Tuesday, March 31, 2009
I agree with every word he rights here, even the digs at bloggers.
Yeah, I'm a blogger, and he made a dig at me. He's still right.
My God. That is just too young.
Of course, "Angel" was a spin off of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and starred David Boreanaz, much better known today for being the star of Bones. Angel was a better show than Buffy, and I liked Buffy just swell. Andy Hallett was a big part of the success for that show, and I still miss Angel, five years after it went off the air.
Here is a link, which provides other links, to Andy Hallett's Wikipedia article.
The karaoke bars just won't be the same again.
We attended the Michael Buble concert in Halifax a few years ago. We loved it, especially when Buble plucked a child out of the audience and sang the theme song with him! Imagine our delight when we learned that Buble had recorded the song.
Have you heard it? Well, it's about time you did !
Monday, March 30, 2009
How many of you watched the classic, and cheesy, 1960's Spider-Man cartoon? I sure did. I watched the same ones over and over until they were burned into my brain; it would take severe brain washing techniques to make me forget them. But, how many of you know that nearly all of the actors who provided the voices for the characters were Canadians? They worked cheap, and did good work; these were strong traits in their favour. These cartoons were made on a strict budget, as you can tell by watching them today. Spidey swings past the same six buildings over and over. He doesn't even move that much. And several of the stories were recycled for another series called Rocket Robin Hood, which emanated from the same production company, and sure does look it.
Paul Soles is an old man now; but 40 years ago he was the voice of Peter Parker/Spider-Man. He has a website where he discusses those years and those heady times. What else would it be called other than.... Wallopin Websnappers ? I mean, really!
It is fascinating reading, and it's even animated in the style of the old cartoons. You have to check it out.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
I was born in, let's be honest here, 1964. I taught myself to read more by reading things like comic books and Mad Magazine than I ever did in school. The primers we had to read in Grade Primary or Grade One were not challenging to me; these garishly-coloured pamphlets were. They were literature to me, high art, and people who looked down their nose to me for reading them were simply ignored. Yes, that included teachers, by the way.
I discovered Mad Magazine in the early 1970's. I am thinking it was whilst visiting a friend's house, who wanted to show me this radical magazine, which he read surreptitiously when his parents weren't likely to bother him, and which he stored in an obscure part of his bedroom.
I loved the magazine. Of particular interest were the paperback books that they published during that period, many of which I still own. I loved the "Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions" books, where people would ask obvious questions, and receive snotty, sarcastic responses in return. An, um, healthy young woman, wearing not much more than she was born with, asks her boyfriend, "Do you think I'm sexy?" His answers ranged from, "What did you say, fella?" to "I don't know. I was pondering the Middle East crisis." Stuff like that. I tell ya, when you're 12 years old, there is nothing funnier than that kind of stuff, unless, of course, it involves flatulence.
As I got a bit older, and more sophisticated (if that is a word you can apply to me, that is), I got a bit tired of Mad, and moved on to other things, like the National Lampoon. But I always had a soft spot in my heart for Mad. I eventually learned that Mad had started as a comic book in the 1950's, and was published at the tail end of the horror comics boom that this company, EC, had spearheaded. They had published comics like "Tales from the Crypt", "The Vault of Horror", "The Haunt of Fear", "Two-Fisted Tales", and others.
Dumb ass parents of the day decided that these books were too frightening for their children to read and U.S. legislators did what they could to drive publisher William Gaines out of business. They nearly succeeded, but Gaines kept Mad going, deciding to publish it as a black and white magazine, and it is still published to the present day (although it's now published only on a quarterly basis and now accepts advertising!)
There is a book on this period in U.S. publishing. Probably several books, actually, but the one on my nightstand is called "The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America". I'll probably get around to reading it this summer, but you can read about it here if you want to.
Gaines continued to publish Mad until his death in 1992. I have an issue of the Comics Journal that was published in 1983 and which features an extremely long interview with him, talking about Mad, and the EC comics, and his life. It is must reading if you're into that kind of thing. But, if you think my interviews on this blog are long, well, 35 pages of small, single-spaced type might be too much for you.
A year or so ago, I chanced upon the above dvd, showing every issue of Mad Magazine, more or less. A few pages here and there are not present. It is fun to re-read these old issues, and to discover for the first time many of the articles from the 1950's that I have never seen before. All of the Mad Fold In's are present as well, and you can use your mouse to drag the two pieces of the cover together to form the new image. You Mad readers know what I'm talking about.
If you don't want to read that long interview, I found the following 60 Minutes piece from 1988 or so. It is about Mad, and Gaines, and I think you'll like it. I know I did.
You're welcome. I do this because I love you. I hope you know that.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
I have been on the go all day.
Started the day by participating in the Bowling for Kids campaign. Our team raised over $500 for Big Brothers, Big Sisters. Yay!
The theme this year was a Western one. Only Gillian bothered to dress the part. She doesn't normally dress that way!
This afternoon we attended the local Home Show. I don't know about you, but while I don't mind seeing the wares of one or two companies offering, say, floor laminate, by the time I see the 8th company offering, say, floor laminate it becomes awfully wearisome.
This evening we shopped at a local Shoppers Drug Mart. Several times a year they offer 20x Optimal Points, their inhouse point program that you can use to buy stuff with. I am trying to build up as many points as I can in case I decide to buy another digital camera later on this year. I like the camera I have now, but not enough to hold on to it for five years or anything like that.
