Saturday, May 31, 2008

255th Post - Second Elvis sighting

Here we are at the Rebecca cohn in halifax. Elvis impersonator Thane Dunn is about to begin.
Won tickets from CJCH the other day. One last radio prize from the much-missed station.

Will write about the concert later. See post #259.

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254th Post - Elvis Sighting

Will write more later


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253rd Post - Peter Duffys Column in Saturday's Herald

Today's Duffy column is all about Rick Howe and the Hotline.

It hurts to read it. It is very sad.

Duffy alludes to your humble blogger in the column. I am the one who called in and proposed to his girlfriend on the air a couple of years ago.

Canceling the hotline hurts more than I can say or express. I couldn't get through on Thursday while the show was on. Phones were jammed with other callers trying to get through.

Is this all a bad dream?


Friday, May 30, 2008

252nd Post - Probably the Last CJCH Post Ever

A bit more news

They have hired a program director. He is an Italian guy named Robert Basile.

The first 3 weeks the new station will not have any on air staff. It will just be canned music 24 x 7. After that we will have a morning show and so on

Not that I will be listening

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251st post - Instant CJCH Nostalgia

Had this picture taken about 15 minutes ago at the radio station. There I am with the beautiful Deb smith in front of the former CJCH sign

Very sad day in radio

Deb is now the acting newsdirector at C100 and the new CJCH. Congratulations Deb!

More later

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250th Post - Live CJCH Blogging Part Eleven

Probably the last part.

CJ AM went off the air at 10 sharp. They were playing "Sweet City Woman" by the Stampeders at that time. At the same time, the test signal at 101.3 went live.

Jesus, what were they thinking?

CJCH FM is now 101.3 the Bounce. Young and bouncy. It seems to be an attempt to go against Z103.5.

The people behind this "new" station are giving the finger to all the established listeners of CJCH.


So, what station shall I try out next?


249th Post - Live CJCH Blogging Part Ten

CJ AM is still playing these maudlin songs. It is now 9:42. Will capture as much of this as I can before I switch the station to 101.3FM. Jump back and forth between the two stations frequently. And reading about SQL at the same time, along with my regular job.

Breaking news: The new format will be all traffic reports, 24x7. I can hardly wait.

The next post, #250, will announce the official launch format for CJCH FM. Seriously!

See you there on the radio, and meet me back here for my first-blush impressions.

Back in 30 or so.


248th Post - Live CJCH Blogging Part Nine

I have heard that they will broadcast the new CJCH from the same studio the AM one came from. In order to accommodate this, I have heard that the CJ AM signal will go dead around 9:30. At 10, we all find out the truth, assuming we can handle it of course.

All nursery rhymes, all the time? How daring!

At that time, I'll go upstairs and switch my radio to the new station frequency, 101.3FM.

Gee, wonder if Wayne Harrett is live blogging? Hmmph!

Gee, what will post #250 be? Any guesses at all?


247th Post - Live CJCH Blogging Part Eight

It is now 9am. One hour to go. There was no Broadcast News/Canadian Press news hit at the top of the hour. They're going out with music.

Man, I'd love to be a fly on the wall of that staff meeting at the station right about now. "So, we have to play all Reggae music from now on? And we have to speak in fake Jamaican accents? Um, 'mon'?"

Soon, my pet. Soon.


246th Post - Live CJCH Blogging Part Seven

Guess I should post a link to today's Herald, featuring an interview with Rick Howe, late of the Hotline.

Really gonna miss that show.

Bottom line: Rick is too talented, young, and, well, cute (hmm!) to be off the air for very long.

More later.


245th Post - Live CJCH Blogging Part Six

One melancholy, depressing, slash-my-wrists song after another on CJ.

I won't miss most of these songs!

It is now 8:42. I am guessing that the staff meeting is happening right about now. They're finding out that the station is going all Hawaian, all the time! Or, maybe, all Nascar, all the time.

Yeah, Nascar. Gotta love that.

There's no crying in Nascar!


244h Post - Live CJCH Blogging Part Five

Chris Mills is a classy guy. He did the news at 8 and then signed off as the final live voice at CJCH AM. A future trivia question for youse guys.

It is now 8:15am. Less than 2 hours to go.

More later.


243rd Post - Live CJCH Blogging Part Four

Deb just signed off on 92 for the last time. I am guessing it just remains for Chris Mills to do his newscast at 8 ayem in about 3 minutes, and that will be that for that.

The last song that Deb intro'd this morning was "Lyin' Eyes" by the Eagles. You can dazzle your friends and confound your enemies with this trivia.

Why do I feel like a fairly close relative is dying?


242nd Post - Live CJCH Blogging Part Three

Just spoke to Deb Smith for a moment. Actually got through.

