Thursday, July 31, 2008

354th Post - More spca blogging


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353rd Post - SPCA Blogging

Here at the Granton SPCA

Very sad

Why don't people have their cats spayed or neutered? They can fill these cages 5 times a day with unwanted animals

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352nd Post - Bravebev

I have been working out

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351st Post - Cottage Country

Part of the coastline that we enjoy so much

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350th Post - Sigh!

The tide is in. Took this pic just now at the edge of the property.

The tide is high. About as high as I have seen it

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349th Post - I Was Right! (First in a Series)

Rick Howe is indeed the co host this morning and tomorrow morning on Q104. The regular morning team are all off leaving us listeners with Tom Bedell and Rick.

Tom has already asked Rick about how much he misses the hotline and commenting on the issues of the day

Glad I can pick up the station at the cottage

Will tape the show tomorrow morning. It will likely be the last time Rick works at the pretty pink building on Agricola Street

Greasy Gary coming up!

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

348th Post - A Tired Cat

Here is Newbie. 10 days here has tired him out

The humidity is getting to him

You should see my hair

Oh. Right. You already have


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347th Post - Not to be Outdone

Here is a picture of Cindy who is Patricia's cat. Sleeping one off

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346th Post - Probably a Good Idea

In the "It's a good thing I am never running for public office department" here is a picture I shot of myself a few moments ago

Two points:

1) I am getting my hair cut tomorrow

2). It is probably a good idea that the vacation is winding down

Watched "Auto Focus" this afternoon all about the life and death of Bob Crane. Felt unclean after ward.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

345th Post - Second Week of Vacation

The second week of my vacation is well underway. This time next week I'll be most of my way through my first day back. It has been a good vacation so far, although we still need a lot of rain at the cottage to replenish the well and to provide nourishment for our lawn.

Watched 3 movies on dvd on Monday: Little Miss Sunshine (which we loved), "The Illusionist" (I fell asleep during it), and "The Prestige" (which we discussed afterward; too many plot twists). Haven't done much yet today other than help wash the dishes and read my book ("Point of Impact" by Stephen Hunter).

Prepared maple salmon which we will cook for dinner this evening. Looking forward to that.

Will try to write more later.

Greetings from the River John Library!


Monday, July 28, 2008

344th Post - Yay!

It is finally raining here!

It is about time

Time for a movie day

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

343rd Post - What Did I Do Today?

Went to church in river John today. Hadn't been to church in years.

Spent hours this afternoon with the lawn sweeper. It is an attachment for the lawn tractor that scoops up lawn trimmings. Got quite a bit done before my allergies acted up. Patricia had to finish for me

Tomorrow we will put the trimmings in the cart yet another attachment for the lawn tractor and put them in one big pile

It still hasn't rained.

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

342nd Post - Last Night

Had a great time at the decoste centre last night th bluenoser comedy tour was wonderful worth every penny

Took this picture at the very end when the 3 performers did their curtain call. Tracey MacDonald followed by Peter Anthony. And the host who did a short performance between sets

Tracey won star search a few years ago. Peter is from the town of Pictou and about half his show consisted of Pictou jokes which Patricia tells me were very funny

May go to church in River John tomorrow

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Friday, July 25, 2008

341st Post - Praying for Rain

I know that there has been a lot of rain in Halifax this week my house sitter has been telling me all about it. Rain. Fog. More rain. More fog. You get the drill

Here at the cottage there has been very little rain. We had a bit overnight the other night but it has been dry ever since. Great for people on vacation but hell on lawns and wells

Well it is mostly great for us vacationers. The heat is getting to me. I was too drained today to do further work on the lawn. We need to collect the hay that was created as a result of mowing the lawn on Wednesday. I know they say it is best to leave those trimmings where they are but it is unsightly and looks unfinished. We would like to scoop them up with a special lawn mower attachment. But not today. It is just too hot

Going to the DeCoste Centre tonight. Comedy festival. The main attraction is air conditioning!

Hope it rains soon.

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

340th Oust - How Do You Beat The Heat?

It has been a very hot and humid day in this part of the province. I. am very happy that I mowed the lawn on Wednesday when it wasn't as bad as it was today

Went outside this morning to read for a bit and again this afternoon. But the humidity nearly did me in and I had to return inside where I have been ever since. I am now in the bedroom with the oscillating fan on high and the window open. It is still too hot to do much of anything

Going out to the decoste centre tomorrow night for a comedy showcase. I pray that there is air conditioning and that it is enough to cool us off

How do you guys beat the heat? All I can say is that unless you really really want to know don't ask me what I am wearing right now. The truth may set you free but it also hurts

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339th Post - Another Rick Howe Update

My sources tell me that Rick Howe will be reading the news at Q104 next Thursday and Friday July 31st and August 1st

Don't know if it will be in the morning in place of Lisa Blackburn or in the afternoon instead of Rich Horner. If I find out before then I will let you know

Bevboy. with his finger on the pulse of Halifax radio!

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338th Post - Lawn

Spent hours mowing the lawn yesterday. Takes like 5 minutes at home.

This picture doesn't really convey how large the property is. Why don't I shoot some video and put that up here?

Time to sit on the deck with my book for a couple of hours! I will promise to think of you working stiffs from time to time

Lady coming by shortly to drop grapes in my mouth

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

337th Post - More River John Blogging

Here is Patricia with Joan a resident of River John. We attended a bake sale there this afternoon where Patricia struck up a conversation with this woman. It turns out that Patricia went to school with her daughter! Very small world

More later

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336th Post - Mistake

I forgot to credit the lovely Jane for telling me the good news about Rick Howe

Thanks Jane!!

