, the millions of you reading this blog, that nothing could be further from the truth. "Bevboy" is a nickname I have had for a long time now. It is alliterative, and along with "blog", makes the blog name easy to remember for those of you who tell your friends about how wonderful this blog is.

Any questions?

See you tomorrow for... #100

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

98th Post - Goodbye to The Book Room!

Heard on the news tonight that The Book Room is going to close soon, after nearly 170 years of business in Halifax.

They have cited a few reasons for closing. Big box stores, heavy discounting where books are available below cover price at places like grocery stores and drug stores, online sales, and the high Canadian dollar, which closed slightly above par with the American dollar today.

Even though the Canadian dollar has been doing so well, the price of books is still expressed in Canadian funds as the dollar was a few years ago. This can mean quite a difference in price between the American price, and the Canadian one. Canadians have complained loud and long about this one, and have taken it out on the bookstores, when it is not their fault. They charge what the Canadian price is. And since it's Canada, it's not like they're going to accept American currency as payment.

Some Canadian bookstores, the ones with deep pockets, offer all kinds of discount options that the independent booksellers like the Book Room cannot afford to provide. Consumers will go toward the lower prices nearly every time. Why pay more? Get the cheaper price. I know I usually do.

I think there is another reason why this store is closing. They moved to Barrington Street around 1995, 96. For several decades they were on Granville Street, a couple of blocks away. That store, the one they abandoned, was a huge, sprawling, wonderful place that was a pleasure to shop and browse in. The newer one was much smaller, more "cozy" in a bad way, and I have never felt as comfortable in it.

They dramatically downsized when they moved to Barrington Street. And the quality of the merchandise hasn't been as good in the last couple of years. I can point to several paperback books that have been on those shelves for 18 months or longer. "Black Dahlia: Avenger" is a so-called true crime book that was discredited about 5 minutes after it was published. Yet, when I was in the Book Room a couple of weeks ago, that book was still sitting there in the true crime section, pages yellowing with age, with a kind of plaintive look that said, "Look, I know the theory expressed in this book is bull pucky, but buy me anyway before this store goes the way of the dodo!"

I know they are still getting in new books, or at least were up to today, but the days of the Book Room being a cool place to buy books were over several years ago. I am sorry to see it go, but better to go with some dignity, and its head held high, than to have it stumble and lose any competitive advantage it may have left.

Damn shame to see another new bookstore leave the downtown. There aren't many left.

What is your favourite bookstore in Halifax?

Two posts to #100. Getting excited yet?


Monday, January 28, 2008

97th Post - Playing Hooky

Despite my begging her to stay home, Patricia opted to go to work today. We had a storm over night, and the drive in to work this morning was an adventure. I have driven in worst weather, but one doesn't like to keep count of such things; one just does them as best one can, grateful to arrive at one's destination in a single contiguous piece.

(There is a word in the previous sentence that gives a clue as to what I do for a living, by the way).

Anyway, I got Patricia to work this morning, and then had a heckuva hard time driving up the hill to the place where I park my car. The street was snow-covered and it was raining/sleeting, so the street was impossible for my car to navigate. I guess my car is crying for snow tires, huh?

I ended up backing down the hill to Barrington Street, happy that nobody else was angling to go up the street as I was going down. I drove down Barrington Street, to Inglis, to Queen, and then onto the street where I park all day. Even then, the car nearly fish tailed out of my control before I managed to get it to the parking area.

After that, I had to walk to work, in sneakers, as I had left my boots at work on Friday. Got to work a little bit late, but I was still one of the first ones there, the weather conditions having made the roads difficult for everyone else.

Called Patricia about half an hour after I arrived. She had had her head down since arriving at her work, and sounded awful.

I BlackBerried her during break and convinced her to go home, or perhaps she had just decided to go home based upon people's opinions of how she looked.

My boss agreed to let me drive her home, and because of the weather conditions, I was allowed to work from home today rather than risk my life driving back to work afterward. Patricia needed to grab some foodstuffs, so we got them on the way home.

I dropped her off, and got back to my place around 1pm, where I logged on to my work and got quite a bit done over the next five and a half hours. One task took several hours, but because I was home, by myself, I was able to concentrate on doing it without being interrupted by someone at work, even if it was for a good reason.

I have long been skeptical about "working from home". I don't mind admitting it, and putting it out there on this blog for the world to see. I think I come by this skepticism honestly. I worked with one guy at a previous job who arbitrarily and unilaterally decided to "work from home", more often than he would bother to show up at the office. Never met a person who would have more excuses to "work from home". His wife was sick. His kid was sick. He had a buddy visiting from Taranna. His dog was sick. Car broke down. Whatever. After a while, I didn't even pay attention to what his flimsy excuses were. I just knew he had been hired to work side-by-side with me, to provide relief on the jobs I was given to work on. Instead, he worked on other projects, some useful, some not, while I did the day-to-day work. He also got to go on training opportunities not afforded me (someone had to hold down the fort, you know). He always made it in to work on those days. Remind me to tell you what happened to him some day. I'm dying to tell you.

Anyway. Where was I?

Right. However, today, this afternoon into this evening, I can state that the discrete tasks I worked on from home got done maybe more quickly than I would have been able to at work. What that says about my productivity at work, versus at home, I cannot say, because I can get a lot done at work, too. Perhaps it was the choice of tasks that I performed this afternoon/evening. Perhaps there is a place for working at home from time to time. Perhaps it was because I wanted to make up for the time I missed because I had been allowed to work from home for one day and appreciated the opportunity and didn't want to screw it up. I don't know. I doubt I'll get much opportunity to perform field research, and that's fine by me.

I worked until 6:30, and enjoyed the commute into the recroom, where I plopped myself on the couch for the evening. I decided that since there was nothing on television, that I would watch a film through video on demand. I watched "Breach", the film about Robert Hannsen, the FBI agent who sold secrets to the Soviets for many years before finally being caught. I liked this film quite a bit, and I hope that you, the millions of you reading these words, decide to check it out.

George Bush is giving his final State of the Union speech as I type these final words this evening. I am pleased to report that the state of this blog is strong!

Good night, one and all.


Sunday, January 27, 2008

96th post. Sick

Patricia is still sick with the flu. I am beginning to develop the same symptoms she has had recently.

My cat is slowly becoming a lap cat. Three times tonight he has fallen asleep on my lap. It is where he is right now which is why I am thumbing these words on my BlackBerry.

Have been transferring vhs tapes to DVD in recent weeks. Bought a DVD recorder in early December. Amazing how little space these take up versus tapes. Will buy a few disc storage binders which will eventually store all the movies and documentaries I will want. Will freecycle virtually all of my vhs tapes when I am done dubbing what I want.

Of course, this will take several months as this dubbing process is a real time one. A 6 hour tape takes 6 hours to copy to a DVD followed by assigning names to the titles and the disc itself before I finalise it, making it playable on other DVD players.

(Newbie is still asleep. Will type more quietly)

The best thing about the recorder is that it detects the signals that the VCRs I have employed over the years have written to tapes as they began to record a show or movie for me. These signals make it easy for me to find the program I want on the tape loaded into the VCR

The DVD recorder reads these signals and assumes that I want it to create separate entries or titles on the resulting DVD. I am usually a "don't assume anything" kind of guy but this feature is one that I love. It is one that enables me to create a DVD containing 6 episodes of "Regenesis" (to use but one example) showing up as separate entries that I can select from a DVD players menu. Pretty slick.