Spent time with Cindy Clawford today. There she is with Patricia, in a photo taken today.
Left Newbie around 8:30 this morning and didn't return until after 9pm. Poor little cat is all over me now. I think he misses me when I am not around. It is hard to tell because he is, after all, a cat. At the best of times, cats are aloof animals that go out of their way to pretend you don't matter to them, and that they can get along just fine without you. Newbie is even more so, although he is usually in the same room I am in .
Oh, before I call it a night, I am wondering if anyone reading this can help me out. The micro sd card for my previous BlackBerry seems to be toast. I had quite a few crappy pictures and video on it. MP3's, too, but I don't care about them. There is some irreplaceable stuff on that card. I usually keep it sync'd with my computer at work, but if you recall, that computer died on me recently. I got a brand-new computer this week at work, but didn't have a chance to back up the old card before transferring it to the new BB. I try to load that old card, and the BB complains that it can't read the card, in either BB. This evening, I put the microsd card in an SD adapter and placed it in my computer's card reader. No dice, except that the adapter sure did over heat in 30 seconds or so. Is there any way to get the stuff off that faulty micro sd card? Any pearls of wisdom, folks?
Friday, March 27, 2009
I have been used to the so called suretype keyboard. If the new keyboard doesn't drive me mad first I am told I will come to enjoy it. If.
Was told the same thing about carrots when I was a youngster. Never happened.
This new device does run faster than the pearl 2 ever could dream of though.
I will get used to this keyboard.
That is my mantra!
Via his 8330
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Mom hoovered her dinner tonight.
It is extremely busy here this evening. Payday for a lot of people.
I am starting to love this place.
I will look back on moments like this after they are gone.
Via BlackBerry enterprise server
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Do you want to see some results?
Of course you do!
I'll be busy tomorrow, carting my parents around. I will try to comment tomorrow night on the impending CBC layoffs, which will gut the corporation like nothing else. Disgusting. I hate it. But I'll write more about it on Thursday.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
But, I know of my awesome responsibility to you, my readers. Soooo. I found a couple of youtube videos I think you'll enjoy.
The first one is of tv anchor Katie Couric, who just can't decided whether to button up her coat or not. Surreal.
Now, here are a couple of WGN tv anchors, and what they do during commercial breaks.
Lastly, here is another video:
I love you all.
Monday, March 23, 2009
My parents are coming to visit here on Wednesday night. My mother has surgery on Thursday. That means that Bevboy has to clean his house sufficiently 'twixt now and then, lest they cluck their tongues and pronouce the house unfit to live in. Again.
It isn't that bad. Really. But when you work all day, rising early in the morning and oftentimes not returning home until after dark, there remains little time for thinks like cleaning the house. It's not like the cat will do anything while I am gone.
I put off doing my laundry until I am in danger of running out of unmentionables. I realize that the washing machine actually does most of the work; but I still have to sort the clothes and put the detergent in and study which combination of water temperature, level, and mode works best for the pile of clothing I am about to offer to my Maytag. It is a bewildering, and by times confounding, permutation that makes me put off doing laundry until it can be delayed no longer.
And don't get me started on putting the clothes away, nicely piled and clean and nice smelling. It is very time consuming, especially with the socks.
What do your socks look like? I have, I don't know, 30 pairs of white gym socks. I wear a different pair every day. I wash them in hot water, with a bit of bleach, and using the most aggressive washing mode available to me. I usually hang them to dry.
Then I take them upstairs.
And the hard work begins.
I love my mother. Really. I do. But she has bought me most of my socks over the years. And the design on the socks is subtly different for many of the pairs. Every month or so, when I have to, I place all of these socks on my bed, and study them for similarities. When I find pairs that look alike, I put them in a smaller pile, sometimes for further examination to ensure that they really "belong" in that pile of hosiery. I continue this process until I am, theoretically, down to my last pair. But it never works that way. I always have 3 or so socks left over, socks whose design neither matches nor even resembles the ones I have just classified. I have very often spent over an hour reaching this point. Unbelievably frustrating.
I roll the socks together, inside out, to form a ball containing a pair of matched socks. I put each of these balls into one of the drawers in my dresser.
For the remaining socks, those that don't match one another, I just stuff them in a drawer, sometimes with other socks that don't look like other socks, because if I threw them out, I figure, I would at some time locate these errant socks, and would never have the mate again.
I am sooo grateful not to have to wear black dress socks much any more. The designs on those puppies are even more subtle.
Why do I do this?
Well, I guess it is one of my neuroses. You'll just have to get used to it.
I am worried that if I didn't sort these socks, or at least make an effort to, and if I were in an accident, unconscious, perhaps babbling incoherently, I might be taken to the hospital. If the injury were severe enough, they would have to cut me out of my pants to examine more closely the grievous wounds which landed me there. Imagine how I would feel, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, if they did that and took a look at my socks. They would say something like, "Look, my fellow colleagues! Ha ha! This poor devil's socks don't match. See? The designs are subtly different. His mother must have bought them for him, and he couldn't be bothered to sort them after doing his laundry! I don't think he is worth saving!"
I would be thrown out of the emergency room, all for the want of matched socks. I would perhaps then die, my pants having been removed by a pair of scissors, injured, on a gurney in the hall way. All because my damned socks were not sorted properly.
