Sunday, May 31, 2009

819th Post - Get These Outta Your Head

First of all, yes, that was me on the Stan Carew show this morning asking for information about Norm "Pearshape" Riley.

Back in the city, and thinking about Abba after spending a couple of days at the cottage. One of our fave movies last year was "Mamma Mia!", and it is as hard to get those songs out of your noggin as it is to get out of a warm bed on a cold morning.

I thought I'd source some Abba songs for you. But, I thought about the movie, and the play it was based on, and how this play has been mounted all over the world.

Surely there must be foreign language versions of Abba songs?

Well, of course there are, silly!



A bit more German, since I like it so much:

A special Swedish Sing-A-Long version. Notice all the people in the crowd who don't want to be there:


And, finally, a hysterically funny French and Saunders version from this year's Comic Relief show. Can't find an embeddable version. Sorry. Just click here for part one, and here for part two.



Saturday, May 30, 2009

818th Post - A Year Ago

It was a year ago today when CJCH went away replaced by the station that took its place. Life has gone on as it always does. If you don't accept the things in life you cannot change you are doomed to an unhappy life. I have long since accepted what happened to CJ. I don't like it. But I have accepted it.

I have no quarrel with anybody who works at that new station. Amber LeBlanc has always been nice to me and I wish her and her colleagues at that station all the best. They have as much right to work and to be successful as anybody else does.

A year later and the small staff from CJ continue to be busy. Deb Smith is a cohost on C100 for the afternoon drive. Rick Howe is at News 95.7. Brian Phillips is running for politics. Amber is a cohost on the morning show at that new station.

Life goes on. It always does. We have all moved on. But the loss of CJCH still hurts.

It always will.

From Bevboy's BlackBerry to BevBoy's Blog!

Friday, May 29, 2009

817th Post - Another Unusual Kijiji Ad

Is this guy for real?

Check it out for yourself if you want.

Wanted: just got F@#ked Price: Please contact Ad ID: 130896137 Visits: 491

Bedrooms (#): 2 bedrooms Bathrooms (#): 1 bathroom

Address: Dartmouth, NS, B2W 1C6 Date Listed: 26-May-09

I went and applied to rent a house at 11 cleary dr eastern passage got accepted and was all set to move in on the 1st of june so the lady called me today (after i set up power connection and booked a move date with the moving company)and told me her son was going to take it now so as of the 1st me my wife and son are going to be homeless Thanks Margret Rogers .

so if you have a house for rent in the dartmouth area $700-$800 range please call asap xxxxxxx great refferences will pay my own power water oil ect.
Bev again. Wonder how many of his original teeth this guy has?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

816th Post - Radio Ratings

The radio ratings are out! The radio ratings are out! Are you as excited as I am?

Here is the link. Check it out. I'll be here when you get back.

The numbers you see are the overall ratings numbers for the station. Averages, more or less. If they are popular in one demo, and not so much in the other, they average it out and that is the number you see.

Some stations are up, and some are down. That is the nature of the beast. It used to be that you could drill down on these reports to see how each station fared in different demographics (I suspect that the really juicy information is not available to the public, that you have to buy a membership to the BBM ratings to see that stuff). I mean, Z103.5 doesn't covet the senior citizen set. It is after a younger listenership. So is the station that replaced CJCH this time last year. A similar sentiment can be expressed about C100 as well, although much of its advertising is focused on women, making me think they want the distaff portion of the greater Halifax area to tune in.

The numbers that you see may or may not be reported in the paper over the next day or so. will more than likely report on the ratings in Friday's edition of their online "paper". They usually just use the page I just sent you to. It was those numbers that stated, a year ago, that CJCH only had about 2.6% of the overall listenership. That may have been true in one context; but CJ wasn't after the 18-34 female market. It was after a much older demo; and in that demo the station was not doing shabbily at all.

But, from this corner of the world, MBS's decision to bring back Denyse Sibley to CHFX last year sure seems to have paid off. They seem to be way up. I must send her an e-mail and congratulate her. She'll say, "Bev? I don't remember her".

Hal FM, CHNS FM on the report, also is up; I think their decision to freshen up their play list is starting to pay off for them. Kool FM is down. Q104 is down, which is a shock to me, actually. CFDR, the last AM station in this market (and not long for this world), is up quite a bit, if you examine the percentage of listenership.

Lisa Blackburn's facebook update earlier today laments her station's ratings performance. She's not alone. Jocks and p.d.'s, and m.d.'s all pay attention, rapt attention, to ratings books. Managers contemplate programming changes, format changes, even staff changes, based upon how their station is performing, or perceived to be performing.

The retired jock I interviewed this past weekend told me about the time his station's ratings were up, back in 1961 or so, and how the station manager gave him a bonus check for $2000, a friggin' fortune back then.

Over the last year or so, since I have begun these interviews, it has been my pleasure to meet and talk with many radio professionals. I wish all of them well, and do not harbour ill will for any I haven't met or spoken with yet. I take no pleasure in hearing about anybody's ratings dipping.

Off to the cottage tomorrow night for another fun-filled weekend. Woo hoo!


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

815th Post - It's A Miracle

You have probably heard about the woman who saw the Virgin Mary on the side of someone's house. All these crazy people flocked from miles away to see it.

I once heard about a potato chip that looked like the Virgin Mary. And, on a personal note, I once had a potato chip that looked like the Virgin Larry, my 57-year-old unmarried cousin from back home. I pointed this out to him, and he started crying. Poor guy.

Tonight, we had a post-TM meeting supper with a member whose birthday was today. We have another member of our Toastmasters club, who reads this blog every single day, who is a minister, and who has an impish sense of humour. He posted a reply to a recent post concerning my new work chair. You can go look for it. It was posted last Friday.