Bored yet?

Newbie is still asleep. What does he do all day to warrant needing so much rest?

Good night!

Via BlackBerry Enterprise Server

Saturday, January 26, 2008

95th Post - Saturday

Slept in this morning. Upon my eventual getting up, I called Patricia, who informed me that she wasn't feeling well. Around 10:30 I got to her place and discovered that she was extremely feverish. I stayed with her until the afternoon, when I went to a local grocery store to get her some popsicles, some pudding, some apple sauce, things that she could keep down. I came back here afterward, where I have been doing laundry and taking things easy ever since.

Before I left this morning, I saw that the next door neigbhour, the one on the other side of the wall from me, was going to have an open house today. They have the place ready to rent out again. That may mean that I'll have a new neighbour soon. Of course, if a prospective person asks me directly, I'll be honest about the area. I'll mention Paula Gallant, and my break-in last summer (and who did it, and where he lives), and how the neigbhour kids like to torment the people who live on that side of structure. I am not going to lie. Not wired that way.

When I got Patricia's snacks this afternoon, I was so tempted to get a burger afterward, but somehow managed to resist. I will do my best not to eat quite so much crap in the future, and also step up the exercise regime. After work on Monday, or maybe even at lunch time on Monday, I'll spin again. Gotta. Just gotta. No two ways about it.

Getting very close to post #100. Have some fun things in mind for it. That particular post may be delayed, however, so I can get those things in place. Hope you understand.

Friday, January 25, 2008

94th post. Short and sweet

Long day. Good day

Worked all day. Had to do a couple of things today I hadn't done before. Those things went well

After work I went to the gym for a spin class. Following that I met up with Patricia at the food court of the building where she works. We got something to eat at the Chinese food place there. They serve authentic Chinese food there and I enjoy it a great deal

After that we went to her work where we completed an application for a free wedding. Through a local paper. I walked to the car and picked up Patricia. We drove home.

Very tired from the spin class. I will sleep well tonight

Good night

Via BlackBerry Enterprise Server

Thursday, January 24, 2008

93rd Post - The Weigh In

Well, today was the weigh in for the Biggest Loser campaign at my work. At around 1:15 I waddled and wheezed my way down to the gym in my building and waited my turn to be weighed. I had to pause several times on the way to inhale oxygen.

The good news is that I don't weigh quite as much as I thought I did.

And the cool news, given my predeliction for radio, is that my weight today, measured in kilograms, is the same as the frequency for a Halifax radio station.

If you say it is 89.9 kg, I'll kiss you.

If you say it's 104.3 kg, I'll kill you! I'll hunt you down! If you enter the witness relocation program, I'll still find you!

I have a figure in mind of an amount of weight I want to lose. If that amount represents a percentage of my total body weight greater than anyone else's weight loss percentage, and I achieve that weight loss, then I will win a day off with pay.

After work on Friday, I will do a spin class. First one in several weeks. Shameful that I haven't gone more frequently, but now I have an incentive.

I will also stay away from the kinds of foods that lead to weight gain. I'll eschew those victuals, and reach for more fruit (I can't seem to get enough bananas in my mouth lately). I'll also resume my noon hour walks, along with the spin classes.

Someone named "K" offered me some tips for losing weight by way of a comment to a previous blog entry. I thank that person. I have never been one to do a lot of weights. I suppose I should, but I have always found that I have to do a type of exercise that I can tolerate well or I won't do any at all. I have never cared for weight lifting, but have grown accustomed to spin classes. They remind me of a more carefree time, before the years washed my hair gray, before I had a mortgage, back to the days when I couldn't buy a damn date with a woman, when I'd ride my bicycle over hill and dale, dale and hill. I'd be gone for hours, just wondering what was over the next hill crest, or what was down that road over there, and finding out, because I had nothing better to do. They were solitary times when I'd have a lot of time to think (I have forgotten entirely what those topics for rumination were, so don't ask). I really wish, though, that I had had a radio attached to the bike! Some background noise would have been most helpful!

So, walking, eating better, and spinning my ass off will be my recipe for success. I am out there to win this contest. Eat my dust!

Wish me luck. And try to guess what my weight was today.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

92nd Post - Getting there!

I am edging ever closer to post number 100. What would you like to see for that post? I am thinking of throwing up some pics of myself for that post for the millions of you to enjoy.

The word of this blog is slowly making its way around. I had tried to advertise this blog with one of the blog search engine thingies, but I became frustrated at the process and gave up, and just started telling people I knew about it. Like the shampoo commercial, they told two friends, who repeated the process ad nauseum to the point where I must have, my goodness, 20 or 30 people reading it.

Seriously, if each person reading this would take just a moment to post a comment, it would be great. I am not begging, yet, but consider this a base appeal to the lady or gentleman in you from the lady or gentleman in me (it's hard to tell some days).

Toastmasters meeting went really well tonight. We were worried just a few months ago about how we'd be able to continue as we'd get 5-7 people to a meeting. Tonight, we had something like 15 people, including 4 guests. One new member gave his ice breaker speech tonight. He is from Mexico and is now a Canadian citizen. He calls himself a Canuxian now. A Mexican Canuck. You understand.

Tomorrow is the official weigh-in as my department launches a Biggest Loser contest. The winner gets a day off with pay. I am doing this because I need to lose a few kilos. It has been very hard to motivate myself to go to the gym like I otter. I mean, I walk several blocks to and from work each day, as I park my car in the south end of the city, and work downtown. It is some exercise, but I know it's not enough. (Downtown parking is crazy expensive, and the parking rate for this part of the city is very reasonable. )

I just have to remember to lift my stomach away from the wall where the scales are, or my true weight will not be displayed.

Everyone reading this: Post a comment!


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

91st Post - Missing Monday

I didn't have a chance to post on Monday. I was not feeling at all well yesterday. I developed one of my patented headaches in the afternoon at work and barely remember driving home last night. Had a quick dinner at the South End Diner, got home around 6, fed the cat, and went to bed to lie down for a short time until the headache went away.

The next thing I knew, it was 5:30 this morning. Except for one phone call from my parents, and a trip or two to the bathroom, I slept for the better part of 11 hours.

I feel fine today. Thanks for asking.

I have been experiencing these headaches since I was a little kid. I remember on my first day of Grade 3. It was the first year that we had to stay that extra hour. I got home at 3 pm or whatever it was, and collapsed in a heap on my parents' couch, exhausted, and with a headache.

For many years, I could "count" on a headache a week, usually the first day of work or the first day of study when I was in high school and then university. I'd feel sick to my stomach (but never became sick to my stomach, not even once), my vision would blur, and I found that things like Tylenol were like candy, as they had no positive effect on the headache at all. The only cure, consistent cure that is, was to sleep in a dark room until the headache went away.

I sought professional advice as a young adult working in an intense I.T. environment that demanded that I remain alert and productive every day. Every day, we had to bill an average of 8 hours to our clients, and there were all kinds of productivity tools that our bosses employed to ensure that our work was of top quality and done on time to boot. Imagine doing that every day. Maybe you do.