That's why I do it. And why you should, too.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Someone is trying to launch every March 22nd as Talk Like William Shatner Day. I wish him well.
Here's the official launch video:
And 2 follow ups:
The second follow up:
Kevin Pollak is considered to have done the best William Shatner impression. Here is a taste:
He also does Christopher Walken:
I can't do any funny voices. Sorry. Still waiting for "International Talk Like Bevboy Day", every February 23rd.
Thanks to Mark Evanier's blog for the tip!
Anyway, one of the songs I remember fondly from that summer is the Bon Jovi tune I am about to embed for your enjoyment. I was housesitting for my parents, who were visiting relatives in New Brunswick. I was up late one evening in August. I tuned into the David Letterman show in time to catch these guys playing live.
This is the official video. I have only seen it a couple of times, one of them, this evening. It's a fun video, exciting even, but it doesn't make a lot of sense. Watch it first, and then I'll comment.
See? Fun tune.
However, does the video's storyline make any sense? Buddy's gf calls him when he's trying to download porn (using a dial up connection!!). She's all like, "Hey, Bon Jovi is starting! You've got 5 minutes. Get your ass down here!"
He runs like heck to be with her. Such is the hold women hold over men.
I am wondering why his gf didn't tell him about the concert earlier? If he lives clear across town, as the video suggests, she should have told him much earlier. But she didn't, and he risked his life repeatedly in order to be with her. I don't think she's worth it, my friend. Dump her. She's too high maintenance.
Now, check out the following video: Melanie Doane's "Adam's Rib".
Back so soon? The cake isn't ready yet!
I like this song a lot, but the video is goofy. I mean, think about it. Melanie Doane is a very attractive young woman. She's a blonde, for goodness' sake. I have never dated a blonde. I'm not bitter. Not. Bitter.
But I digress.
If you recall, the video features a young man who gets on an elevator, and Melanie Doane is already on it. The elevator becomes stuck. Melanie starts singing "Adam's Rib", doubtless as a seduction technique I am unfamiliar with. The man becomes agitated and takes extraordinary measures to get off the elevator. Maybe he prefers brunettes.
I don't know about you, but if I got on an elevator (that was about to break down) with Melanie Doane, wearing the kind of dress she's wearing, and she started singing "Adam's Rib" to me, and began producing a guitar and violin out of thin air, I wouldn't exactly be upset about that. I'd just tell Patricia I'd be late for dinner. Patricia would understand. She likes blondes, too.
This was fun. I'm glad I got this off my chest. I'll think of some more silly videos and comment on them in a future post.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
I have been hinting at the concert Patricia and I attended on Thursday night, March 19th. Now, I'll tell you a bit about it.
We first learned of this concert a couple of weeks ago when were handed a flyer at the Vinyl Cafe show. "Tunes for Troubled Times: Music of the Depression Era". There were several musical artists performing whom we liked very much, such as David Myles, and Linda Carvery. Others, we had heard of, but not heard their music. Morgan Davis frequently plays at Bearly's House of Blues in downtown Halifax; we eat there just as frequently but have never heard him play. Thom Swift is someone else I had heard of.
We had to go. I ordered the tickets online and they arrived in the mail on March 13th. Oh, frabjous joy!
On March 19th, the concert finally arrived. I worked all day, hard, because we're getting busy at work. I was more than a little bleary-eyed over dinner at the Pogue Fado. We drove to the Dalhousie Arts Centre, on the Dalhousie University Campus. Patricia saw the parking space before I did. I admired how I parallel parked. You really must go for a drive with me sometime, so that you, too, can admire my parallel parking.
We walked in to the Rebecca Cohn. There are signs up asking you not to record the show, or use a camera. As we entered the theater, the woman who took our ticket reminded us not to use a camera. Finally, a second person, who would have directed us to our seat had we been unable to find it, reminded us yet again about the camera prohibition. We get it! We get it.
We found our seats. The show began. Heidi Petracek of the CBC came out and introduced the evening to us. She did not admonish us another time not to record the show, thank goodness. She did introduce Erin Costelo, who performed, "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?", a classic Depression-Era tune. It was written by a fellow who lost his job on Wall Street because of the '29 Market Crash. A friend of his, a songwriter, told his friend to buy a rhyming dictionary and become one himself. This man used his life experience and that dictionary to write this song, which was a hit for many people including Bing Crosby.
David Myles came out. He said he would be hosting the evening as well as performing. He did "Big Rock Candy Mountain", the original version, not the one that was sanitized and became a song for children. It was the version written from the perspective of a hobo fantasizing about how grand life would be on that mountain, where the police had wooden legs, chickens lay soft-boiled eggs, and where they don't have to work all day. Marvelous.
Linda Carvery came out. She did two songs: A tune about her man who had gone away to fight in a war and was now unemployed (forget the name off the top of my head), and "Ain't Misbehavin'".
I am forgetting who did what, when. There was not one dull moment. We loved it all. Roxeen and Ryan Roberts did a couple of great songs together. David Myles came back out and performed "Dancing Cheek to Cheek", dancing around on the stage, by himself. His month of filling in for Stan Carew on CBC radio a couple of months ago has greatly improved his confidence level!
Thom Swift came out and did a song. I had heard of him but not heard him sing. I am a fan now. Where are his albums?
Susan Crowe came out. Not Cheryl Crowe, dummy. Susan Crowe.
Pastor Wallace Smith came out and blew the doors off the place. Why were my church ministers so dull?