She may play a big band tune before they sign off. Or at least Frank Sinatra.

My roots are showing.


241st Post - Live CJCH Blogging Part Two

Lots of calls at the station this morning. Hard to get through.

7:45 now. 15 minutes or so to go before the sign off.


240th Post - Small CJCH Correction

The loop at the top of the hour on CJ talks about how the station has been on the air since 1944. Check. But it gives the impression that it was always at 920 AM. I am pretty sure it was on 1320 for a number of years before moving to its current, long-time, and soon-t0-be-vacated frequency.

Much more later.


239th Post - Live CJCH Blogging Part One

CJCH will continue to broadcast its morning show until 8 this morning. It is now about 7:25.

Around 8:30 staff finds out what the new format will be. At 10, the new CJCH goes live at 101.3FM.

I will blog all morning about this, every hour or so. I am curious to know what will take the place of Deb and Chris after the 8am news.

The test signal at 101.3 FM now promises the new station at 10 today.

Yes, I am taping the last few hours of CJ on AM, and the first couple on FM.

Keep your eyes on this blog for several more updates!!


Thursday, May 29, 2008

238th Post - My Thoughts on Last Comic Standing

I have been watching Last Comic Standing this season, not having seen the first 5 years of it. My feeling is that it is a little sad to watch the spectacle of people who have no discernible sense of humour nonetheless attempt to vie for this prize.

There are those who feel I am a comical fellow. Jaunty. Witty. Whatever. I don't especially agree with this, but it sure is nice to have someone say something nice to me and about me for a change. But I am under no illusions that I could ever take a swing at something like the last comic standing. I realize that many/most comics are neurotic bundles of nerves and insecurity. But it does not follow that a messed up dude will be funny on top of that.

I mean, just because you can sell aluminum siding with an ironic sense of detachment, doesn't mean that you have what it takes to be the last comic standing.

Now, if you'll excuse me, it's back to the show.


237th Post - Are You Tired of the CJCH Updates Yet?

Just read elsewhere online that CJCH (920 AM) will sign off forever and ever amen at 9:30 tomorrow morning, May 30th. At 10am, the test signal will cease at 101.3FM and the new CJCH will be born. Staff don't know what the format will be yet, and won't learn until tomorrow morning after 8:30. There will not be a simulcast of the new signal on AM, which I thought was a requirement when a station flipped to FM.

You know, I don't work at a radio station. I just play a listener on tv. But if I did work at a station, I would be disappointed at not being trusted enough not to tell people when my station changed format. If my job depended on it, I'd damn well keep that information to myself. No pillow talk! Yet, all my information tells me that nobody who works at the station, with the possible exception of the acting program director, even knows what the format of this new station will be. Ridiculous!

Oh, it seems that Deb Smith, the subject of Post #200, will be the acting news director at this station. Good for her. I hope she gets the job permanently.

And, do you want to speculate on what Rick Howe will do next? He wants to remain in local radio. The gm for the Rogers station was fired recently, and the suits in Taranna want to make some changes. Could there be room for Rick at News 95.7? One wonders!! One hopes!!

I am hardly an expert here. Just a guy who listens to the radio too much, who will almost certainly have to re-tune all of his clock radios after tomorrow to... I am not sure what station next. Q104? CBC Radio One? The All Polka station across the harbour?

What do you guys listen to? Help me out here!


236th Post - CJCH Hotline Update

Some of you know that I proposed to Patricia on the CJ Hotline in 2006. I have a cd of that hour at my desk at work.

I am speechless. I knew for a while now that the Hotline would not survive the transition to FM. Let's just say that I knew and leave it at that, ok? But this doesn't make the official word any easier to accept.

Tomorrow, whatever in the name of God the FM format for CJCH will be takes over the AM signal. For 90 days, what ever swill they're planning to shove down our throats will be simulcast on both AM and FM. After that, the AM signal will be shut off forever.

I do not know what wonderful, enervating format will be given to us as of Friday. I do know that I can't imagine switching on the radio and not having the Hotline to listen to. It will be a vastly different place.

So, who wants to take bets on the format of the new station? How much will it suck?


235th Post - Breaking news

The CJCH hotline is canceled. This is the final hour of the show.

Hope that the brain trust in charge of CTV Globemedia knows what it is doing. I have no confidence in them at all.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

234th Post - My Kingdom for a Bluetooth!

I am on something like my 4th bluetooth headset in the past 16 months. I am beginning to think that there is no such thing as a good one, just degrees of bad.

The first one, which I still have, was a motorola. It sounded like crap, and dropped its connection to my blackberry with alarming frequency, but it was in one piece, and I could use the same charger to charge it as I use to juice up my blackberry. (BlackBerry, and juice in the same sentence! What a laugh riot!).