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335th Post - Rick Howe Update

Todays metro daily is reporting that Rick Howe will soon be back on the radio

Can't really embed a link in the body of a post whilst using the BlackBerry. Sorry

Good news overall

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

334th post - river John blogging

Welcome to River John

We met him along the way

The village yard sale this morning was very disappointing. Bought almost nothing

More later

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Monday, July 21, 2008

333rd Post - first day of vacation

I am now officially on vacation. Back to work after the civic holiday in August

I had a plan to drive here to the cottage early Sunday morning 3 or 4 am or so. I did that in 2005 and it was kinda fun. But this year the flesh was too weak to let me do that. I did leave the house around 7.

My neighbour is going to look after the place for me. Plus there is my security system

I arrived here around 9:45. After unpacking Patricia and I headed into town for a few items. We returned here where we watched a film and Patricia prepared a pizza. We watched the first 2 parts of "John Adams". I can certainly understand how it has received so many emmy nominations. Apparently it only gets better. We will resume watching the show today.

Slept a lot over night. Will likely take a nap this afternoon. Such is cottage life. There is something in the air here that causes one to sleep more than one normally does. I do not mind

Patricia is watching Canada am. Followed by Regis and then Martha and finally The View. I may see her by one this afternoon. Gives me a chance to tackle a book or two

Will write more later

Have a good one

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

332nd Post - My Uncle

My uncle Bernard was visiting my father as my mother and I were returning from our shopping trip

I hadn't seen him in a few years. It was nice to see him again.

He says that I look more and more like my Uncle Bev, his brother. I will take that as a compliment.

Here he is with my mother, his sister.

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Friday, July 18, 2008

331st Post - Vacation!

I am now officially on vacation

Two weeks away from work. Like my job and everything but a break is certainly needed

Advertised the Blog to a local WIki. It may result in a bigger audience for me. Hope so

More later

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

330th Post - One Day To Go!

Just one day to go until vacation commences. Two weeks off. Sigh!

I'll be busy on Saturday. I'll be driving down to the valley for part of the day to visit my folks. My dad was hinting about getting one of those outdoor security lights that I picked up at a yardsale a couple of weeks ago for a song. Had I kept my mouth shut I could have kept them both. But I really only need one, I guess.

I will be out of town for two weeks after that. The BOY will be so pleased, plotting a way to break into my house again. He is such a charming lad you know. Real son of the year material.

A guy at work was telling me how he is a big brother to a young man. I have been giving it some thought myself. But if it involves vacuuming my house first, or washing my dishes, or picking up my dirty socks off the floor, then it is probably more trouble than it is worth. Never mind.

Went to Costco tonight after work. Patricia had a list of things for me to take to the cottage. I bought some triple berry jam and organic cereal and vanilla-flavoured soy milk.

I no longer drink actual milk. I am a soy boy. I learned the truth about eggs last year when Patricia accidentally told me where they come from. Chickens don't have... well, a birth canal. Let's leave it at that, shall we? I feel sorry for the roosters, let me tell you that. But in the course of my subsequent research on eggs, I discovered the sordid truth about milk, too.

Why did it ever occur to someone, hundreds of years ago or whatever it was, to drink milk, or eat eggs? "Here, Parsanova! See what just came out of that chicken's... sort of birth canal? I don't think it has been fertilized by a rooster. Why don't we remove the chicken embryo from the shell, cook it, and eat it? I am confident it will be a real taste treat! We can share them with Caesar tomorrow! I hear they are very good scrambled! We can even crush some tomatoes into a slow running liquid, add lots of sugar and salt, and pour some of that on the eggs. Is there no end to my good ideas?"

"And, look here! The milk that the cow uses to feed her offspring? I wonder what it would be like if we pulled on the udders and squirted some into a bucket and drank it? Wouldn't that be tasty, too, Parsanova?"

Is there such a thing as soy cheese? I still have the craving.

A guy at work was telling me about an ex-roommate of his who once got his... privates caught in the zipper of his pants. I am a strong man and all, but that story nearly did me in. Ladies, if your man ever tells you about such an experience, change the subject very quickly. Do something to take his mind off that horrid subject. Whatever it is you have to do, do it. Cookies, muffins, tea, coffee. Whatever. Just do it.

Is it 4:30 on Friday yet?


329th Post - Mongolie Grill Update

The beautiful Megan left the employ of the Mongolie Grill on Granville Street in the last month or so. But that didn't stop me from having a delicious lunch there today. And, I bought a gift certificate for my about-to-be-married cousin, so that she and her hubby can enjoy an excellent meal there, soon.

Here is the owner, Beth, and some special words:


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

328th Post - Polling the Electorate

I need your help and lots of participation.

While I'll still be blogging during my vacation, I will be thinking about the blog and where to go with it when I return to the city full time in early August.

Please take a moment and tell me 1) What is your favourite type of Bevboy's Blog post; and 2) What is your least favourite type of Bevboy's Blog Post? Which ones do you like the most, and the least?

Lots of people read this blog. Now, it's your time to help me make this blog what you want it to be.

Start responding to this post. Now.


327th Post - 46 Hours To Go!