After the intermission, there was a lot more of the same, only even better. Morgan Davis performed. All the people I just mentioned. One great tune, right after another.
The final song was "Good Night, Irene" performed by... everybody! They all came out for that one.
We hooted. We hollered. We clapped. We had a grand time. And both tickets cost me less than one Vinyl Cafe ticket cost Patricia.
Are you sorry you missed the show? You should be. But fear not: It will be broadcast on CBC radio in the coming months. I'll try to find out for you so that you can tune in.
I have been to many concerts in my life. I cannot think of a better one, or even one that was as good, as "Tunes for Troubled Times".
What a great evening! Can't wait to get out to something like that again.
Friday, March 20, 2009
These earlier posts are a little embarrassing for me to read. I was finding my footing on this blog; I still stumble from time to time. And, over and over, I'd be writing at night when I was tired. People who read the blog kept teasing me about that. "Bev, you're always tired! What's wrong?"
I still get tired, particularly at the end of a long, busy work week like this one was. But I make a point of not mentioning it very much for fear of the "poor baby" comments I'd get from youse guys. But I will mention it tonight. After working every day, after staying up late here at home most evenings, after going out Wednesday night (more in a bit) and especially after last night's concert (more in the next post), I was running on fumes all day. I barely remember driving to Patricia's place, where I crashed (slept!!!) from 5:30 until nearly 8pm. I am back home now, awake enough to concentrate on this blog for a bit, but am looking forward to going back to bed.
Wednesday night I attended my Toastmasters club's second annual, "Off-Site, Team-Building Exercise". It is a bowling party at the Fairlane's bowlarama place in the Halifax Shopping Centre. There used to be a ton of bowling places in Halifax and Dartmouth, but more than half of them are gone. Not sure why, because they seem to do a good business.
We call it an "Off-Site, Team-Building Exercise" for silly, political reasons that piss me off enough to discuss here for a moment. You see, a Toastmasters club is its own entity, governed by rules and a constitution emanating from Toastmasters International, headquartered the last time I checked in Mission Viejo, California. One of those rules has to do with club funds. If a club folds, the money the club has on hand must be returned to TI; it is not the members' money.
Also, funds are to be used for educational purposes and to cover the costs of things like accommodation if the club has to pay for its meeting space. So, educational materials and costs associated with keeping the club going, not for things like bowling parties.
We charge a semi annual fee to be a member of the club; we are allowed to charge a dollar or so a week to cover the costs of cookies or snacks or whatever. But, instead, we charge an extra ten dollars per person per six month period. It is a good deal for members who go to more than ten meetings in a six month period, and "penalizes" member who go to fewer than ten meetings. Got it so far?
We don't buy cookies or treats every week any more. We choose to hold on to that money for things this "off-site blah blah blah". It is a bowling party. I know it. And, now, you know it. But because it is not an activity directly associated with keeping the club going, we have decided to call it an "Off-Site, Team-Building Exercise". It does foster team building within the club. I was paired with Kent, who reads this blog; and Danielle, who wants to read it. I got to know them better, and that was one of the points of the evening. The money we spent last night came from that ten dollar overage fee, and if you brought your spouse or sweetheart (or both!), then we didn't cover their costs.
TM is a good thing to do. I have met some amazing people over the last 17 years. I have given up on the number of times I have watched the evening news and seen a captain of industry who was once in Toastmasters speaking eloquently. A leader of a major political party in Nova Scotia was briefly in my club. If I ever see him again, I'll ask him what happened because we enjoyed having him there.
TM is a good thing to do, but from time to time, they do something silly like give clubs a hard time on how they spend their funds, or try to impose a new educational program when the old one was workin' jes fine.
I am by no means quitting or even disillusioned by Toastmasters. I am just saying that there is some chaff mixed in with the wheat.
This post has turned out to be longer than I expected. I'll write about the concert in the morning.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
I ordered tickets last week, and we are looking forward to going. We are hearing more and more news about the event, too. I dunno if they have sold out yet, but it must be close.
Here. Read a bit more about it.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
He posted this video tonight, and I have to share it with you. You have to check it out.
I usually get caught up on weekends, but other times, I let them pile up and I read them in one swell foop at the cottage. It is a marvelous place to read. We overlook the Northumberland Strait. We can see Prince Edward Island from the deck. A cold, tasty beverage; a radio on for background noise; and something to read is an irresistible combination. I'll sit outside on a chaise longue to read, or sometimes even in the living room. Ah! I can hardly wait to get back. A couple of months yet. Patience, my pet. Patience.
Anyway, I like the Coast a lot. One of my interests is true crime. Stephen Kimber wrote an article, a long one, about a Halifax police officer and his abiding interest in solving murders. It is a fine, fine article, and I'm glad I can now read it whenever I want to.
And so can you.
Not sure it is to mine.
I may go back to the original layout.
Feedback, people! Feedback. Do you like this new layout or not?
Monday, March 16, 2009
It was the summer of 1980. One evening, we heard some noises coming from the woodpile behind the house. Eventually, we'd get around to tossing that wood into the basement, and then re-piled, but we had not got around to it yet. Anyway, we heard these noises.