For a week or so, I had another headset, but it sounded worse than the motorola did. Kick to the coib!

I was happy to move on to another one last fall, whose brand name escapes me. But it came in several pieces. God, I had to put the headset in a tube that made it look like a pen, along with a clip, and store it in my pocket. It was also the only way to charge the thing. I could add yet another small piece to one end to use the blade charger that came with my BB, but quickly lost that piece, meaning I would have to use a usb cable attached to my pc. And the charge didn't last long in standby mode. And it lost its connection to the BB quite frequently. I was happy to get rid of it.

The latest one is called a jawbone, so called because the cumbersome headset actually has a nodule on it that sticks to one's jawbone, and is supposed to filter out ambient noise, making oneself heard to the party you're talking to on the phone. At least in theory. In practice, I find it doesn't make much difference. And a pox on the people who designed the proprietary charger. It is a usb thing, and there is no way to charge it with an ac blade-type adapter, because they have never bothered to devise such a thing. If you lose the charger, you're out of luck. And, while it lasts several days in standby mode, I find it takes longer to charge than I'd like.

My question, folks: Is there a bluetooth headset that combines the convenience of the Motorola, sounds good, holds a standby charge for a long time (days and days), doesn't drop its connection to the BB or whatever phone you're using, uses a common charger, and is not in many pieces? Is there such a thing? Please post your comments below.



Tuesday, May 27, 2008

233rd Post - How Was Your Day?

Worked from home today as Patricia had a rough night and I felt I should be with her. Hate not being at work, though, as it is such a fun place to be for 8.5 hours a day (including lunch time).

Spent much of the day learning about what I'll be working on next. I can hardly wait to install that application on my hard drive at work and start using it. It looks like a lot of fun.

Patricia and I spent 2 hours last night watching "Recount", the HBO film about the 2000 Florida election fiasco. Mark Evanier's blog wrote about that film here and here and Mark's thoughts about it are much more cogent than mine could ever be. He's a professional writer for 40 years, and I... am something else.

It was a little sad this morning to learn that Sydney Pollak died last evening. He was to have directed "Recount", but backed out, allowing Jay Roach to direct. Roach is best known for directing such political thrillers as "Meet the Parents" and the Austin Powers films.

Time to watch the season ender of "Boston Legal". Such a life I lead!


Monday, May 26, 2008

232nd Post - Don't Eat it all in One Place

Playing catch up here. When Patricia was in the hospital the second time recently she was fed typical hospital food. Which is to say crap

The above was one meal. It was a salmon fillet. A very small one. It was so small that Patricia held a sugar packet next to it to show as a reference point

Imagine: Eating swill like that for 27 days. Is it any wonder she lost the better part of 20 pounds while in there?

More later

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Friday, May 23, 2008

231st Post - Still Alive!

Sorry that I haven't written in the last few days. I have been sick with a cold that seemed to take over all parts of my body. On Wednesday, just two days ago, I was nearly in a coma. I slept the entire day away. I'd sleep for a while in my bed. Get up, scratch me arse, and go rest downstairs in my recroom, first on my lazy boy chair, and then over on the couch. After a few hours, I'd go back upstairs to my bedroom to sleep some more up there. You get the idea.

Patricia has been home from the hospital for a full week now. It seemed that is when my body decided it needed a break from all the stress it had been put through and went on strike. I was sick all through the holiday weekend, and all this week as well. Haven't been to work all week.

Began to feel human again on Thursday and was feeling well enough, barely, to take Patricia to her doctor's appointment in the morning. I tried repeatedly (10-12 times) to reach my own doc, only to be rewarded by a busy signal each time. Thursday evening, I began to feel like crap again and slept in again this morning, until around 9:30.

Patricia's doctor is terrific, a 1000x better than her previous one, a real quack who shall go unnamed here. But if that one had been on the ball, it is highly unlikely that Patricia would have gone through the hell she has endured over the last 5 weeks. The new doctor told Patricia she needed to give herself time to get better, and it appears unlikely Patricia will return to work before the middle part of July. I can see why she would need to be off that long.

Back to work on Monday. I am actually looking forward to it.



Tuesday, May 20, 2008

230th post. Still sick

Still sick tonight. Want to die

Put me out of my misery

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Monday, May 19, 2008

229th Post - Awww!

When Patricia was rushed by ambulance to emergency on April 24th, she removed her engagement ring. They really don't want people to wear rings or things of bling in the hospital in case something goes missing. I kept it in a safe place in the house, but one where I could see it every day and remind myself why I was putting in such long days (where I eventually got run down, and then a cold, etc.)

That was three and a half weeks ago.

This afternoon, I put the ring back on her left ring finger. She is wearing it with pride again.

All together now: Awww!!