A bit less than 2 days to go until vacation commences. Can I last that long?

Getting a bit tired of the city. Nice to be close to everything, but I am beginning to crave, to yearn for, a place where you have to drive a long distance to get anything at all.

Heard and watched the news today about the owner of the Sou'Wester restaurant in Peggy's Cove charging visitors to Peggy's Cove five dollars to park in his parking lot. If they park there, they get a rebate for that amount of money that's redeemable if they go into the restaurant and buy something, or purchase something at the gift shop.

This man has been patient for many years, allowing people to park in his parking lot for free, when most of them never went into the restaurant except to have a pee after being out on the rocks for a while. The folks who are complaining about this charge just don't get it. They have a sense of entitlement about things. They are the same type of people who park in my drive way when they pick up or drop off their kids at the local school in the morning or afternoon. If I go out and yell at them, they think I am the bad guy. Ridiculous.

It is private property, folks. He doesn't have to let you park in his parking lot for free if he doesn't want to. There is nothing you can do about it. You don't have a right, you are not entitled, to park there at no cost. Get over it. It costs this man a lot of money to maintain this parking lot; I don't see you reaching into your pocket to help him defray those costs, but you'd be the first ones to complain if the parking lot became full of pot holes or hadn't been cleared of snow in the winter.

Like I said: Get over it.


326th Post - Say Hello To A Blog Reader

Say hello to my friend Kirk, a frequent Bevboy's Blog reader. He says his favourite post was the one about similes and metaphors, and the time I thought Ginuwine's "Pony" was a song about horses.

I am still angry about that, by the way. A simple "like" or "as" would have clued me in about the song's true meaning.

I still feel used.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

325th Post - Special Non-Special 325th Post!

I usually try to do something special for the posts evenly divisible by 25. #200 was the interview with Deb Smith. #275 was the interview with J.C. Douglas. #250 was all about the CJCH transition to... that new station. #150 was the alphabet game, a particular favourite, and one that was particularly hard to write. #225... still hasn't been written yet. I'll get to it, when I am sufficiently inspired.

Had I been on the ball, this would have been an interview post with D.S. or maybe J.C. (not J.C. Douglas), or even J.T. But J.T. won't be coming to Canada this summer and visiting us at the cottage. And I haven't had a chance to finish composing the questions for D.S. or J.C. yet. They're on my desk at work.

So... What do we talk about tonight?

How about a couple of things? A hodge podge post?

1. Caught the news tonight. A cat got up a power pole and was stuck for 4 days before a Nova Scotia power employee enticed the cat down. Then, when the cat was one the ground, it ran off into the woods.

All of these problems would be solved if people kept their friggin' cats at home. I have written about this before. I am so tired of seeing dead kitties on the side of the road. Tired of seeing them crap in people's gardens. Tired of seeing them where they should not be. Tired of seeing Halifax Regional Council argue the merits of a cat bylaw. Keep your darn cats at home, people!

2. Well, Tim Hortons disappointed me today. At 3pm I ventured out to the Tims on Barrington Street at Sackville. I ponied up to the bar and was prepared to order my usual when I saw the sign that they were only accepting cash today. Cash! That's very similar to money. And I don't usually have much of that 2 days before I get paid. I do have funds on my Tim Hortons card, though, but could not use it there this pm. I did go to the one at the entrance to Bayers Lake on the way home tonight, though. Do not weep for me.

3. Walked along the waterfront during lunch. Saw Michael Baker, the provincial finance minister, out strolling with someone. He does not look well. I know he has cancer. I suppose I owe him a bit of a debt because he allowed my Toastmasters club to meet at the Department of Justice on Terminal Road back when I was an employee for that fine, upstanding department. If he reads this, and I doubt that he will, thank you, Mr. Baker. You gave us a place to meet when we would have been homeless otherwise.

I have to admire people who have cancer and who fight it tooth and nail for as long as they possibly can. I have not discussed this on the blog before but will now: I had a brother who died of cancer when I was not even six years old. I have long wondered, all these years later, what it would have been like to have had a big brother when I was growing up, or what it would be like to have one now to impart brotherly advice or to kick my ass when I screwed up in some manner. Instead of finding out about girls from my sisters and mother and father when he was home and not exhausted from having worked all day and into the evening, I might have found out about the mysteries of women from my brother. Or, more likely, we would have puzzled them out together before giving up and crushing beer cans into our foreheads.

My brother lost a leg to the disease, and then his life, not even making it to the age of 17. I was so young that the concept of his death was lost on me. I just couldn't understand it. I am not sure how many kids that age can grasp that concept. After his funeral, when we had show and tell one day in my grade primary class, I stood up and talked about his having died, with all of the youthful immaturity I could muster (trying not to be that way, of course), while my teacher looked on in shock.

I do not wish to turn this blog into a mawkish, maudlin, oh-woe-is-me corner of the blogosphere. I have always intended it to be a place where I can discuss what I want, when I want, how I want, trying to do it humourously or at least with some sense of fun and frivolity. It is up to you to decide whether I have succeeded. I will just state that I continue to miss my brother and wish that he had had the chance to enjoy some of the things I have had a chance to experience. I wish we could have gone through life together. But cancer wouldn't let that happen.

My best to Michael Baker and his family.

4. On a happier note, I am pleased to report that my cat Newbie was sitting on my lap during most of the composition of this blog post. I think he may have realized that he can only tweak the bull (me) so many times before I snort, grunt and do something that we both might regret later. He is now at my feet as I type these few last words.