Anyway, I got a referral to see a specialist around 1990, 91. The specialist examined me and pronounced me healthy, but an intense person who needed to relax more. I was giving these headaches to myself, in essence, by taking things so damned seriously.

Ever since, I have tried to follow his advice, with mostly positive results. My headaches went down to perhaps 2 or 3 a month; but when I got them, leave me alone.

More recently, perhaps in the past five years or so, I discussed this with my physician, who mentioned that there had been some really good advances with headache medicine. He felt I had the type of headache best cured by either one type of prescription, or another. He gave me samples of both, and I found that the best cure was Zomig, with the active ingredient being something called zolmitriptan.

What a life saver! How many headaches I would have experienced, that went away as a result of this stuff, I cannot gauge. I just know that when the pills run out, as they did a week or two ago, I am on thin ice and vulnerable to these migraines again. When I feel a migraine coming on, I take a pill, and 45 minutes or so later I feel fine. I will go to the drugstore after work and fill that prescription.

So, that was my Monday evening: Sacked out, resting, praying to get over this headache.

More later.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

90th post - Where did the day go?

How was your day?

Slept in. Tackled my dishes and my laundry. Cooked dinner. Slept some more in the afternoon

Those guys didn't some by the house today to look at my books didn't even call me to say they were not coming. Hope to find out tomorrow what happened (or didn't) today

Played test the nation tonight on the CBC. Got 40 out of 60 and Patricia got 39. Trivia question harder than I thought they would be. The next edition will be about sports. Will not bother watching it. Will be lucky to get 2 out of 60 on that edition.

Tonight, the Bloggers won the competition. I feel a little gratified about that, being a blogger now.

Have a good night

Via BlackBerry Enterprise Server

Saturday, January 19, 2008

89th Post - Scariest. Movie. Ever

Spent the last day and a half running the roads.

Went to a movie with Patricia on Friday afternoon. It was "National Treasure 2", which is not the scariest movie I have ever seen. That is coming up.

I guess we're at the age, and the stage, of our lives when we don't care that much for seeing films in theatres. The cost of seeing a film there is much higher than renting one, or having the movie channels at home. But mostly, we have to be slaves to their schedules. The movie starts at 3, so we have to wait around until it starts, killing time. Here, with video on demand, we can watch what we want, when we want. While we don't have cable or satellite at the cottage, I do tape movies and we watch them down there, when we want. We have both a vcr and a dvd player down there. Going to the theatre to see a film just seems... old-fashioned to me, or even quaint.

Friday night, I slept for many, many hours.

This morning, Saturday, I got up and did my dishes. That may not seem like a big deal to you, but it is to me, as I hate washing dishes with a passion that nearly trancends human emotion. But they're done, for another week(!).

This afternoon, I attended a Toastmasters Leadership Institute (TLI) in Cole Harbour. As I mentioned the other day, this is quite a distance from my home, and an increasing number of TM-related activities are taking place over there. I am not sure why. I am guessing that the people who make the decisions where to host events, live over in that part of the HRM. I feel a little sorry for them.

After it was over, I got a couple pizzas and took them to Patricia's, where we ate some of them, and watched an episode of "Journeyman", before I returned here to watch "Maxed Out", the scariest film ever.

If you haven't seen this film, check out the website. It is running on the movie channels these days. It is about the U.S.'s fascination with debt. It was made about a year ago, before the sub-prime mortgage crisis hit the fan, and many of the things that the film foretold are starting to happen down there, now. As Canadians, we ought not to be too smug about this, because there are plenty of us who bear far too much debt as well. If you watch this movie, it will scare the hell out of you, and frighten you out of ever applying for another credit card again.

This is one of the movies that I taped on vhs, and recently transferred over to dvd via my dvd recorder which has a built-in vcr and which allows me to dub directly from vhs to dvd with a push of a single button. It also allows me to go in the other direction, to copy from dvd to vhs, but that is an option I cannot foresee ever needing to exploit. I want to get rid of my vhs tapes, replacing some of them with a dvd copy, not fill up more tapes.

I go back on call in about an hour and a half. The two weeks I am not on call seem to fly by. Can't believe it's been two weeks since I was last on call.

Very tired tonight. Bed, here I come!


Friday, January 18, 2008

88th post - Blogging from the dealership

Here I am. I am thumbing these words from the Chev olds dealership on Robie street. It is just past 730 am Friday morning

Up at 530. Showered fed the cat and went to the rec room. I am gradually recording the Stanley Kubrick films available through video on demand. Recording 2001 right now

After I pay too much for the oil change and tire rotation I will get breakfast somewhere and do a little shopping before returning home. Patricia and Ii were gonna go out today. However once again I am hearing that the drive home tonight will be dire. Snow changing to rain. Lots of driving fun!

Brought my walkman. When CJCH plays "seasons in the sun" I switch to another station until the song is over . Brian and Deb have no choice but to play it from time to time. I just wish they would give me a heads up by saying something like "Coming up! Seasons in the sun! Bev you know what to do!". I have been listening to this station for over 30 years and I feel I have earned this much good will

Say folks. What song do you hate to such an extent that you find you must switch to another station or turn the radio off or something? Please add your comments to this blog posting. I am most interested in reading your comments about this earth shattering topic

More later. Want more fair trade coffee

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

87th Post - Up Early Tomorrow

Short post tonight. I have to go to bed early as I am up early, almost as if it were a usual day of work, because I foolishly agreed to a car oil change to be done at 7 o'clock on my day off!

My parents have arrived in New Brunswick. My sister and her husband have more-or-less talked them into staying longer than just a few days. They have enough medications to last them for a few weeks, and probably enough clothes, too. The sisters will check out the house on a regular basis.

I may check it out, too, even though this weekend is turning out to be one where I'll be largely busy. Oil change and Patricia stuff on Friday. Toastmasters Leadership Institute on Saturday afternoon, in friggin' Cole Harbour. End of the world, it may as well be. If I ever run another one of these TLI's, I'll move it to this side of the harbour, where God wants it to be.

On Sunday, a couple of guys may be coming to my house to sift through my comics. Most of the real collectable stuff is gone, having been sold to other collectors a few years ago. One guy bought virtually every Spider-Man comic I had, for an amount of money that in retrospect was pretty insulting. But he wouldn't budge. He would pay, what he would pay. Take it or leave it. I took it, but it still hurts, 3 years later. You live and learn.

I am not sure what these new guys want. One of them is heavily into DareDevil. The other one sent me his want list, and I know I have some of those books.

True story: When I was a wee slip of a lad, I bought issue #181 of the Incredible Hulk. This book, today, is highly sought after by fans to this day because it features the first appearance of Wolverine. If you are thinking Hugh Jackman and the X-Men movies, you are on the right track. Pretty sure the issue was written by Len Wein, and it was pencilled by Herb Trimpe, an artist who's long since fallen out of favour with fans, and who even in the mid 1970's wasn't consider to be a "sexy" artist. But because this character became so popular later on, in the hands of writers like Chris Claremont and artists like John Byrne, his initial appearance is wanted by fans who will probably be disappointed if they ever get their hands on a copy. Wolvie only appears at the very end of that issue, folks, and spends much of the next issue fighting the Hulk, which he has done several times over the ensuing years.