228th Post - A Modest Request

Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau are two of my favourite actors. Separate or working together in the same film, they made whatever movie they were in watchable, even if everything else in the movie wasn't.

Matthau died in 2000. Lemmon died a year later.

When Walter Matthau died, Jack Lemmon appeared on the Larry King Show and reported to the world how he found out that his dear friend had passed. Lemmon was "on the throne" as he put it, when his wife entered the bathroom, put her arms around him, kissed him, and told him that Matthau was dead. All very sweet.

The point I am trying to make is that I don't want anyone disturbing me when I am "on the throne". It is a time when I do not want to be bothered by what is going on in the world outside. I am single minded in my purpose, and my resolve is to do what I am there to do, period. And, of course, the job isn't finished until the "paper work" is done.

Walter Matthau would only have been dead an additional 2 or 3 minutes had Jack Lemmon's wife waited until he (Lemmon) had finished in the bathroom. Dead is dead. She could then have wrapped her arms around him and kissed him etc. as much as she wanted to, without having disturbed this most sacred of daily rituals. Rather than be a loving, devoted wife, she invaded his privacy, and I would not tolerate, brook, or allow, such a flagrant disregard for my privacy. Neither would any man.

Patricia? Honey? I keep the bathroom door shut and locked for a reason. It is because whatever you or anyone else wants to tell me can wait a few moments. When you hear the flush, and I walk out the door, tell me whatever you want. But not until. Just a heads up. Nothing to worry about. Still love you.



227th Post - Sick

Haven't written much all weekend as you can see. Haven't even written the song titles post yet. I have been not feeling well.

I got Patricia home here from the hospital Friday afternoon. It was as if my body had then been given permission to shut down. I had been pushing myself for weeks and weeks with working every day, working overtime most every evening and weekend, and visiting Patricia in the hospital every day for a few hours. I plumb tuckered myself out, and I found that on Friday all I could do was sleep.

Saturday, I began to come down with the symptoms of a cold. That evening, I began to get a sore throat, which got worse on Sunday and is still very painful today. It is as if with every swallow I am drinking shards of glass. I am sure all of you have had sore throats from time to time, so I won't belabour the point.

In between sleeping and being awake, I have been trying to care for Patricia. She has had a couple of bad days, with Monday worse than Sunday. She is still having a hard time tolerating the antibiotics, so she decided not to take one today to give her system a rest from the discomfort.

A sick person, caring for a sick person. How pathetic is that?

More later.


Saturday, May 17, 2008

226th post. Home

Patricia is out of the hospital. She got out on friday around lunch time

She is getting better but it is an uphill struggle while her health improves. It will take a while

Weather sucks this weekend. Taking it easy at home.

Next weekend we'll try to make it to the cottage. Love it there

More later

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225th post

Holder for when I get a chance to do the actual song titles post

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

224th Post - Fake It Until You Make It

The title for this post is a piece of long-offered advice that people offer each other in the event of someone applying for a job. Nobody likes going through a job interview. (When I was interviewed for the job I have now, I was so unwilling to let people at my then job know about my having applied that I left my suit jacket and tie in my car that day. I drove to the interview, which is only about a ten minute walk from where I was working at the time (well, ten minutes if you have to pee real bad, that is). When I got to my car, I put on my tie and jacket, drove to the interview, parked the car, had the interview, returned to my car, parked it where it had been up to the point where I had left for the interview, took off my tie and suit jacket, and returned to work. )

The concept of "fake it until you make it" applies more to people who have the gift of gab, the ability to speak without saying anything, and who are applying for a position where such traits are revered and appreciated. It doesn't work that well in my line of work.

However, it can be applied to other things.

It is no secret that I am not exactly the biggest sports fan in the world. I wouldn't know a Toronto Raptor from a Pittsburgh Penguin. I wouldn't be able to identify a Vancouver Canuck if one came up and bit the psoriasis off my left elbow. When Patricia and I were at an Irving Big Stop a couple of years ago, Patricia turned to me and said, "That's Sidney Crosby ahead of us in line!". "That's nice", I said, patting her on the head and taking another swig off my Slurpee. I just can't wrap my head around becoming interested in sports.

However, I do feel a need to fit in. We all want to do that. You do, don't you?

So, I devised a full-proof scheme to make it seem that I know what I am talking about when a sports discussion comes up. It has stood me in good stead.

And now, I share it with you, the readers of Bevboy's Blog. Call it extra value because I care.

Things you must do:

1. Learn one thing about the sport in question.

For example, I notice that when it comes to baseball, people always talk about the "pitching", whatever the Hell that is. All you have to say about a particular team (pay close attention to your chums as they discuss the team in question, or you'll blow it for yourself) is discuss the "pitching" in terms contrary to the success of the team. You might say, "Oh, the pitching for the [insert team name here] is erratic, and steps must be taken to improve it, or [the team] will not achieve a satisfactory level of success". And, of course, your chums will nod in agreement, and you will win their admiration and respect.