Time to dig out some comics for the lady at work whose boyfriend really, really likes the Shadow. The weed of crime bears bitter fruit, people!


324th Post - Substandard Housing

The above pic was taken last month in my home town as we attended a yard sale in that august community

My good friend Reg lived there for a time with his lovely wife when they first got married. This apartment was back in 1988 if I recall correctly. Reg, if I am wrong correct me.

I believe that this was once a church but became an apartment building back in the day. I recall visiting them there for Christmas and reading Swamp Thing comics and watching movies. One TV all but exploded as we were beginning to watch DOA with Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid. I finally got around to watching that film about 2 years ago and wish I had blown up like the TV did. It was lucky.

It is a little sad to see the building in such a sorry state. I had some good times there

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Monday, July 14, 2008

323rd Post - Radio Update

I notice how, as of today, Kool 96.5FM has been re-branded a bit, saying that they now play everything.

Really? Anything? Everything? Hawaiian luau music? Gregorian chant? Beethoven? Or is it really anything within the confines and context of rock and roll? If that is the case, then they should say so.

And, I also note how Magic 94.9 in the Annapolis Valley also plays everything. It is generally acknowledged to suck, too. I hope that isn't the case with Kool FM.

Kool FM has changed formats and re-branded itself so many times over the years, since it went on the air in 1990, that one would need a scorecard to keep track of all of the changes. It began as SUN FM back in the day, having an easy listening format that didn't really please too many fans of easy listening. It was more of a light rock format that gradually played less of the older wimpy stuff and more of the newer wimpy stuff.

It is hard to remember all of the format changes, and to sort out the musical chairs approach they have had with their morning show hosts, but around 1998 they moved to the pretty pink palace on Agricola Street in Halifax and in 2002 became Kool FM. They played mostly rock and roll oldies, songs I'd long since grown tired of, and therefore seldom listened to it. They added a music advisory council shortly thereafter where they asked listeners to indicate what songs and artists they'd like to hear more or less of. I believe that is still in effect.

On Friday they opened up the phonelines to requests, which they played all during the morning show. And, today, they announced that they play anything.

This is a radio station that has always struggled to find an identity, a niche in the market. I hope that this newest attempt is successful for them, but I am not sure if I want to listen more now than I have in the past. Time will tell. I will tune in, though, and report back here soon on what they do with what they have announced they will do.


Sunday, July 13, 2008

322nd Post - Another Productive Sunday

Spent 4 hours today staining my front and back steps. They look so much better now. It is supposed to rain on Monday, so the water should bead very nicely on the steps.

I will put down a second coat of stain on the steps when I am back from vacation. Maybe even a third coat, too.

Still jazzin' about last night's barbecue. I guess I don't get out enough.

Five days until vacation!! I can't wait. It will be a long week.

Got some bad news last night that our American neigbours will not be able to make it up to the cottage this summer. They have owned it for the better part of 20 years, and this will be something like the third time they'll not have been able to get up here. What a shame. I can reveal now that he was one of subjects of an upcoming interview for this blog. Whether I will go ahead with it now, or wait until next year, remains to be seen. I haven't decided yet.


Saturday, July 12, 2008

321st Post - John and Patsy Ramsey Thoughts

Watching "Nancy Grace" right now. They are discussing the Jonbenet Ramsey case; finally, the parents have been cleared of their daughter's murder. Patsy died a year or so ago, but I hope that John sues the living crap out of all the media people who insinuated that they had killed Jonbenet.

Some pundits who weren't there to see the murder, who know only what they read in the paper, nonetheless are still going on about how the Ramseys got off, and how they lawyered up right after Jonbenet's death, and how that threw off the police investigation. Ridiculous, but frightening, too, how people can rush to judgement without knowing the truth, or concocting the silliest conspiracy theories out of whole cloth when not one shred of evidence can be brought forth to support these theories. And when the Ramseys denied these allegations, even refuted them, the pundits would then say, "Aha! That means you did it!". What is that called? Circular logic?

What the Ramseys went through after Jonbenet's death could happen to anybody. I am just glad that they have finally been cleared, even though poor Patsy Ramsey didn't live long enough to see this happen.


320th Post - The Barbecue

I am back home from the barbecue. It was great fun this year. Unlike other years, there weren't three metric tons of food left over. We had one measly hamburger patty left over, 2 pieces of bruschetta, some of Bevgirl's squares, half a water melon, and a bit more. Other years, we were lucky to eat 40% of the food at a given barbecue. This year, it was more like 90-95%.

Another difference this year was post-meal games. Games involving balls and paddles, and more balls, and more paddles, some with velcro.

A guy also played his guitar, much more skillfully than I could. Which isn't saying much.

We called it a night around 8:30.

Newbie is on my lap as I type these words. I think he regrets his recent transgressions. I still have trust issues.

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319th Post - Summer Time Barbecue

In just over an hour I will drive to downtown Halifax and pick up a couple of people in my Toastmasters club and drive them to our club's annual barbecue, held at a member's home.

I missed the bbq in 2006 as we were at the cottage. We went last year, and it's the last time I saw a certain member, who shortly thereafter left the country to start a new life in Korea. This year, of course, I'm going too, but not with Patricia, who continues to stay at the cottage until I rendezvous with her there next week, when my own vacation starts (six days! woohoo!).