Anyway, I bought that issue of the Hulk, because that is what I did back then. That, and Giant-Size X-Men #1, the first appearance of the new X-Men (think of the X-Men movies, and you're on the right track). Both of those comics, and a bunch of others, were "donated" by my parents to a literacy program up North. These comics were shipped up there, cut down to the individual panels, and used as a teaching tool for children. Sweet.

I did get my revenge. Many years later, I showed my parents a copy of the Overstreet Price Guide, and showed them what those two comics were worth back then, the late 1990's, I think. Upon learning what they were worth, they apologized to me.

So, these guys may be showing up on Sunday. I do have some neat things left, like the third volume of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Black Dossier). This book was only meant for the United States. Not available in Canada for some reason. I still got a copy, so phooey to you, Alan Moore! If you saw the film, the one with Sean Connery, you can be forgiven for thinking that this series is a piece of... junk. But the books are incredible inventive and entertaining. Alan Moore's knowledge of the popular culture of the late 1800's is unparalleled. In the Black Dossier, which I haven't read yet, the action shifts to the 1950's. I am guessing that the allusions to that period will be accurate and more than plentiful and will joyfully sail over my head. Jess Nevins already has an online annotation to this book, and I will be buying the book once Nevins publishes it, as I did his annotations for the first two books in the series.

10:30. Time for bed. I'll try to blog from the car place tomorrow.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

86th post - very long day

Got up 17 hours ago. Very tired

Up at usual time of 530 am. Worked. Had a Toastmasters exec meeting at lunch. Back to work and worked through my coffee break

After work picked up my car and parked it downtown so I wouldn't have to walk a long distance after the meeting in the cold

Got to meeting around 530 tonight

Meeting went well. Kirk is the best vice president education the club has had in many a year. Very much on top of things. Not just saying that because he reads this blog

Girl bev keeps track of the club funds like a cat does a canary

All other exec members sharp as tacks

Best year the club has had since perhaps I joined. It is on my watch as president but all I do is show up each week

Speech went much better than I thought it would. It was role playing where kirk was pretending to apply for a job and being interviewed by a panel of volunteers. He did it twice and we pointed out areas for improvement. He was much better the second time. My presentation was 27 minutes long. Went by like that!

Drove Rhea home. She is in in the club and a neighbour to boot. Exchanged rumours about the Paula Gallant murder. Best not discussed here

Got bad news when I got home. My uncle Bev (my namesake) is dying. Perhaps only days to live. Want to drive to new Brunswick to see him again but weather promises to be crappy all weekend. My parents going there tomorrow

Still think I should go

Up in 6 hours 55 minutes. Another long day tomorrow

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

85th Post - Speech

Tomorrow's speech will be interesting.

You guys watch "Prison Break"? It was entertaining the first two seasons but now in season three we have the first scripted show that can continue during the writers strike. The actors are clearly making it up as they go along. No scripts are required!

They fight. They get along. They fight some more. They try to break out of SONA even though they don't know why they have a deadline to do so and the guy who they are breaking out changes the rules from one episode to the next. They are just filling screen time improvising a show while we sit home dumb founded wondering why we're watching this train wreck.

That is how I am approaching my speech tomorrow night. The subject deals with how to take a job interview. How to prepare for an interview. How to dazzle the selection panel. What not to do. That kind of thing

I have been struggling with how to "write" this speech. Nothing has worked. I just pray that my approach (which I have not tried before) works for me. It may be a big success. Or I may fall flat on my ass

Wish me well. I frigging need it!

Via BlackBerry Enterprise Server

84th Post - A Pressing Problem

It seems that someone is trying to sell a pair of Gary Coleman's pants on ebay.

Jimmy Kimmel, the talk show host, is one of the bidders. Try to guess which one.

What would a pair of mine go for? Washed?


Monday, January 14, 2008

83rd Post - Volunteerism, Part Three of Three

So, why do people no longer volunteer like they used to? It is hard to say. People are busy with families and work. They are maybe more interested in making a few extra dollars because money is tight and they need that extra coin and just can't devote the time that maybe their parents would back in the day.

In my own case, I have had some really negative experiences with volunteering that have soured me on giving my time to some organization. When I am treated with disrespect, when I get the run around from someone, when I am either lied to or misled in some way, I tend not to want to help out those people in the future.

In the case of the tall ships, my experience with them last summer was so poor, so bad, so negative, that I don't even want to attend the next tall ships festival as a tourist. I'll spend that weekend in 2009 or 2010 at the cottage with a cold beverage and a warm kitty. You guys can go and be shepherded around and subjected to random security searches by overzealous so-and-so's. I'll think about you over that beverage.

As for the Buskers: I am not sure what to say. They broke my heart. I missed not seeing my buskers friends last year. It is highly unlikely that I will see them again. I am a little angry with a couple of the volunteer co-ordinators. One of them was charged with attempted murder a few years ago. I supported him during that ordeal, even after he was found guilty of a much reduced charge. I thought he was a good guy and in my corner. I guess I was wrong.

I still give my time to Operation Red Nose every year. Their volunteer co-ordinator is a woman to whom I find it very difficult to say no. Her husband is a nice fellow, too, and I'd volunteer for them again in a heartbeat. But that's about it.

Except for ORN, my volunteer days are just about over. Too much hassle, too much b.s., no appreciation.

It's taken me a long time to understand this, but there is a truism in life, an axiom that is difficult to overlook: No good deed goes unpunished.

Any questions?


82st Post - Volunteerism, Part Two

Where was I?

Right. The Buskers Festival.

I started volunteering for the Buskers festival in 2002, if memory serves. I agreed to be a driver for them. This would inthvolve picking up and dropping off buskers before and after their gigs along the waterfront. It would involve picking people up at the airport, sometimes pretty late at night, or taking them back to the airport when they were done with the festival.

The shifts were a little long, but I had such a good time over all meeting these interesting people from all corners of the world that I didn't mind. After a couple of years, the returnees began to recognize me and give me a pat on the back and say hi. One musical group from Australia, OPA, upon learning that I had been too busy driving them and their colleagues around the festival and therefore hadn't had a chance to catch their act, peeled off one of their cd's from the pile of cd's they were selling, and gave it to me with their compliments.

I enjoyed meeting these people from 2002 through 2006, and I sure was looking forward to offering the Buskers Festival a few more shifts last year. After my crappy experience with the Tall Ships, I knew that this would be better.

If only!

I began receiving e-mails from the Buskers people in May, I think. I wrote them back, saying when I could work for them. I had worked it out that upon returning from my two weeks of vacation, I could work a couple of shifts that first weekend, maybe even Friday night. I'd be a driver again.


I heard nothing.

I kept writing them, asking them if they had received my fax containing the list of shifts I could offer them. Didn't hear back. I called them. Got voice mail.

Finally, the week of the festival, I walked to ESP Productions, the folks who put the festival (and others) on. I went there on my lunch hour. I was going to find out why they hadn't contacted me. Upon arriving at the office, they told me, in a round about, mealy-mouthed way, that they couldn't offer me any shifts because they already had enough drivers that year.