2. Go along with the opinion of the majority of your chums.

If you are a disagreeable, vexatious person, you will not be friends with your chums very long. If, for example, most of your chums are of the opinion that a hockey player's performance is sub par, then by all means agree with them, offering a fictitious anecdote to lend further credence to their thesis that the player in question needs to improve. "Yes, I agree that the performance of [insert player's name here] has been disappointing of late. I fondly recall reading statistics about this young man a few years ago which were most promising. He has thus far failed to live up to that early potential. I fervently hope that his situation improves. Now, pass the brandy, my good fellow!". Of course, your chums will be amazed by your keen insight and seek further counsel from you in the future.

3. Of course, you're not going to watch a particular sporting match tonight, but pretend you did, speaking in general terms.

Perhaps your colleagues were going to watch a hockey game this evening. Tomorrow, during your 15 minute coffee break, as they discuss what happened, you can contribute to this discussion, too. However, you must be very careful, because you didn't watch the game. "Yes, I enjoyed [the sporting match] very much. Both sides were well skilled. While my allegiance is with [mention the name of one of the teams, being careful to mimic the name from one of your chums earlier], the skill, the verve, the passion exhibited by [the other team] were most enjoyable to watch, and my favourite team was sorely tested."

Be extra careful now.

If "your" team, the one whose name you learned a moment ago from your colleague, won, then you can say something like, "But while they were tested, they were not found wanting, and I rejoice with you all in their continued success".

If they lost, say something like, "I join you in sorrow for their loss. I was deeply disappointed. Perhaps if they improve their pitching, they can achieve a level of success that will please us all. Now, pass the port, my good fellow!"

If you try some of the simple tips I offer above, you can engage in an intelligent, thoughtful discussion of sports with actual sports fans, and they will have no idea whatsoever that you do not share this passion.

You're welcome.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

223rd Post - Patricia Update for May 13

It occurs to me that many of you don't know what I have been going through lately, with the late nights, and the hospital visits, and so on. Enough time has passed that I now feel comfortable discussing it, and Patricia has given me her permission to do so.

Patricia had been having long coughing jags for a long time. She changed physicians, and the new one order blood work and an x-ray. They found something on her lungs. More appointments, this time with specialists, who concluded they would monitor the situation, as it seemed to have disappeared.

A few months ago, a follow up x-ray, where the shadow had re-appeared. This time, they would go through with a biopsy on her lung, which would reveal whether it was cancerous, or benign.

On April 17th, she had the biopsy surgery. She was mighty sick after that, but recovered sufficiently to go home on April 22. However, here at home she became dehydrated and physically ill, being so sick she couldn't even keep down her anti-nausea pills (yes, there is a tinge of irony there!). We called 911 and she was taken back to hospital by ambulance.

Michael Moore holds the Canadian medical system up as a model for others to follow. There are plenty of problems with it, however, and we ran into several that evening. I'll leave it at that, other than to say she was re-admitted to the thoracic department in the early hours of April 25th, where she has remained ever since.

At one point, April 29th, she was so ill that she had to be placed into an intermediate care facility, where she had 24x7 support, as her fever, abdominal pain, pneumonia, etc. had reached a point where (they told us later) she could go toxic and maybe even die.

Around this time, the results of the biopsy finally came back. In addition to the severe infection she has been fighting since the biopsy surgery, she also has an inflammation caused by God knows what. To fight the infection, they need plenty of antibiotics. To fight the inflammation, they need steroids.

In just the last few days, they began to control the fever, and then laryngitis set in, which she is now getting over. The antibiotics are helping her a lot. Monday, she was feeling well enough to walk with me to the Tim Hortons donut shop in the hospital. Today, Tuesday, she had a relapse and I took her there in a wheelchair.

It is looking as if she will be released on Friday. However, the regime of antibiotics and then steroids will keep her occupied for probably another month, or maybe even longer. She will be off work for probably that long anyway.

So, the long visits into the evening aren't quite over yet!


Monday, May 12, 2008

222nd Post - Gene Colan Update

I have been falling terribly behind in my e-mails lately, so I missed the update on the Gene Colan mailing list on Saturday that Gene's health is failing.

I am very sorry to learn this. Gene Colan's artwork was a great pleasure to me when I was younger, especially his work at Marvel Comics in the 1960's and 1970's. I still love his Tomb of Dracula work, all 70 issues, most of them written by Marv Wolfman. Yeah, Wolfman is his real last name. Makes my last name seem pretty tame.