You all remember that song "Rendezvous" by the Hudson Brothers? They were a minor rock and roll band of the 1970's who ended up with a pretty silly show called the Hudson Brothers Razzle Dazzle Comedy Show. I remember them and it most fondly. The skits featuring the Island of Piggy Piggy were of particular delight to my impressionable mind. Several people huddled around the island, which was mostly just a clumb of clay in the ocean. One tree in the very middle, and they were all standing around it, discussing the issues of the day. "What's new, Frank?". "We're getting an NFL franchise, Chet!". Stuff like that. Funny stuff when you're 10 years old.

The only really lasting contribution that the brothers had was that one of them (Bill) went on to marry Goldie Hawn. They begat a daughter named... Kate Hudson. She does all these movies with Matthew McConaughey. I'll bet the old man's proud of that. Wonder if Goldie pays him support?

I'll take some pics at the barbecue this even, perhaps even shoot some video, and put some of that stuff up here. Look for it.


Friday, July 11, 2008

318th Post - The Enemy


My nemesis.

Your day is coming. Sooner than you think.


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317th Post - An Open Letter To Newbie

Dear Newbie:

Ever since we discovered you at that farmers market in 2006 and I brought you home you have been a typical cat.

You demand to be fed on your terms.

You want attention on your terms.

You sleep in my bed but only when you want to.

You walk around the house as if you had just paid the mortgage.

The world belongs to you. You just let me live in it.


But when we had you fixed last year you have never let me forget it.

I am putting my foot down, Newbie. Enough is enough.

Just because you no longer have balls it doesn't mean you can pounce and walk and jump all over mine.

Are we clear? Do we have an understanding? Or will I have to escalate this open letter to something more forceful? I will go there with you, Newbie. I will beat you at this little game.

After all, I know where you live.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

316th Post - A Productive Day

Got quite a bit done at work today. I don't really get into what I do here on the blog. For one thing, it would identify me a little bit more than I am comfortable with. For another, I figure most of you who read this don't give a flying flip about what I do for a living. You just want me to keep writing, writing, writing.

So, I write.

I have said it here before, several months ago, but it bears repeating. Life sure does have a more rosy outlook when you have a job you like. I have had a job or two in my life that I didn't like at all. The kind of job where getting out of bed will be the most challenging thing I'd do all day long. The kind where I'd be a little ashamed about what I was doing and would dress it up to make it appear to be more glamourous and interesting than it really was.

I am not saving the rainforest with this job or finding a cure for spastic colon or anything like that. I am just saying that what I do is in my field of endeavour and I have to constantly stretch myself to learn new stuff.

18 months ago I had only held a BlackBerry once in my life and never dreamed I'd actually have one. Now, I am on my second one and spend time researching the new models that will be out by the holidays, when I can order my third. And a bluetooth headset? What does that mean? And "pairing" such a headset with a BB? What does that mean? Why would someone want to do that? Today, try to wrest that BB and headset from my grasp and you'll have a fight on your hands. I take it to bed with me. I respond to e-mails at 11pm while I am struggling to get to sleep. And I love it.

Hope you like your job as much as I like mine!


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

315th Post - Don't Worry

Dozens of you have been writing me expressing extreme concern that there will not be regular Bevboy's Blog posts during my upcoming vacation.

Please allow me to allay, assuage, even eliminate those fears and insecurities. Fret not. Turn that frown upside down. Do a 180 degree turn away from the shoals of depression and move toward the shores of happiness.

I will continue to blog while on vacation. In theory, I will have more time than ever to blog. However, keep in mind that I will be with Patricia for that time. She will insist I spend time with her. I may even end up attending a craft show or two. Lord, the things a man does for love!

I can blog from the BlackBerry, as you will know from the many posts sent from that device. That damned device, according to Patricia. Hmmph! It is child's play for me to dash off a post and send it along with a picture. We will also visit some libraries that have computers with high speed internet connections. I can post from there. And I will have the laptop computer and can piggy back on the various hot spot connections floating around in the ether.

So, my friends: Don't worry. There will be at least one blog post per day while I am on vacation.

Do you feel better now?


314th Post - Shameless Self-Promotion

From Saturday's day trip.

Sorry it took so long to put this up here.

More to follow later on today.


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

313th Post - A Guilty Pleasure

Patricia and I have been enjoying, for the third summer in a row, a program called "America's Got Talent". It is on NBC/ASN Tuesday nights at 9pm ET.

Many of the people who try out for that show, don't actually have talent. Singers who can't sing. Jugglers who drop things alla the time. And, my favourite, magicians with no ability to perform magic.

Quite a few years ago, I was in a magic club here in Halifax. I spent more than a little bit of money purchasing effects from places like Hank Lee's Magic Factory and Phil Matlin in Montreal, who runs Perfect Magic. I became a member of IBM, the International Brotherhood of Magicians. I subscribed to the Linking Ring magazine.

And, you know what?

I found it boring.

When I began to move a little bit closer to the "inner circle", when I began to realize and understand how these effects were done, I started to feel a little cheated. I both want and don't want to know how something is done. I am conflicted. I mean, I want to know how David Copperfield or Lance Burton achieves flight, and can fly around the stage and the audience like an errant balloon with the air escaping from it. But, if I researched how these effects were done (and there are places where you can do that), I'd doubtless feel that it was fake and silly. And I don't need to know how those effects are achieved in order to get a kick out of them any more than I need to know how a microwave oven works in order to enjoy popcorn.