They hadn't had the... meatballs, the ravioli, the penne, to tell me over the phone, or via e-mail, that they wouldn't have anything for me to do. I had to go out of my way to learn this. The fact that I had worked for them for 5 years meant nothing to them, and that hurt more than anything else.

I turned around and left. A week or so later, they wrote a blanket e-mail, including me, concerning the festival. I was still angry with them, so I wrote them and asked them to drop me from their mailing list. I didn't want to hear from them again.

As someone at work told me one day over coffee: I am the first person ever to be fired from a volunteer organization. If I had kids, I'd save that little anecdote for them. As I have none, I'll share it with you.

My point? It's in the next post!

81st Post - Volunteerism

I recently read in the paper about how it is becoming difficult to find volunteers for things any more.

I get that.

I used to volunteer for lots of things. I'd volunteer for the Jazz Festival, the Buskers Festival, the Tall Ships, Word on the Street, and others things. They would take up an enormous amount of my free time, and even sleep time. Work all day, volunteer for something until 10 or 11 at night, drive home, sleep, get up again for work. Repeat.

As recently as 2007, I volunteered for the Tall Ships Festival and then the Buskers Festival. What a rip! I have been involved in many volunteer opportunities over the years. In all that time, I have never seen a more disorganized event than the Tall Ships.

Let me tell you about it.

When you volunteer for things, your name gets out there and people are more likely to hit you up to volunteer for their things. And so it was last June when I got an e-mail from a volunteer co-ordinator looking for volunteers for the Tall Ships Festival the following month.

In retrospect, this should have got my spider sense tingling. If this was such a prestigious festival, if it was such a fun place to be, then they should have been a place where we would have had to queue up to volunteer, and be turned away if found wanting. Instead, here they were, just weeks away from the festival, trolling for volunteers by tapping the resources harvested by a volunteer co-ordinataor for another festival. You live and learn.

Anyway, I agreed to volunteer for the Tall Ships festival. I would be a PWSR, a Person With Security Responsibility in federal government parlance. On a Sunday morning(!), I attended this training at a downtown museum. Lunch would be provided. Eventually. It was mandatory (the training, that is, not the lunch).

The training was a crushing bore. I am not trying to complain here about that. It is just that when one volunteers for something, gives of himself and his time, it is best not to bore that person in the process. That should have got my spider sense tingling, too.

I agreed to work a couple of long shifts that weekend. Friday and Saturday, I think. The Friday was my scheduled day off. I showed up at the appointed time, and place, only to see that there were many new co-workers there, milling about, with nothing to do. We eventually let the public in to look at the ships that required a fee be paid to them in order to secure access to them by the great unwashed. I remember several people upon learning that they'd have to pay $18 for the weekend per person in order to see the ships, just turning away in disgust and disappointment. $18 is a tidy sum to lots of people, and I hated to turn people away like that.

Meanwhile, as we checked people's purses and handbags, we had to let so-called VIP people in for free. These were people who had managed somehow to finagle special passes, and they were treated like royalty.

Another one of my distasteful jobs those days was to walk along the waterfront, from one end to the other, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. Still not sure why, but we did get to ask a busker or two to leave. You see, buskers are typically allowed to work along the waterfront whenever they want. However, for this festival, anyone selling a product or a service would have to pay a substantial fee to the people who actually own the waterfront. (The Halifax waterfront is private property, you see, and they "let" people walk through it and use out of some sense of generosity.) Anyone, such as a busker plucking his guitar, or a magician pulling something out of a hat, would be asked to leave. One guy, the magician, became visibly angry with a security supervisor who referred to him as a panhandler. I have worked with many buskers over the years. Calling them panhandlers is just about the most insulting thing you can call them.

There was a volunteer tent, a place where we could get out of the sun and relax for a bit, and have a snack. Except, the snacks consisted of sandwiches: two slices of bread, a bit of butter and a thin slice of pressed turkey, pressed ham, or pressed beef in between.

After the longest 8 hours of my life, my first shift was over. Against my better judgement, I went back again the next morning for my second shift. I was told to report to a certain ship. Got there, and five minutes later was told that I'd spend my shift walking from one end of the waterfront to another, again, and again, and again.

Once again, they served the same sandwiches, along with warm beverages.

That second shift, that Saturday, the 14th of July, was my sister's 40th birthday. I sacrificed attending her huge birthday party, for this awful experience. I feel badly about having missed that party, especially having wasted my time and my weekend volunteering for this awful festival.

A friend of mine was a volunteer that weekend as well. His job was to drive people associated with the festival where ever they wanted to go. Instead, he spent the vast majority of his time sitting on a bench while other drivers not linked to the part of the waterfront he was supposed to work, did that driving for him.

Oh, we were told that as security people, we could have free beverages from any of the official Tall Ships kiosks. The first time I tried to get a drink, though, I was charged the full cost of that beverage, so I put it back.

I actually ducked out that second day a bit early. Insulted, tired, hot, thirsty, disgusted, I drove home.

At least, I still had the Buskers Festival in August to look forward to. I had always had a good time working for them as a volunteer. I was sure that 2007 would be a good experience too.

I was wrong.

More later.

80th Post - Another Radio Update

If you go to CJCH's website, you'll see, under the contact page, that Terry Williams is no longer the program director there or at C100.

What does this mean for the Hotline? What does this mean for even what ends up being played on C100?

I guess it all depends on, comes down to, how strong a champion Terry Williams was for the Hotline. I met him a couple of times. He was actually a guest speaker at a Toastmasters meeting in 2003. He always talked about how much he loved CJCH. I can't imagine that he would be anything other than supportive of the Hotline.

Is the new pd, Earle Mader, going to be as strong a champion for the Hotline? He had been the music director at C100, so I can't imagine that the music and programming at that station will change that much; but who knows what he will do with the programming at CJCH?

In this case, I can't imagine that this change bodes well for the Hotline.


Sunday, January 13, 2008

79th Post - CJCH Update

Just read the website message board. It passes along a rumour, which I am, too, that states that the Hotline with Rick Howe will not be a part of the programming once CJCH flips to FM.

Not sure what to say here. If they're gonna cancel it, just say so already. Have the courage to come out and say what people need to hear, even if they don't want to hear it. We could then launch a fight to keep it on the air, instead of engaging in endless speculation.

I don't get how replacing the Hotline, a three and a half hour show, with three and a half hours of music, oldies music that's been played into the ground and we're all sick of hearing, is an improvement for the listener.

I also don't get how replacing the Hotline with music will improve the ratings for the station. Right now, there are plenty of people who turn off the radio once the Hotline is over. They'll just turn it off that much sooner, and tune into Andrew Krystal's program on News 95.7. Or not listen to the radio at all.

There is something in the CRTC application that puzzles me, too. In granting the license to CTV Globemedia/CHUM to migrate CJCH to FM, the CRTC states that the company must divest itself of its 50% ownership of Kool FM. The other half of Kool FM is owned by Newcap, which also owns Q104 and 780 KIXX/CFDR.

(The rules state that no company may own more than 2 FM and 1 AM radio station per market)

This is where things get interesting.