I may seem like an all together guy now, but there was a time when I was not. Hold yourself together now, but I was a pretty shy guy back in the day. Radio and comic books got me through a lot of rough patches in my life. Artists like Gene Colan provided a lot of pleasure for me, and while it is a period of my life I do not like to dwell upon, it is a part of my historical record, and I cannot ignore it, or pretend that it never happened. My life could have been better, and it could have been worse. Let's leave it at that. At any rate, Gene unknowingly helped keep me going when keeping going didn't exactly look like a do-able option. Thanks, Gene.

I have had the pleasure of receiving e-mails from Gene in the last couple of years. He was asking me about life in Nova Scotia, about my parents, and so on. He genuinely cared about my upbringing and learning about my parents. Gene is a gentleman. In fact, Gene is Jewish, so I will call him a mensch.

Anyone who read comics, Marvel comics to be specific, in the 1970's, read a comic drawn by Gene Colan. Period.

Here is what Adrienne, Gene's wife, wrote over the weekend (May 10th):

Gentlemen:My darling, sweet, handsome and brilliantly gifted husband's liver is failing. The complications are very nasty.

This week it's fluid rentention and encephilitis. He's on powerful meds now to deminish the symptoms. He sleeps alot and has very little energy. He wants you all to know how badly he wanted to attend the convention. He so seriously wanted to see you all and shoot the breeze.

Not sure how long we have left together, but our family whole and we'll be taking this sad journey together and nearby.

Anyone with commissions outstanding, I'll have a sense within the next couple of weeks if he can fulfill them, if not, please don't worry, I'll return your monies promptly. I don't want to pull the rug out from under him. But if he can do anything, he'll need to finish the 10 pgs. remaining on his 38 pg. Captain America Civil War for Marvel.

You all know how you've enriched Gene's life by coming forward and
being a part of his. :)


Bev again. The Gene Colan list is a fun place to hang out. I have posted quite a few messages over the years, and I have always been treated with respect, which is a lot more than I can say for other online places where I have hung my hat and put my feet up.

I pray that Gene's health improves and that he can outlive all of us. Someone like that deserves to.

Anybody have a spare liver?


221st Post - Feeling better

The above is a picture of Patricia taken this evening at the hospital. We got the good news today that she should be released on Wednesday

I will give more details on her condition a bit later on. Suffice to say that she was a sick little puppy for quite a while there.

Yes she was the one I have been visiting every day and night the last few weeks, especially during the month of April. Work all morning. Visit her during lunch hour. Return to work. Visit her after work. Go home and work overtime. Sleep. Repeat.


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Sunday, May 11, 2008

220th Post - Yay!

A few of my readers know that I have been spending an awful lot of time at the hospital the last few weeks

I am pleased to report that the person I have been visiting is doing a thousand times better and hopes to be released in the next few days

Good news!

Exhausted. Going to bed early

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Saturday, May 10, 2008

219th Post - S.A.T.U.R.D.A.Y. NIGHT!

The above is how I spell out words. The truth must be told.

The title of the post is also the title of a song by The Bay City Rollers, a musical act of the 1970's who had some hits and then faded into a well-deserved obscurity. Who knows what car wash those guys are working at now?

However, their first hit, "Saturday Night", was infectious enough for me that I used its rhythm to help me with my spelling. I take the first two letters of word, and then break the remaining letters into groups of three, the same way that the song title is sung by those guys.

I seldom make use of a spell checker, because I usually know how words are spelled anyway. And, thanks to the Bay City Rollers, my spelling is A-1.

Thanks, guys!

Why do I feel the urge to unbutton my shirt?


Friday, May 9, 2008

218th Post - Yawn!

Another long, long work week is over.

I swear, between the overtime I worked in April, the time I spent visiting someone in the hospital, some things had to give. Regular blog updates were one thing; sleep was another. I am pretty beat.

Will be busy on Saturday. Have to get up v. early and drive to the vet's to trade some canned cat food that Newbie doesn't like that much for stuff he does like. I have to make sure I am back here for 10 as I will be going through another one of those "be home between 10 and 2" appointments. He'll either show up at 10:05 or at 1:55. No way of knowing. He probably doesn't even know.

After that, I'll buy some victuals and see Patricia.

Sunday is Mother's Day. I think I may make a whirlwind trip to see her for a few hours then and return in the afternoon.

And then, it will be Sunday evening and time to get ready for another work week.



Thursday, May 8, 2008

217th Post - Yet Another CJCH Update

Driving home tonight from the hospital (can't get into why I was there, everyone; sorry) I tuned my car radio to 101.3 FM. It is the designated signal for CJCH, when that venerable station flips from AM to FM sometime soon.

Rather than dead air, I heard music.

When I tuned in, about 8:15 tonight, they were playing a hip hop song I didn't recognize. (What am I saying? I don't recognize ANY hip hop song!) After the song, there was a message to the effect that this is the new home for CJCH FM and they're testing the signal. Call a particular number in the event of signal issues.