The next afternoon, we still heard the noises, only weaker. My younger sister, who reads this blog, ventured over to the wood pile and after a few minutes rescued this little gray kitten. He was hungry and dehydrated; we figured someone had dropped him off on the side of the road, and that he had wandered over to our property. We ended up naming him J.R., after J.R. Ewing of "Dallas" fame. If you recall, this was the summer of "Who Shot J.R.?". Spurred by this craze, and our extreme youth, we had little choice but to name him that.
Over the next 6 years, J.R. took quite a shine to me; he spent more time with me than with any other member of the family. My mother hated cats then and barely tolerates Newbie now, but even so, I'd bring him up to my bedroom in the evening to stay with me, rather than in the basement, where he could escape and roam around outdoors. I spent quite a bit of time with him. I would hold him and pet him and by times he seemed to be my only friend in the world. Cue the violins.
I eventually graduated high school, went to university, and became busier and busier. I spent less and less time with the cat, and he spent less and less time with us. Like I said, he had a way by which he could get outdoors, roam around, grab a bird, bring it to the basement, and have a meal.
The last time I remember seeing him was sometime in the summer of 1986. I was listening to a record album ("Dirty Work" by the Rolling Stones, if you must know), when J.R. saw me outside the bedroom window, hopped up on some staging my father had rigged for work he was doing outside the house, and jumped into my bedroom. I wasn't exactly neglectful of my cat, just... I don't know, busy, and distracted, and self-absorbed by whatever crap was going on in my life at the moment to the point that I did not spend enough time with "my" cat.
Shortly after that evening, he just disappeared. We still to this day do not know what happened. Of course, by now, he would be long dead; but back then, he may have been killed by a car, or by another animal, or maybe he just found another place to live that was more welcoming to him. We will never know, and that is the sad part.
I still have a picture of J.R. somewhere around the house. I look at it from time to time with a tinge of regret and want to kick myself for not having been a better pet owner.
Perhaps out of guilt, or the perception that I would not be a "fit" pet owner, I stayed away from having another pet until 2006, when Newbie plopped himself into Patricia's arms, and I took him home. A couple of thousand dollars later, Newbie is still here, and saunters around the house like he just paid off the mortgage.
I don't let him out of the house. I make sure he stays inside all the time. And he doesn't want to leave. It is a nice combination, one that assuages my guilt over J.R. from all those years ago, and at the same time ensures that at least one cat around here is guaranteed to be safe from the elements and the teenagers that would torture him because that is what some teenagers do.
I am pretty militant about cat ownership. I do not understand why people just open the door and "let the cat out" every day. I reveal here now, for the first time, that I used to be one of those people, to my everlasting regret. If I had not been such a jerk about it, and made him stay indoors, J.R. would have lived for many more years than he did. I would have taken him with me to the city when I moved out in 1988, and we would have many pleasant, human-and-cat years together. Woulda, shoulda, coulda.
Newbie is behind me in a box as I type these words. He discovered this box last week and watches me from it when I am down here working. In fact, he is with me nearly all the time when I am home, and watches me from the living room window as I leave, and waits by the same window in the evening when I arrive back home. I wouldn't trade that for the world. He is about 2.5 years old and can easily live another 15 years, maybe longer. I will be with him until the bitter end. And he will be here with me.
I'll write more tonight.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
When my father got home from work that evening, he saw those trucks, and the guys sauntering toward them, and yelled at them to get off his property. They were dismissive of him, and wondered what the big deal was about. Dad was pretty ticked about it that evening over supper.
I saw and heard this, and it has stayed with me, 'lo these many years later. Ever since, I have respected private property. I don't cut across someone's land, unless I have been given express permission to do so, in order to shave a bit of time off a walk. If I am in such a hurry, I guess it means I should leave a few minutes earlier the next time.
There is a sidewalk in downtown Halifax, and a person's house is at the corner of two streets. Heck, it is South Park and Fenwick, if you must know. The walkway to that person's house is such that people who want to go from one corner to the other cut across that property. When I walk in that part of the city, I don't use that shortcut although an awful lot of people do. I go all the way to the end of Fenwick, and then make a sharp right to South Park. People may think I'm weird, but I feel better knowing that I am not cutting across someone's property than I would if I did.
I am fully confident that the vast majority of the people who ride All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV's, Four Wheelers, whatever), do so responsibly. They don't disrupt the habitat, drive them across private property, or take them out on public roads. Really, I do believe that most ATV drivers are fine, upstanding citizens, and I am not referring to them here.
I want to discuss the jerks, the nimrods, the so-and-so's, the small minority of ATV owners, who feel that if they can come up with the money to pay for one of these machines, that it gives them the right to disrupt the habitat, drive across private property, ride them on public roads.
While a minority, they are a vocal minority, and they give the rest of the owners a bad name.
I will state that I very much dislike ATV's. I don't want one, not now, not ever. I don't understand why they're fun at all. I just think of a neigbhour of ours at the cottage who drives his ATV over hill and dale, without regard to the fact that we don't appreciate the noise and disruption.
In the summer of '06, when we were at the cottege, a neighbour's son, wife and infant child started riding, without our knowledge or consent, on Patricia's cottege property. Just joyriding. Yippee. Yahoo.
I went out and confronted him, informing him that it was private property. Buddy didn't talk to me. His wife did, apologizing profusely. I was mad as a hatter at the father, more because he and the wife had allowed a little kid on that device. I stormed off, because I had nothing nice to say to those people.
Ever since, we have not got along with those people. We see them ride that ATV down a walk way, which is now difficult to navigate on foot because of their ATV. We know, just know, that they walk across Patricia's property when we are not there. Unless they change the laws about planting landmines, we can do little about it.