It comes down, to me at least, to presentation. If an effect is artfully performed, if I see something I haven't seen before, if my mouth is agape, then I am willing to suspend my disbelief and be amazed about what I have seen. That, to me, is magic.

I still remember a couple of effects, by the way. And, while I sold off most of my magic books last year, I did keep a couple. But I sold off nearly every effect I bought back in the early 1990's. Glad to be rid of them. And, Rod Doiron of that magic club was kind enough to let me sell off those items at that club last year.

(Yes, JC and Deb Smith: the same Rod Doiron you know. I get around.)

But, let's get back to "America's Got Talent". We like the show quite a bit. But, we can't help but notice that some of the people who try out, already not only have talent, but have thriving careers in their field of endeavour.

An example of this is The Pendragons. They have been a hubby and wife magic team for some 30 years. They are very well known in magic circles and have had a healthy career with the attendant appearance fees to match. Jonathan Pendragon was nearly killed 2 years ago when he was stabbed by the blunt end of an arrow in a freak accident. It has taken him this long to make it back to the point where he can perform in public.

I suppose this is a comeback of sorts for them both; but even so, they already have talent, and were discovered and acknowledged for their talent, a long, long time ago. It is not necessary for Sharon Osbourne and David Hasselhoff to tell them that they are talented. The Pendragons and their multitude of admirers already know that.

They don't need, and shouldn't be, on this show. The show should be about undiscovered talent. But it isn't, even though it hardly seems fair to put established artists like the Pendragons cheek by jowl with some guy who read a magic book a couple of years ago and fancies himself a magician. It isn't fair to anybody: the Pendragons, the Buddy with the magic book, and the viewers.

But we'll still watch. Don't worry!


Monday, July 7, 2008

312th Post - Bus Blogging

Taking the bus home tonight. Will be taking it quite a bit this week and next until vacation starts

Will be going through Chebucto Road tonight. It is very sad what is happening there. Can't believe that city council approved this change.

Off to dinner with Patricia. She is going to the cottage tonight or tomorrow so this is the last time I will have a chance to see her for a while

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311st Post - Question of the Day

I recently heard on the radio about "womanized" lumber. I am very angry about it.

What is "womanized" lumber, anyway? Why do women have to be associated with that stuff? Can't men have something of their own, without such interference?

And why is "womanized" lumber always a light shade of green in the store? Shouldn't it be pink?

Keeping them honest, I remain...


Sunday, July 6, 2008

310th Post - 12 Days Until Vacation!

My vacation begins on July 18th, a mere 12 days from now.

Can hardly wait. Two weeks off at the cottage is what the doctor has ordered. We will be there for the annual week of celebration for a nearby town. There will be fireworks, a yard sale (I have luck with them, as you know), and lots of food. I like food. Too much.

Managed to get a collar on Newbie this morning. He hasn't found a way to remove it yet, but he is like a feline Houdini. Give him time.

Back to the grindstone tomorrow.


Saturday, July 5, 2008

309th Post - Air Checks

Most of you know I have a real passion for radio. Grew up listening to it, and still love the idea of it.

I didn't grow up in these parts of the world, but it is nonetheless interesting to hear these vintage radio personalities from the 1950's to modern times announcing on radio stations that in many cases no longer exist. This radio archive of air checks is a fascinating place to hang out and hear stuff you can't hear anywhere else. True radio history. And the radio jingles are terrific fun.

Go ahead. Check it out.

Pass the Alka Seltzer. Soothe the pain away.


308th Post - I Love the Smell of Yardsales in the Morning!

Love yardsales. I have picked up some amazing items for very little money.

At the cottage, we were having problems with the microwave oven last year. No problem. In late May, I bought a replacement microwave oven for two bucks at a church rummage sale. It works great for what it is.

We didn't have a coffee maker at the cottage. Didn't really want to spend a lot of money on a new one. In my neighbourhood in 2006, a guy was selling a coffee maker that had barely been used, also for two dollars. A nice, 10 cup coffeemaker. The reason? The man's wife didn't want a black coffeemaker in the house. Like we care, at the cottage!

My indoor grill, a Black and Decker unit that I liked very much, was reaching the point where it wasn't much good any more. The enamel was coming off, and it didn't heat fully. I was a little edgy about using it. Today, I ran into a lot of indoor grills at various yard sales. The one I settled on was a Hamilton Beach unit with a timer and a place for steam to escape through, as well as a place for fat to drip into. A very nice machine, obviously barely used, and it was a mere 3 dollars.
At the yard sale next door to that person's, I bought two pairs of "shorts" that a guy would put on after a shower. A buck each. This is a vast improvement for me as I usually run around the house naked after a shower, and pretend that I am the Wild Man of Borneo.

(I am sorry. Was that too much information?)

A slow cooker, that Patricia paid 5 dollars for, is now at the cottage and serves us well, the odd time that we use it.

Two outdoor security lights, today, for 5 dollars for both of them.

A broadcast spreader, better than the one I bought for 5 dollars a few years ago, for 2 dollars, also today.

But the neatest thing I have bought at a yardsale, I have not really used. It is a conversation piece more than anything else. It was a self-help cassette tape(!) on how to cure oneself of procrastination. Clearly several years old (duh! a cassette tape!), but it was still unopened. I should get points for irony if nothing else!