I can't listen to these songs and reasonably deduce what the new station will sound like, what the format will be. There was no consistent musical thread I could use to stitch together a musical identity for this station. From the afore-mentioned hip hop tune, they played Patsy Kine, Celine Dion, AC/DC(!), and various 1980's tunes of a soft rock nature. After each song, there was that voice exhorting us to call 453-2524 and comment on the signal quality.

I am not as up on CRTC rules as I perhaps should be, given my inordinate and unhealthy interest in the medium of radio. I do know that they will continue to test this signal at 101.3 FM until the engineers and program director are happy with the quality. After that, they will announce that the station is going live, and the FM signal will supplant the AM signal (simulcasting the FM signal on the AM station) for 90 days. After that, the AM transmitter will be shut off forever. That transmitter was state-of-the-art and is only about 12 or 13 years old.

Questions: 1) What will the format of the station be? I highly doubt it will be a talk radio station. There is already a private talk radio station in this market that's not making money, thank you very much, and adding another one would not make much sense (as much as I would like there to be such a station, of course). There are already 2 classic rock stations; another FM station that plays, in essence, rock and roll oldies; 2 country stations (one AM, one FM); a light rock hits station (C100); a hip hop station; and the present CJCH, playing older songs of various genres, along with the Hotline with Rick Howe.

I can speculate a little bit more. I find this a welcome distraction, as it takes my mind off other, more troubling aspects of my life that I don't want to put in this blog, at least not yet. Canwest Global recently abandoned plans to launch an easy listening station, despite having been granted leave to do so in 2004. That format is one under represented in this market. I wonder, therefore, if the new CJCH FM will be an easy listening station? I am not yet ready to make this one of my fearless predictions. Maybe soon.

Question 2. When will the powers that be at CTV Globemedia, who own CJCH radio, be men and women enough to admit that the Hotline with Rick Howe, that the Halifax Mooseheads games with John Moore, will not survive this transition from AM to FM? Other spoken word programs have disappeared from the CJ airwaves in recent months. They just weren't there any more, and listeners weren't given a heads up to the effect that they would not be part of the station's programming any more.

Every morning, seven clock radios in my house come alive to the sounds of CJCH, 920 on the AM dial. Each morning, as I move from room to room in my preparations for work and breakfast, I expect NOT to hear what Rick Howe has planned for today's Hotline, as I expect the Hotline not to be there any more. No word of warning. It would just be gone, leaving thousands of listeners disappointed by , confused over, and angry at, the program's abrupt passing.

I know that there are people at the radio building (which actually houses 5 stations) who read this blog. Hello, folks. I invite you to send the url for this blog to people in Toronto who can give the thumbs up or thumbs down to the continued existence of the Hotline and the Mooseheads games and have them respond to my modest question number 2.

Just give us an answer. Tell staff first, of course; but then tell the listeners. Do they, do we, not deserve the truth, even if it is unpleasant and disappointing?

I'll shut up now.


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

216th Post - Questions Bevboy Has for Women (First in a Series)

I can't help but notice that women often wear lip stick that matches the main colour of whatever they're wearing. Red lip stick, red blouse. That kind of thing.

What I am wondering is, when these women get up in the morning, do they select the lip stick first, and then frantically search for clothing that matches? Or is it the other way around, and they pick out an outfit, and then seek a lip stick with the same hue?

Been wondering about that for years now. Driving me crazy.


215th Post - You Know You're Over 40 When...

When you watch a video on tv, and you can't tell which phrase at the end of the song is the name of the band, or which phrase is the name of the tune.


214th Post - A Challenge for Post #225

Post #225 will be here before you know it. I try to have the posts that are multiples of 25 be something extra special. #100 showed pictures. #150 was the alphabet game. #175... I forget. #200 was, of course, the interview with Deb Smith.

#225 will consist entirely of song titles. There will be a theme, and more on that in a moment. But every sentence of the post will be a song title from a tune from the present, or quite some time in the past.

This is where you come in.

I have picked up plenty of readers in the last 6 0r 8 weeks, mostly people googling "Karen Begin" or some variation and finding my posts on her. I would like to keep as many of them as possible and one way of doing that is to involve my readers in my columns a bit more.

I want as many of you as possible to reply to this post, #214, and suggest a theme or a subject for post #225. I will sift through the inevitable large list and select one of them as the subject of the post. Haven't quite figured out how long the post will be. Several paragraphs at least.

Submit a reply to this suggesting a topic for #225. If I select yours, I'll send you something neat from my vast collection of stuff . Could be a rare book, or a cd I am tired of, or a dvd I no longer wish to keep. Whatever. And I will mail this to you anywhere in the world, free.