We see other ATV'ers on public roads. It happens, all the time. All the time. They are driven by lawless jackaninnies who do not care that they are breaking the law. They feel entitled, and there is not much regular, law-abiding people can do about it.
I will go to my grave, many years hence, wondering how some people were brought up. I will never understand what possesses certain people to disregard private property, or what causes them to think that they are special, and that the laws of the land do not apply to them. I will continually puzzle over the sheer inhumanity that infects certan people. I do not have an answer for this. Maybe forcing people to take a civics class might help.
Or, maybe, they should spend some time with my dad.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Cramer comes across as much more articulate and reasonable than one would normally expect, given how hysterical he can be on his show.
Americans can go to the Daily Show website. Canadians cannot. I am not happy that I am not allowed to access any website. Not at all. But at least, by having to go to the Comedy Network website to see these clips, I am less likely to be unsuccessful streaming this video.
Herewith: The uncut, uncensored version of the interview.
I do this because I love you, you know.
Got up very early this morning, on a darned Saturday, in order to drive down to my parents' place for the day. To take them shopping, take them out to lunch, that sort of thing.
It didn't exactly work out that way.
My father was supposed to be released from the hospital this morning. When Patricia and I arrived there around 8:45 am, my mother told me that Dad would not be getting out after all, that his release papers had not been signed yet. Double plus ungood. It meant that a surprise we had cooked up for my mother would not come to be. My mom's birthday is on March 17th, and the hope was that Dad would take her and my sister, whose birthday is a few days later, out to lunch.
With Dad's release from hospital delayed, Patricia and Mom and I were left to our own devices. Mom wanted to go shopping at Wal Mart, so we did that.
Meanwhile, my BlackBerry's Facebook client told me that a high school friend, Heidi, who reads this blog, would be working today in Wolfville, a short distance away. I contacted her to see if we might see her for a few minutes. She wrote back a bit later that it would be fine.
We shopped and had lunch before deciding to visit Dad at the hospital. We had no sooner found a wheel chair for my mother to sit in, when my sister Gayle appeared behind us and told us that Dad was being released after all! We waited for him in the lobby and drove back to the house.
We got back to the house a short while later. Mom gave Patricia and me a grocery list and the money with which to purchase the groceries.
Before we got the food, we drove to Wolfville, where we touched base with Heidi, whose picture graces the photos in this post. I had not seen Heidi since, I dunno, 1983 or so. We graduated in '82, but we probably ran into each other once or twice after that for a bit. There had been no contact between us for many years until she found me on facebook six months or so ago. Man, I love facebook. I hate the brand-new FB layout, but the idea of it is amazing.
Heidi works for Victoria's Historic Inn, a, well, historic inn in Wolfville. She kindly took us on a tour of the place. Check out the website. As nice as the website is, it does not, cannot, do justice to the beauty of that inn. Heidi tells me it is for sale. If I had the money...
We stayed for about 15 minutes. We took our leave, promising to keep in touch.
We then went for a bit of a drive, ended up at a Frenchy's outlet in Coldbrook, where Patricia got a few items. The parking lot is crazy bumpy, though. It is pitted and nearly impossible to drive on. Patricia reported that she nearly popped out of her bra. When I told her I would use that funny line in tonight's blog post, she begged me not to.
I promised her I wouldn't.
We drove to the Superstore, bought out the store, ran a couple of other errands for them, and returned to my parents' place for dinner. We rested for a few minutes before returning to the city around 7pm. I have been home for an hour or so now.
A very long day. But a very good day. Time for beddy bye.
Friday, March 13, 2009
She is moving back to china next month. May never see her again.
We will always have facebook!
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Thursday, March 12, 2009
I was walking to my massage therapy session this morning, which ended up being canceled, when I chanced upon this sign outside of the Fort Massey United Church on Queen Street, Halifax.
It is an obvious tip of the hat/dig at a proposed-and-rejected series of ads that Halifax Metro Transit were presented with. Those ads were from the Humanist Society of Canada and challenged the existence of God, and told people to go on with their lives.
I am not taking sides on this issue. It is a great way to make friends and enemies at the same time. But I have to admire a church for putting up this sign. It is a minor classic.
Remember: You can click on the image and make it much, much bigger.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
The Chris Mills interview was lengthy. The Ian Robinson interview worked out to be 38 pages printed. The latest interview, with a celebrity to be named later, is probably 40% longer than that!
I just asked the questions, and the answers were provided in some detail, which is fine. I am not complaining. I will just have to re-generate my finger prints before I commence the next interview with... a player to be named later. I have a feeling that this interview, the one I am starting to think about seriously now, will be even longer than the one that will be published here shortly. I may publish it in installments!
Met with Chris Mills this evening for about 45 minutes. We shot the crap for a bit before I gave away a scanner that a guy at work gave me last year. It won't run under Vista at all, and Chris still runs XP. This should run fine, and from what he tells me, this scanner is quite a bit newer than what he has at home now. He is happy to get the scanner, and I am happy to be rid of it and to see it go to a good home. I love to give things away.
Anybody want half a jar of peanut butter? Crunchy.
Monday, March 9, 2009
My father is back in the hospital again tonight. Perhaps that will explain my maudlin demeanour. Even Newbie is noticing it, and has refrained from biting and scratching me. Sweet cat.