At any rate, I have got some tremendous bargains at yardsales over the years, and in particular, in recent years. I am not sure if it is a case of the economy faltering, and folks need some quick cash, but people are selling more and more stuff at yardsales for prices that would hurt me if I sold them that cheaply. Things that sold for a hundred bucks in a store, going for perhaps 15 or 20 at a yardsale. Stuff like that.

What is the best deal you have ever had at a yardsale? Do dish!


307th Post - A Favourite Bevboy Song

Returning from Mahone Bay this evening (a long day!) I played a cd called Has Been, by William Shatner and Ben Folds, of Ben Folds Five fame.

Yes, William Shatner. Get over it.

We all remember, whether we want to or not, William Shatner's... interpretation of tunes like "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" and "Rocketman". Kitschy and cheesy and embarrassing. And those are the songs' strongpoints.

In 2004 Folds approached Shatner to record another album, a serious one, and for whatever reason, Shatner agreed to do it. The result was this excellent album, one I still enjoy listening to, 4 years after it came out.

I bought the album after Shatner's appearance on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, where he performed "Common People". I just so happen to have a youtube link to it, and hope you take a few minutes to watch it.

In searching around for a youtube version of that Tonight Show appearance, I found that a guy in Austin, Texas, produced his own version of the video. It is quite good. Check it out, too, if you wish:

And, lastly, a fat guy somewhere in the States decided to lip sync Shatner's and Joe Jackson's vocals for the song, and film himself doing it. It is worth a chuckle.

I love youtube!!

More in a bit.


306th Post - A Trip to Mahone Bay

The above pic is of a unique store in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, which sells crystals and things that people who believe in the metaphysical would flock to in a heartbeat. I was more interested in the King Arthur section of the store which features that mythical British character. You can buy swords there, or maces, in case you think you're Hawkman or something. It was a pretty neat place, and I am glad we visited it this afternoon.

Mahone Bay was a blast. We are looking forward to returning there in a month or two.

Will upload a video shortly. Look for it.

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Friday, July 4, 2008

305th Post - The Second Movie of the Day

We saw "Indiana Jones 4" today. It is easily the weakest of the 4 films, and one is left wondering why we had to wait 19 years for this. The character played by Shia Labouef's true identity is not a secret to anyone. The action sequences are fun. And I did like the references to the earlier films, as well as to the characters from the other films who are not in this one.

George Lucas has stated that he wouldn'd mind continuing this franchise with Shia as the lead. I think this would be a mistake. His character is too annoying for that.

Tomorrow, I think that Patricia and I will go for a drive to Mahone Bay. Haven't been there in years.

Have a good night.


304th Post - First movie of the Day

Just watched Iron Man. Excellent film. Patricia was in hospital when at came out, so I was lucky it was still in town.

If you saw it, did you stay through to the end of the credits? There is a special cameo at the very end that sets things up for the sequel, coming out in 2010.

Indiana Jones in 15 minutes

More later

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Thursday, July 3, 2008

303rd Post - My First Harold Lloyd Post

The image you can see if you ignore what I am writing is one of the most famous in film history. For those of you who don't know, it is that of iconic film star Harold Lloyd in the film "Safety Last", released in 1924.

In 2006 I sold a bunch of comics to a local fan and used some of the proceeds to purchase the Harold Lloyd Comedy Collection, a 7 disc dvd collection of Lloyd's classic films. It was a bit pricey, a hundred dollars plus applicable taxes, but I have no children and little prospect of having them, so I live in the here and now and damn the torpedoes.

I had heard of Lloyd over the years. I had heard about the accident that claimed the thumb and forefinger on his right hand, forcing him to become a southpaw for the rest of his life. I had heard that some device had been devised to make it appear as though his right hand was whole. But I had never seen any Lloyd film, and certainly not "Safety Last.

This collection contains the short film Lloyd was making when he suffered his accident. The film is called "The Haunted Spooks", and what is fascinating about it is that there are scenes before the accident, some after, and some which contain a mixture of pre- and post- accident shots. You can hardly tell, even with the audio commentary turned on and telling you, where Lloyd is wearing the prosthetic and where his right hand is whole.

You know, Lloyd was more popular in his day than Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. Having seen most of the films in this collection, I can now understand why.

Unlike Chaplin and Keaton, Lloyd didn't rely on funny costumes or outlandish makeup to make his characters believable and relatable. His most famous character, known as the Glasses Character, just wore a pair of glasses (with the lenses removed so that they would photograph better!). A normal-looking guy who would end up in extraordinary circumstances and have to work hard, using his head, to get himself out of the situations in which he found himself. This character was extremely popular in the late 1910's, and throughout the 1920's. But by the 1930's, with the advent of the talkies, and with the Depression on, that kind of pluck and determination and optimism fell out of vogue, and so did Lloyd. A wealthy man from owning his films and from investments, he all but retired after the 1930's.

"Safety Last" is probably my favourite film so far. Much has been written about the scenes where he is climbing the building. They used a real-life building climber for some scenes (it was a fad back then when a new building was constructed to have someone climb it). They used a stuntman named Harry Peavey for some. But that is Lloyd, with one good hand, in plenty of other scenes.

Another favourite is "The Kid Brother", where Lloyd plays the younger brother to a town hero, but it is Lloyd who saves the day. Very funny, heart-warming stuff.

Check out this collection. You'll be glad you did.


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

302nd Post - Pizza Confusion

Sitting here at CNOs Pizza in Lakeside. Just ordered a large pizza with the works, and it comes with a free medium "gf".