(Well, for me, at least. )

CFDR has also been granted permission to flip over to FM. That hasn't happened yet. They're technically ready to make that transition as I understand it, but Newcap hasn't because they have to find someone to buy their 50% of Kool FM.


Who will buy Newcaps's 50%? Who will buy CTV Globemedia's?

Meanwhile, Global was granted (in 2004!) permission to set up its own radio station out of Dartmouth. I don't know why they haven't done anything with that license approval, but it does create interesting possibilities for the company that buys Kool FM, doesn't it? If that company could also acquire Global's license, it would then own two stations: Kool FM, and Breeze FM (I think that's what Global was going to call its station). That would create an environment where instead of 4 companies owning private radio stations (CTV Globemedia, Maritime Broadcasting, Evanov, and Rogers), there would be 5.

I don't know who this company may be. Perhaps Global will get off its arse and finally get its station on the air. Maybe it will offer to buy both halves of Kool FM. Maybe some other company will buy Global's license and then try to acquire Kool FM.

Who knows? I am sure it will be interesting.

So, is it time to say adieu to the Hotline? I hope not!

78th Post - Movies and Sarah Connor

Had a quiet day.

Slept for many, many hours last night. Went to Patricia's this afternoon, where we watched two movies: "Music and Lyrics" with Drew Barrymore and Hugh Grant. Very fun and funny little movie that got overlooked at the box office last year. We then followed up with "Shooter" starring Mark Wahlberg. I love those shoot 'em up movies where the bad guys get blown to pieces.

Just got finished watching "The Sarah Connor Chronicles". I liked it, but there is a problem. There have only been 3 Terminator films, and only the first two were directed by James Cameron. These films don't exactly come out every year or two. In transferring this mythology to television, the producers assumed that everyone watching would be aware of and had seen the films, at least recently. While there is some exposition, there isn't that much, and it seems that this show is directed at the existing Terminator fanbase and doesn't seek to expand it by starting this mythology at square one. Instead, it picks up somewhere between the second and third films, and we are left to figure out who everyone is based on context only as the orginal actors are nowhere to be seen.

Back to work tomorrow. And another storm, too, just as we drive home tomorrow night. Sigh!


Saturday, January 12, 2008

77th Post - Where Has The Day Gone?

CBC Radio is playing a 2 hour tribute to Oscar Peterson right now. That is all well and good, but why is it on radio one? Why not radio two, the stereo service?

Went to bed comparitively early last night and slept through the thunder and lightning that apparently happened. Didn't hear a thing.

Newbie woke me up early because he wanted to be fed, so I got up around 5 and fed him. He is slowly taking to his new food. He was always stealing Cindy Clawford's food, and she, his, whenever they got together. So, now, Newbie is slowly being introduced to her diet on a full-time basis. Earlier this week, I'd get home at night only to discover that half or more of the food I'd put out in the morning was still in his bowl. Now, there is much less of it in the morning when I get up, or when I arrive home at night. That is a good thing.

In case you were wondering, Patricia ended up going to the Winners at the West End Mall last evening. Or, is it the Halifax Shopping Centre Annex? I don't know what the cut off is between those two places, because it looks like one big structure to little old me.

Maybe it has to do with how much money they're spending on the places. A few months ago, Patricia had to renew her driver's license or permit or something. The place to do that in Halifax is at the SNSMR offices at the West End Mall. While waiting for her, I wandered around the place, and there ain't much there no more, folks. Where there used to be a bank, a dollar store, a food court, an optician, and a bunch of other places, there are just empty stores. A few, a very few, retailers are still there, but mostly it is just emptiness. I recall the food court containing five or six venues, like an A&W; but there is absolutely nothing left. There is a lotto place, a dry cleaner's, a Tim Horton's, a Wells Fargo Financial, SNSMR, a HRM office, and that is about it. If those two government offices pulled out, the few associated businesses wouldn't last long at all.

Anyway, I got up for the day around 7:30 and began my day by washing my dishes. I shot some video on my BlackBerry of all the dishes that had to be washed this morning. I will not be putting it up here because I don't want you to think I am a pig living in my own filth.

After I did my dishes, I commenced my laundry. I ended up washing and hanging something like 16 shirts. Things were so bad at work this week, that on Thursday I nearly wore that, um, it was red and faded shirt. It isn't pink. It was red and faded. I did manage to dig into the back of my closet and find something a little more masculine, though.

I have to work on a Toastmasters speech. These advanced speeches are ones that require a great deal of effort. Half of that effort is finding a hook, something to make the speech interesting and compelling to my audience. Finally found one this week. I'll be doing a speech, a 30-40 minute workshop really, on job interviews. How to take one. How to prepare for one. How to try to get that damned job. Here's the title: "No! No! No! No! No! Yes!"

If you'll excuse me I have to write down my thoughts and prepare for this major presentation.


Friday, January 11, 2008

76th Post - Five Things About Bevboy You Didn't Know

1. I stopped eating eggs last year after Patricia told me that chickens don't have vaginas. How do chickens lay eggs, you ask? Well, you know when you go to a farmer's market to buy farm-fresh eggs, and sometimes there's dirt on them? That's not dirt.

2. There's a young man who works at Blowers Street Paper Chase who looks like the Predator. He frightens me a little.

3. I hate being called Beverly, even though that's my name. Women call me that to be playful or coquettish or something. Just pisses me off. So, ladies, from here on, please call me, "Hmm. Bev!" In fact, you can call me that as often and as slowly as you wish. Starting now. If you want to practice at 3 o'clock in the morning, that's ok. I'm in the book.

4. My parents named me "Beverly", even though that is the female version of the name. It should have been "Beverley". I am scouting around for a sub-par nursing home for them.

5. I have to wash my dishes tomorrow. Once a week, whether I need to or not.

6. I have poor counting skills.


Thursday, January 10, 2008

75th Post - Declarative Statements

I declare it was a terrific Toastmasters meeting last night! We had something like 14 members and 4 guests all crammed into our meeting room. What a wonderful change from just a few months ago, when we were lucky to have 6 or 7 people show up for a meeting. My friend Adrian reports that he gets several e-mails a week from interested parties wanting to check us out. I actually got an e-mail today from someone wanting to check us out. No idea how this person got my addy. And a third person told me today that there are a couple people at her work who want to check us out. Where will we put them all?

I declare that today at work there was an e-mail from someone running a Healthy Workplace Program. She wants to start up a Biggest Loser-type competition, where the person who loses the biggest percentage of weight will win a day off with pay. I enjoy days off with pay, especially when they do not count toward my vacation entitlements, and I do need to take off a few pounds. I have found it more and more difficult to work out lately. Extremely hard to motivate myself to go to the gym. I do walk several blocks to and from my car each day, and try to get outta the office during my lunch hour; but actual, sweat-your-scrogies-off-god-i'm-gonna-die-i-see-dead-relatives-beckoning-over-here-over-here-Bev exercise is something I don't do enough of. Perhaps if I am competing against and with others of a like mind I will be able to motivate myself, so I am going to try this out. Wish me luck!! I need it.

I declare that today I wore my fall jacket and no undershirt. I should have worn the undershirt because it was cool enough to justify the wearing of one.