Anyway, here is a classic tune from Tom T. Hall: Old Dogs, Children, and Watermelon Wine.
Gonna finish transcribing the interview tonight if it kills me!
P.S. For those of you from my work: Don't you think Tom T. Hall sort of looks like Lloyd, our commissionaire?
But that's not what I want to write about this evening.
The boys were teasing me over my plight this afternoon, over my inability to roll up the blankety-blank rim. "Just pretend it's a joint, Bev!", one fellow said. "You're talking to the wrong guy!", I replied. Yes, I am the last person in North America never to have tried pot. Not once. Not even once. Nobody has even offered me a joint over the years. I don't think I've even been at a party where joints were smoked. I go to dull parties.
But that's not what I want to write about this evening.
I have never smoked a day in my life. Anything. Well, not quite true. I took one puff off one cigarette when I was 16.
And I swore I would never do that again. Some 30 years later, I have kept that promise.
Jerry Reed was a country and western singer whose heyday was in the 1970's. He is best remembered for the Smokey and the Bandit movies. He was an inveterate smoker. He was so unabashed about his weed addiction that he recorded a hit song about smoking, an ode to tobacco.
Reed died in 2008. Lung cancer.
I think of him and others like him whenever I see someone lighting up. Thank God I never got involved in that stuff.
Here's the tune.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
There are people, lots of them, whose fame, whose recognition factor, exists only within the confines and context of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, particularly CBC radio. How many of you non-CBC'ers know who Rex Murphy is? Who Michael Enright is? And who Stuart McLean is? If you don't know anything about these guys, then that tells me a lot about what your listening habits are. I am not being critical, just perceptive for a change.
Anyway, I don't know if you listen to the Vinyl Cafe on CBC radio or not. I have listened for several years now. The conceit is that there is a man named Dave who runs a small record shop. The stories McLean tells center on Dave and his wife Morley, and their children, neighbours and friends. Interspersed with these stories are musical performances by people McLean and his producers find regionally. He takes the show on the road from coast to coast. It is a marvelous, special program, the kind of show the CBC does best, and the kind of show no private broadcaster would touch with a ten foot pole. Once again, I am not trying to be critical of private broadcasters because several of them read this blog. I am just saying that some programs would not be a good fit for private broadcasters, and this is one of them.
I never thought I'd have an opportunity to attend one of Stuart's shows because the concerts tend to sell out very quickly. Patricia got lucky when she managed to get through and get two tickets. Bless her little heart!
For those who know what I am talking about, writing about, Stuart told 3 Dave and Morley stories. Two were new, but I hadn't heard the repeat before, so it was new to me. He told a story from the VC story exchange, a very touching story about a woman who worked in a grocery store and her attempts to make a customer's final days be as pleasant as possible. He had 2 musical guests: Meaghan Smith and Matt Anderson. Smith's breathy singing sets my heart a flutter, causing me to think thoughts best not written about here. Anderson's a Blues guy, and his rendition of "Ain't No Sunshine" is one I will not soon forget. Bill Withers? Who's that? This is Matt Anderson's song now!
We laughed. We teared up a couple of times. And we loved every note of every song. My frig, what a wonderful, wonderful show.
Patricia, honey: I can't think of a better present that you have ever bought me, ever.
I think there are still a few seats left for Stuart's remaining shows in Halifax. You'd be doing yourself a huge favour by going.
Long day. Time for bed.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
In the course of a given work day, I listen to several radio stations. Most of them are ones in town. KOOL FM, Q104, CBC, News 95.7, and others, and that's just driving to work in the morning. I have been checking out another radio station lately, and when you see who my next interview subject is, you'll know what that station is.
But I try to carve out a few minutes each morning around 5:55ET to tune into WCBS 880AM to listen to Joe Connolly and his morning business report. He is smart and engaging and irreverent enough to capture my interest each morning that I get a chance to hear him.
During the height, if we have reached it yet, of the news stories about Wall Street executives crying hard times at one moment and pissing away millions of dollars on corporate retreats or parties the next, Connolly was all over it, displaying just the right degree of outrage and sarcasm to satisfy most anybody.
One typically thinks of radio business reports of being dry, superficial affairs. Joe Connolly's few minutes each work day mornin' fly by, are informative, and often times funny, albeit in a biting way.
You know that radio in your car? I'll bet you a donut that there is a band button on it allowing you to tune into something called AM. Don't ask me how I know this; I just do. Switch to AM for me. Do it! Once you're there, at 5:55 in the morning ET switch away from 780 KIXX for a moment (even if my friend Ian Robinson is filling in) and listen to Joe Connolly. You'll be glad you did.
There are plenty of radio stations on the AM band that I listen to all the time. There will very soon not be any AM stations left in this market, and that will be a little sad. But the American ones come in very well at night and early in the morning and there are crappier ways to spend your time than by checking them out from time to time.
What is your favourite AM station?
Friday, March 6, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Steve Murphy this evening interviewed 2 people associated with the show. It brought back a flood of memories. I never saw them wrestle live, just on tv, but what great fun it was to watch back in the day.
The Beast (Yvon Cormier) was one of my very favourites, right up there with Leo Burke, Killer Karl Krupp, The Cuban Assassin, Sweet Daddy Siki, and so many others.
These pleasant memories are tinged by the sadness of noting that the Beast died on Wednesday of cancer. He was 70. Another piece of my childhood is gone forever.