Deadly serious about this. Want lots of participation.

Get to work.


Tuesday, May 6, 2008

213rd Post - A Toastmasters Adieu

For reasons I can't get into yet, I will have to drop out of the next several Toastmasters meetings. My attendance in recent weeks has been spotty. I only went to the meeting last week because our special guest speaker was Peter Duffy of the Chronicle Herald newspaper. But that will likely be my last meeting for a month or maybe longer.

Some people go bowling Wednesday nights. Some go out to a movie once a week. Some take their sweethearts to dinner. I do that last one, but my "thing" since 1991 has been Toastmasters.

Really gonna miss my meetings. Can't wait to get back.



212th Post - What IIHF Means

Found out last week that the "IIHF" had come to Halifax. I had no idea what a "IIHF" was. I know what "IHOP" stands for. I know what "IKEA" is. And I can go on and on about "IT", the Living Colossus. But damned if I knew what "IIHF" stands for.

There were clues. There were strangely-garbed people in Halifax, infesting our restaurants and Tim Hortons, shouting about how their country's team was better than another country's team.

Another clue was the intense media coverage. Couldn't shake a dead microphone without hitting a radio station covering the "IIHF", or a tv station doing a stand up, or avoid a print journalist furiously taking notes over this "IIHF".

Finally, in a round about, nonchalant way, I asked my chums at work today what "IIHF" stands for. It stands for, and I know this will be news to you, "International Ice Hockey Federation". Apparently, really good ice hockey players (they're always ice hockey players!) from all over the world have descended on Halifax (and Quebec City) to play this sport.

Now I know.

And so do you.

The only question I have is, why are they emphasizing ice hockey? Is there an International Floor Hockey Federation (IFHF?). An International Table Hockey Federation (ITHF)? Man, I'd love to see enthusiasts for that sport land in, say, Bugtussle Illinois and light that place up.

If there isn't an IFHF or an ITHF, why isn't there one? Is it because it hasn't occurred to anyone to start...

Never mind!


Monday, May 5, 2008

211th Post - Stinko De Mayo

My refrigerator is taunting me.

I need to clean it out. But, I am afraid to.

I don't know what is in some of the bowls in my fridge. It is not that I have forgotten what I put in them; it is that I cannot recognize them, regardless of the taxonomy I employ to identify them.

And... there is an odour. A smell. An ambience associated with my refrigerator. It is as if my fridge were in heat, and it was sending out its pherenomes across the ether in a vain attempt to attract other refrigerators so as to commingle, knock boots, procreate, to form other, baby fridges that smell bad.

I have to clean out my fridge. Right after I wash my dishes.

Soon. Very soon.


Saturday, May 3, 2008

210th Post - Probably the Last Karen Begin/Darian O'Toole Post

Gerry McCracken asked last night if there was a way to still get a copy of Frank #521. I am not sure. That particular issue went off sale this week, and the newest one, #532, contains a write up on Karen's funeral.

You can try your luck with the Frank subscription department. Their number is 1 800 259 1066. Don't know if that number will work world wide.

Or, you can e-mail them

Let me know if that doesn't work for youse guys. I still have my own subscription copy and may be willing to let that go.

I was on the radio yesterday talking about Karen with CJCH Hotline host Rick Howe and his special guest Bill Spurr, who covered her funeral for the local paper last week (I provided a link to that article if you recall). The three of us chatted about Karen for about 5 minutes. It was an interesting conversation. Spurr actually worked with Karen back in 1990-91.

When I first went on the air, Bill asked me right away, "Are you the blogger?" He has read this blog, at least the entries about Karen. Took me aback. I guess the word of this blog is slowly getting out there.

Free Comic Book Day today, folks. Get back to me with what you managed to obtain, won't you?


Friday, May 2, 2008

209th Post - The Weekend Is Here!

Slept like a log last night. Hard a hard time getting up even at 8:30 this morning. Had an appointment for 10, one of those things where you have to be home between 10 and 2pm. He showed up at 11, stayed for 20 minutes, and left.

After I get some lunch, I'll go run and some errands before coming back home and sleeping some more.

Saturday night, I have been invited to a neighourhood friend's place for a bbq and a game of pictionary.

Naked pictionary.

Don't tell Patricia. Shh!

Saturday is a day I look forward to all year long: It is Free Comic Book Day. Local comics shops, except for Odyssey 2000 on Quinpool Road, will give away comics all day. I'll get my share. Put them with the rest of the books I never get around to reading. Which is next to the dvd's I haven't got around to watching. Which is right next to the vhs tapes containing tv shows I haven't had a chance to look at yet. Which is adjacent to the cd's I haven't had an opportunity to listen to yet. You get the idea.

What's for lunch?