I declare that I am not sure what I am going to do this weekend. Those guys may come over and buy some books from me. I may tackle my laundry. I may sleep all weekend.

I declare that when Patricia goes to Winners tomorrow night, I won't. Hate that store. If we go to the one in Bayers Lake, I'll go to Future Shop and salivate over the wonderful manly electronics in said store. If, however, we go to the one at the West End Mall/Halifax Shopping Centre Annex, I'll likely walk around to the Wal-Mart and spend time in the electronics section of that said store. No way will I go to Winners, though. Am I the only one who thinks they sell cast off crap that didn't sell at full retail in a real store?

I declare that this post is finished. Have a good night.

I declare that I am Bevboy.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

74th Post - Time for TM

I am about 20 minutes away from going to my first Toastmasters meeting for 2008.

I find that Wednesdays, as I get a little older and perhaps a little wiser, are becoming longer and longer. I mean, TM meetings are still fun; but getting up as I do at 5:30 ayem M-F, leaving the house before 7, workin' all day until 4:30-ish, going to a meeting that starts at 5:45 and wraps up at 7:15 or so, and then getting home by 8:30 if I am lucky, makes for a long day. And there are plenty of Wednesdays when I get home even later than that. There have been nights I get home at 10pm, feed the cat, and go to bed. Period.

Am I getting too old for this... stuff? I don't know. I still enjoy my meetings every week. I feel more energized and enthusiastic after they're over than I do before they start. I still take great delight in seeing a new person join and develop into a poised, confident public speaker. Table Topics (the impromptu portion of our meetings) are still a rush for me, 16 years later.

Tonight, we're having a debate meeting. We will debate a topic of my own device and vote for the team thought to have debated better than the other one. Then, we'll go home and watch some scintillating reality show.

Good times, good times.



Tuesday, January 8, 2008

73rd Post - Bonus Post for January 8

Man, this is your lucky day! Two posts in one day. What did you do to deserve this?

Got an interesting e-mail today, by mistake. A co-worker accidentally sent me an e-mail regarding Spider-Man, and his "Brand New Day" status quo. He included this link:

I realize the above link only would make sense to maybe a few thousand of you. The remaining hordes of readers of this blog would only understand a little bit of it. "Spider-Man?", you're thinking. "Oh, Tony MacGuire? Of course! Do they still publish him?"

First of all, it's Tobey MaGuire, and they still publish Spider-Man comics, yes.

The publishers of Spidey recently decided to push the old reset button on the character, again, for about the 30th time, I guess. Over the years, they have changed his costume, changed his powers, changed his appearance, tried to kill off Peter Parker and replace him with his clone (don't ask!), and now they fixed it so that the last 20 plus years of continuity "never happened". Peter Parker now never married Mary Jane Parker in 1987. They never had kids (although that piece of continuity was taken away years ago, anyway). Peter is back to using his webshooters. Aunt May is still alive, even though I'd swear having read several stories in which the old bat croaked. Peter may even be a virgin again for all I know.

If you have spent any time looking at the above link, you might wonder if today's comic book artists can indeed draw. It is easy to have the impression that this guy, John Romita Jr., can't. But J.R., Jr. as he is known has been drawing professionally for about 30 years now. I used to love his work in the late '70's and well into the '80's. He was apparently not allowed to draw in the style he wanted to use, and was ordered to draw in a style more akin to his father's, who drew Spider-Man for many years (he was the first guy to draw the character after the co-creator, Steve Ditko, left the book suddenly).

I preferred his work to what he has been doing for the last 15 years or so. His work is much scratchier, the characters look awkward and homely, like teenagers at a high school dance.

I'm glad that he is still getting work, and if lots of people prefer his current work to his old stuff, then I am obviously in the minority.

What was my point?

Oh, right!

Anyway, I got this e-mail in error. It led to an amusing riposte or two between the two of us where we learned that he is a big fan of comics, too, and he has some buddies who are too. I was jealous to learn that he has friends, when I do not. I am bereft of friends, actually. Don't have one. Not one at all. Sob!

What was my point?

Oh, right!

Turns out that he and his little friends are potentially interested in purchasing some of my comics, the ones I have been passively selling off some time now. I haven't been knocking myself out to get rid of them in the last couple of years now. The heyday for that was back in 2004 and into 2005. I haven't even had someone in the house to buy books from me since early 2006. That may be about to change.

With that extra money, I'll buy some... some... more jeans! Maybe black ones.

And toothpaste! I'll stock up. Can't have too much of that.

72nd Post - The Boy Again

I got an interesting piece of mail today. It was from the Community Justice Society. The boy who who broke into my house last year finally got around to writing that letter of apology over the holidays. It was mailed to me yesterday, and I got it today.

I am not sure what to say here. I will not reveal who it was, only that I know him and was extremely disappointed by what he did. He seems apologetic to say the least, knowing that he has destroyed my trust in him (natch!), and that I therefore would not let him do any chores around my house like mow my lawn or shovel my driveway (I have to admit, that was more out of spite than anything else!).

He does admit that actions speak louder than words, and that he has a long way to go to earn my trust back. I am hopeful that if he performs the community service that his case worker is arranging for him, that it will improve his attitude.

Just watching the local news as I type here. Some high school kids are talking about how they enjoy things like debate and other extra cirricular activities. They didn't say anything about breaking and entering homes. They have managed to make it to the age of this boy without running afoul of the law, as I did, as most of the thousands of readers of this blog have doubtless done. I guess life is all about making choices. As an ex-girlfriend of mine once told me, in a different context: It's all about what you do with it.

Of course, she was talking about... never mind!


Monday, January 7, 2008

71st Post - Pulling Through

Feel like living now. On Sunday, not so much.

I went to bed inordinately early Saturday night. I felt feverish and tired, and achey. I woke up Sunday with a fever and sore joints. If it makes any sense, my hair hurt. Rather than lay on my bed all day, I got up around 6:30 in the morning and went downstairs to lay back in my lazy boy chair for a few hours, before making it over the nearby couch to rest some more.

I didn't really eat anything yesterday. Drank some water, and Patricia brought me a couple bottles of ginger ale. I got the habit of drinking ginger ale when I was growing up, and my parents would buy it for whoever was sick in the family. Story goes, when my brother was dying of cancer, he asked for some ginger ale. My father went out in pursuit of some, but it was Christmas Eve, and the stores were closed. He returned home, empty handed, disappointed at having let his son down.

Ever since, whenever one of us was sick, there was always ginger ale in the house. I have continued the tradition into my adulthood, making sure I have some on hand during those special times. I try not to have pop at home otherwise, as I'll drink it if I have it.

I began to feel human again Sunday evening, but still called in sick today. I was still getting over a fever and only developing an appetite after a day and a half. I had a craving for fruit, though, so around 10 this morning, I ventured out for a few minutes to the local fruit and vegetable market.

I live in a community that is between two major shopping areas, one of them much larger than the other. Because of this situation, there is very little shopping in my own area. We have a Pharmasave Drug Store. We have a Tim Horton's, and it's a wonder, really, that we have that. We have some convenience stores and pizza places. And we have this tiny fruit and vegetable stand.