Ian Robinson on his facebook posted the following link. I thought I'd include an embedded version of this to show some of the stars of Atlantic Grand Prix Wrestling!
Thanks for finding the link, Ian. Seeing these guys again all these years later was such a treat.
Oh, wanna see Killer Karl Krupp? Of course you do. This is not the best video quality, but check him out in all his glory:
Oh, to heck with it! See Killer Karl Krupp beat up TG Stone, and stay tuned for a special surprise.
(By the way, they taped this show at the CTV Studios in Halifax. The same studio where Steve Murphy does the evening news!
Are you looking at me?
Newbie really missed me. I left him alone for a day, with extra food and water and 2 clean litter boxes that I would have used if necessary. When I got home, he greeted me at the door with a minimum of condescension. As I type these words, he is bumping his head against my arms, forcing them off the keyboard.
I managed to transcribe for about 20 minutes during my lunch hour at work yesterday. Haven't touched it since. I'll chip away at the interview tonight for an hour or so before going to bed early.
Oh, I watched one of the special features of the Forbidden Hollywood dvd set last night. It is a documentary on these pre-code films. They were actually not pre-code at all. The Hayes code had been in effect for years during that period, but just blithely ignored by all the studios, until 1934 (July 1st) when there were such protests over the content of some of those movies that the studio had little choice but to adhere to a strict production code. You know, stuff like: kisses can't last longer than 3 seconds. Married couples had to sleep in separate beds. If a man and woman were becoming intimate, his feet were not allowed to leave the floor during those 3 second kisses. Man, this stuff reminds me of my early dating attempts in high school!
"Can't we just be friends?" Shut up. Just shut up. I'm no longer happy to see you.
Oh, no naked pictures of Bette Davis last night. I'll keep looking.
Newbie wants some love.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
I worked all day and drove here this evening. Running on fumes. Another long day tomorrow.
Buddy at work has managed to recover about two thirds of the files from my old hard drive that I needed. A minor miracle. Most of what could not be recovered is on a CD or two I burned a couple of years ago. What isn't on the cd's should not be that hard to reconstruct.
The interviews for the Blog were not recoverable. However they are on cd's at home on my computer shelf. No biggie.
I am very lucky. Lesson learned.
Will turn in shortly. I bought a DVD box set this week called Forbidden Hollywood (volume 2). It features pre code movies. Prior to the institution of the Hayes code in the early 1930's films could be pretty racey but probably tame by todays standards. I shall soon see.
Never seen Bette Davis nekkid. It is about time!
Long day tomorrow. Wish me luck.
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Tuesday, March 3, 2009
I worked for a couple of hours last night transcribing the latest interview. People are looking forward to reading it. I am typing as fast as I can, folks. You have to realize that I am one person doing the whole thing myself. I prepare the questions. I conduct the interviews. I transcribe the entire thing myself, which is a huge job. I send the first draft to the subject, who may or may not request changes. I prepare the post. I upload the pictures and sprinkle them throughout the post. I upload the video I shoot during the interviews; for whatever reason, it can take 30 minutes or longer to upload even a short video clip.
That's when the real work begins.
I go through the entire text and find references to whatever (clubhouse sandwiches, or a radio station, or whatever) and find an associated website for that item. I make that word or phrase clickable such that by clicking on that word or phrase you are taken to that website, in a fresh window, so that you don't navigate away from the original blog post.
You have no idea how time consuming these interview posts are. I am not complaining. If I didn't want to do this, I wouldn't. I am just trying to help you understand why they take so long to do. It is just me doin' them all from top to bottom.
Monday, March 2, 2009
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. You shouldn't have data on your hard drive only. That's why we have network drives: To store that stuff on, because it will get backed up every night. Fine. I get that. But, still, there are things, some personal things, even some things related to this blog, that may be unreachable to me now.
I have managed to reconstruct, here at home, much of the information that was lost to me at work. Should have had that stuff here anyway. Don't start in on me. I have perhaps a year's worth of digital camera pictures that are gone now, but it is hard to think of what I actually lost. The last couple of years, I have not used that old camera much. I used the BB camera quite a bit. Those back ups are gone now, but I have deleted very little from the 2G micro sd card I have for the BB, so I can reconstruct much of that, too. No biggie, I guess.
It is conceivable that the work stuff, and the personal stuff, on my work hard drive can be recovered, if the help desk can get the drive to boot just one more time. Keep thy fingers crossed.
It's 8pm, and I haven't even started to transcribe anything from the most recent interview. Why don't I do that now?
Sunday, March 1, 2009
My friend Ian Robinson took Patricia and me on a tour of his radio building today. I posted a sample of the pictures I took to my facebook, and will post a few of them here.
The picture closest to these words contains Patricia flanked by two interview subjects from this blog. That`s Ian Robinson on the left, and Chris Mills on the right.
The second picture features Kelli Rickard, who on weekends does shifts at KOOL FM in Halifax.
Adam H. is one of the jocks at the station that replaced CJCH. During the week he works a shift until 2am!! I`ll say this much for the station: It is nice to have a bit of live late night radio and I wish there were a lot more of it.
It was very kind of Ian to take 90 minutes or so away from his family, delaying his lunch, so that he could take the two of us on a tour of the station. Thank you again, Ian, for your many kindnesses and for all of the times you have helped spread the word of this silly blog of mine.