Long-time readers will remember my confusion about the letters "gf". Do they mean "garlic fingers" or "girlfriend"? From the sign outside I am still not sure.

I suppose this one could go either way.

I will keep you posted.

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

301st Post - Alfred Hitchcock

Most of you know that Alfred Hitchcock made a cameo in nearly all of his films. Someone produced a video for youtube, to the tune of Hitchcock's tv show, showing all of these cameos.



300th Post - The 300th Post (And Happy Canada Day!)

Hello, my faithful readers, and Happy Canada Day!

You'll notice the small, cosmetic change I made to this blog by looking over on the right hand side of this screen and perhaps scrolling down a bit. I hope you like it.

This was to have been the place where I would have posted another interview. There are people who read this blog primarily for the interviews I conduct with local celebrities. Well, both of them that is. I do have 3 more interviews lined up.

Got home late last night, around 11:30. The Tattoo last evening was spectacular as was the dinner beforehand at the Wooden Monkey. We apparently sat at the very same table Keith Richards sat at when he and the rest of the Stones played here in Halifax in 2006. Ate the same dessert, too.

Ellen Page has gone on record as saying that she loves the Wooden Monkey. I like it quite a bit. The food is organic and unusual and not to everyone's taste. I can't imagine my parents would like it that much.

I never thought that this blog would make it to 300 posts. I thought, maybe 100 or 150. But, here I am, and I feel I am just getting started, as I have so many more things I want to discuss here, and so many more things I want to try on this blog, like podcasting, better video, more pictures, overall better content.


I have obliquely referred to this before, but have never gone into great detail as to why I began this blog, and what set of circumstances resulted in my quitting one message board and starting something here. I think this, the 300th post, is a good place to provide more detail.

For quite a few years, I was a regular contributor to the Tony Isabella Message Board. Tony is a writer whose most popular work was in the 1970's and early 1980's, but who today, like so many writers, can't get much work. I am not sure if "bitter" is the best word to describe him. "Frustrated" is the one I will use.

Tony continues to write an online column, not really a blog, where he expresses his opinion on whatever is going on in his life, as well as review items of a genre nature. His message board is an adjunct to that, where people (for years, including your humble blogger) will comment on his columns, and pipe in with their own opinions.

Last summer, a well-known and well-liked comics artist, Mike Wieringo, died suddenly of an aortic dissection. Of course, Tony's board lit up with comments on his passing. I wrote a comment that I had not originally liked his work, but upon visiting his website, I had found that my initial assessment had been very wrong and I mentioned how I had regretted feeling this way about his work and expressed sadness at his death. Someone else had the same type of comments.

A couple of days later, Tony rips us a new one on the board, blasting us for making light of the man's death, and where did we get off saying this stuff about a dead man? His family could be reading this, he reasoned, and might become further upset!


I don't recall the exact wording of what I wrote in response to Tony. I think I still have the e-mail somewhere and will search for it and post it here. But I wrote something along the lines of I meant nothing by my words, just that I had been wrong in my assessment of his work, and that I felt saddened by his passing. I then offered to quit the board.

Tony wrote back that no such exodus was necessary.

Upon reflection, however, I was getting pretty sore at Tony. He is a pretty strident guy with opinions that, if yours don't match his pretty closely, will make you feel pretty uncomfy. If you are a Republican, I can't imagine you'll want to hang out on that board very much. In my own case, I had been kind to Tony, having given him and his daughter a board game that I could have sold on ebay for a tidy sum. I gave it away, and even paid the shipping costs, because I wanted to do something nice for him and his daughter. Evidently, that kindness meant nothing to him, not even the benefit of a doubt when he decided to tear into me in that public way.

I was also ticked with Tony because my father very nearly died of an aortic dissection in 2000. It was only through hard work, luck, and determination that the EMS guys and the doctors kept him alive. At one point, he was transported via high speed ambulance from Kentville to Halifax, a good hour's drive, where a doctor worked on him to keep him from dying. He was that close to succumbing that evening, and hovered around death for 10 days or more. I spoke to him this morning. He knows he is lucky.

Seven years later, when someone I thought a friend, almost like a brother, accused me of exulting in the death of another human being, particularly one who died of an aortic dissection, that did not sit well with me.

I knew that if I wrote something back on the board defending myself, Tony would just remove the comment and ban me from the board. He and his coterie are like that. The only thing I could do, right then and there, was to quit the board, and I did.

I consulted with Joe, the fellow who commented to one of my posts last week, after I quit the board. He had quit the board after a monstrous outrage was committed against his wife on the board. Not my place to say what it was, and the story is better to come from him and Gina anyway.

I sent an e-mail to several people who regularly contribute to the board, and a couple of them wrote me back, supporting me, but urging me to suck it up and come back, even apologize. I am still in touch with one or two of them. They said that essentially Tony runs a good board and one is free to express himself as one sees fit, but from time to time Tony will decide to hit us on the snout with a newspaper if he sees something he doesn't like.

I can't apologize when I didn't do anything wrong. And I can't stick around somewhere I am not treated well. And I cannot communicate with someone who disrespects me.

A couple of months later, after realizing that I had missed expressing myself online, I began Bevboy's Blog. And I haven't looked back, just forward.

I hope you'll come along for the ride for the next 300 posts. And 300 more after that.

Have a wonderful Canada Day!