Came back here and rested for the afternoon. Tired tonight, at 7pm, and will go upstairs to the bedroom shortly for the rest of the evening.

Newbie was with me on the couch most of the afternoon. When I came into my office a little while ago to post this blog entry, he walked in here and positioned himself on a bookshelf so that he could watch me, or at least know where I was. Kinda sweet, actually.

Back to work tomorrow. Looking forward to it.


Sunday, January 6, 2008

70th Post - Short and sweet

Sick as a dog today. Slept most of the day. Flu I think

Probably staying home tomorrow


Saturday, January 5, 2008

69th Post - No coat

Just returned from a many hour trip to and from Truro. We had to go there to return the winter cost Patricia got me for Christmas

Got there around 3. We looked at the coats and could not find anything suitable. Patricia got her money back.

After leaving margolian's we checked out a couple more stores in truro before going to the walmart there. Not for coats but for more jeans! We ended up getting 4 more pairs so I now have 8 new pair

Felt poorly all day. Stomach been upset since this morning. Really glad to be back home. So is newbie who just jumped on my lap

Going to bed early

Going off call at midnight. Long 2 weekis with all these late night calls

Will write more tomorrow.

Love me love my blackberry


Friday, January 4, 2008

68th Post - Christmas Returns and Louses, and Stay Away from the Trail Shop!

So, as an early Christmas present, Patricia got me something to attach to my boots to help prevent me from falling ass over teakettle on the ice. Yak Traks. My spider sense should have been tingling then, as my experience has always been that if a product contains a misspelling, then it is not a good product.

I call these items, ironic products, because they are supposed to be really good but turn out to be otherwise, even useless, when used in an environment where they are not appropriate to be used.

First of all, I found them to be difficult to attach to my boots. They consisted of velcro straps to hold them in place, but they never stayed in place.

Second of all, I didn't find them to be terribly useful. I didn't feel they were helpful in preventing me from slipping on the ice. I am sure footed enough not to need them.

Thirdly, once I was inside, removing these things was anything but easy, and walking on regular floors was nearly dangerous. Picture yourself wearing cleats while playing baseball, and then wearing them inside.

After using these things once or twice, I became so frustrated by them, so fed up at having received a gift so utterly useless to me, that I removed them and threw them in the back seat of my car, where they remained until Thursday.

Patricia tried to return them tonight after work. She bought them just before the holidays at The Trail Shop on Quinpool Road, which has been in business since 1968. They refused to accept them, as they had been used outdoors! Well, of course they had been. I used them twice and found them to be unsuitable for the reasons I have must outlined. The manager had been rude to her, so Patricia invited me to call them and see what he might be like with me. He was useless to me as well, refusing to accept them because they were covered with salt. He pointed out that a car dealership would not accept a car that had been driven and covered with salt, so why should they?

I pointed out that this had been a gift and I had not had an opportunity to use them until I used them. We had not been told that if their wares had been used at all that they could not be returned. He didn't budge.

Disgusted that we were stuck with these stupid things, and that Patricia was out that money, I hung up on the guy and informed Patricia that she now had two pairs of these Yak Trak things, as I refused to wear them. We will also never do business with those people again.

I get that small businesses are feeling the pinch against the big box stores. But, you know what? It has been my experience that the big box stores, and even places like Mountain Equipment Co-Op, stand behind their products, and will more readily accept returns or offer store credit if an item is unacceptable. I eagerly await this business' demise.

Because of this dude's attitude, because he was a snarky little so and so, we will never buy anything from them again. If they were the last place in Halifax to offer something that we really, really needed, we'd order it online before we'd consider going back there.

Afterward, we drove to a nearby Wal-Mart (yeah, Wal-Mart!!) where I purchased several pairs of jeans. I guess I should have gone to a local small business and paid three times as much, but nah! I also bought one of those multiple input AV devices, as my tv only has 2 sets of AV jacks, and I am trying to hang 4 devices off it. Hooked it up tonight, and it works great. Maybe I should have bought it at the Trail Shop and paid more for it and been verbally abused to boot, but I will seek bargains and don't necessarily wish to support a local business just because it's local and been around for 40 years.

I am not sure if I have a point this evening. It sure has felt good venting my spleen, though. If I do have a point, it would be that from now on, I will be doubly, trebly sure of what a store's return policy is before making any purchase from that store, or even considering making a purchase from that store. If it seems unreasonable, I will take my business elsewhere.

Calming down now, I remain... Bevboy!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

66th Post - Seepy Time, Bye-Bye

Happy New Year, my millions of readers.

Received literally hundreds of e-mails from you guys wondering why I didn't post on January 1st. It is a new year's resolution to post at least once per day, but already I broke it. I resolve to do better! I promise.

Patricia loves the kitchen aid mixer. She will give the money to Andrea on Friday. She (Patricia) is super pleased with this unit, and she is getting it for a great price. Phooey to the Gilmore Girls!

On New Year's, I didn't do a whole lot. Watched a couple of movies through video on demand. Ate too much.

In the afternoon, we tuned into the Learning Channel where they ran back-to-back episodes of a show dealing with how surgeons deal with morbidly obese people. I must say, watching these extremely fat people scared the living heck out of me. It was very, very sobering for me.

So... No more Learning Channel! Pass the chips!

Took the bus to and from work today. I am starting to think that the people who forecast the weather on the radio are a bunch of wimps. They were going on and on and on this morning about how there had been a bad storm over night. How the roads were a challenge today. So, we decided to take the bus. The roads seemed fine. We didn't see any problems on the road. Tomorrow, we will take the car, unless the police go door-to-door and beg us to stay off the roads that is, or the buses are called off the road or something.

Even though I was only off for one day, I was extremely tired today. I was headachy and left work a few minutes early. The sooner I could get home, the sooner I could have a nap. Got home around 5:15, fed the cat, and was resting five minutes later. Got up around 7pm, feeling refreshed and awake, and went outside to shovel my driveway, which had filled in during the day (thanks, you feather duster drivers!!)

As luck would have it, the snow wasn't so packed down that I was able to shovel a path between my car and the end of the driveway in only about 20 minutes. I did that, while my cat sat inside on on the window sill staring at me, watching me work my ass off. He was probably saying, "Hah! Look at the silly human, shovelling his ass off, while I am inside and warm! And, he buys me expensive food and cat litter. And, I don't have to show my appreciation at all! Hah!!"

Little so and so! I am going to downgrade the quality of his cat food. By 10%! And, no more freshly-squeezed mouse juice!

PBS is running a 2 hour documentary tonight about Andrew Jackson, the 7th President of the United States. A buddy in the States sends me shows he tapes off the American History Channel from time to time. The latest batch arrived on December 31st. Amongst the small pile of dvd's was... a two hour documentary about Andrew Jackson, the 7th President of the United States! How many two hour documentaries are there about Andrew Jackson, the 7th President of the United States?

Is there a newly-created fetish about Andrew Jackson, the 7th President of the United States? I mean, I try to keep up on the latest fetishes, be they about gerbils, or feather boas, or cat fur. But this one, about Andrew Jackson, the 7th President of the United States, is a new one to me.

What do you guys think about Andrew Jackson, the 7th President of the United States?