Anyway, post meal, A.J. took some

ketchup and made some into Jesus' face. He used a little bit more for the halo. Pepper for the crown of thorns. Salt for the... well, I am not sure what it was for. Because there wasn't enough sodium on the plate already?

Left the house before 7 this morning; got home just after 9:30. Newbie was in the window waiting for me. Poor little hungry kitty!!


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

814th Post - Things in Halifax That Just Don't Make Sense, Part Three

Welcome to the third edition of Things in Halifax That Just Don't Make Sense, or the TIHTJDMS feature. It is done irregularly, when I have found something I want to write about that warrants the above titie.

You'll notice that the title has been changed to reflect more accurately the actual name of the feature. Post 777 and the the other one, here, have titles that differ from what I want this feature to be called. Ironically enough, the post title didn't make sense. Ha ha.

This time I am going to discuss the Town Clock, or The Old Town Clock as everyone calls it.

See the clock face? When I took this picture a couple of weeks ago I was at the Grand Parade facing up Carmichael Street. I used my camera's maximum optical zoom to get as close as I could. It's still hard to read the correct time, though, isn't it?

Compare that with the picture I took of one of the clocks on Old City Hall; a picture of that is close to this paragraph. You can easily see what time it is.

Time was, and for many, many years, you could see what time it was on the Old Town Clock practically from the other side of the city. As long as you had line of sight to the clock, you could tell what time it was.

Citadel Hill and its environs are owned by Parks Canada, a federal institution. They "let us" roam around the hill, but they could potentially kick us off at any time. I'd like to see them try. But around 13, 14 years ago, some historically correct people there decided to have the town clock's face colours go back to what they had been in the early years of the city when it was first constructed. Rather than have it remain the way the city hall clock looks now, they decided to go backward to what it had been a long time ago. Doesn't matter that this flies in the face of common sense. Doesn't matter that now you can hardly see what friggin' time it is unless you're standing under the clock on a dull day and look up, hopefully. Doesn't matter what people think. It comes down to repeating the mistakes of history.

Face it: The Old Town Clock's "new" colours just don't make sense.

Next thing that doesn't make sense: I'm not sure. I haven't found my muse for the fourth post in this series yet.


Monday, May 25, 2009

813th Post - I Should Be Transcribing

But I can't get my mind off Jethro Tull.

When I was preparing the Moe Dunn interview last month, I was looking on youtube for a Jethro Tull video to embed. I was gonna put up "Aqualung", or "Cross Eyed Mary" or one of any number of their hits. But I found this video, from the Rolling Stones' ill-fated "Rock and Roll Circus" show circa 1968. I decided to play it, and loved it; I had to include it with the interview. The tune is called "Song for Jeffrey".

Here it is, again.

Ian Anderson is the lead singer's name. You already knew that. I was just showing off. I have always found his wild-eyed, crazy-haired, hopping-on-one-leg act off putting to say the least. He still does the one legged thing, and they still perform
the tune, but much of his hair is gone. I found this performance from 2001. There are even more recent ones, shot on somebody's digital cameras, that look and sound like crap. This a professional presentation of the song.

The first version, from 1968, reveals a lot more blues influence, doesn't it? The more recent version is much jazzier. Both still show Ian Anderson and that weird, one-legged stance of his.

Back in university I wrote a paper about the Blues. I still have it around here somewhere. I am more interested in the history of this music than much of the music itself. But Blues and Jazz have common ancestors and sprang from the same sources, and sometimes the same musicians. I really must find that paper. Perhaps I'll scan it in and present it here for your... edutainment.

Anyway, it's interesting to see a song change over the years, performed by many of the same guys today as did it 40 years ago. Was the move to more of a jazz sound conscious? Was it a natural evolution, progression, whatever, of the tune? Or were the guys just so bloody sick of the song after so many years that they had to do something to make it interesting to them again?

Oh, can't make out the words? Here are the lyrics.

BTW, Ian Anderson is a cat person. He has written about the care of cats. Here: Read all about it. That makes him good in my book. I'll even overlook the weird one legged thing he does.



812th Post - The Most UnExciting Day Ever!

Slept poorly last night. Too excited about the five dollar dvd player. Visions of Swedish porn, German folkdancing, and documentaries about sausage making in Luxumbourg, robbed me of my rest.

Worked today.

Bought groceries after work. Pop Tarts are on sale. Purchased a big ass box of Honey Nut Cheerios, which will give me a big ass if I don't watch out. Got some soy milk. I try not to drink real milk because, well, it's gross to think about where actual milk comes from. Or have you not heard the truth about where milk comes from? The milk you drink doesn't come from humans at all. It comes from animals such as cows, goats and possibly even chickens. Chicken milk is very expensive, which is why you don't see it in stores very often.

Visited Patricia for a spell. She was lethargic. She bought me a bag of cat litter today. Well, it's not actually for me. It's for Newbie. I just want to clarify that.

(Have I ever told you about the time a cousin visited us, back when I was in junior high? Scarred me for life. If you want to hear the story of that, then please post a comment to this blog post.)

Came home. Tapping away at the keyboard for a spell prior to transcribing for an hour max before calling it a very early night.

I think Newbie has a deviated septum or something. His breathing is pretty noisy. Just one deep sigh after another. Or maybe he's just impatient with me over something. Hard to tell with cats.



Sunday, May 24, 2009

811th Post - What? What Did You Say?

Stayed up until quite late last night. I was keyed up after the wonderful day in Eastern Passage. I didn't want the day to end. Besides, I went to a fleamarket Saturday morning and purchased a dvd player for five dollars and had to put it through its rounds.

It is one of those supremo el cheapo dvd players. "Vivo" is the brand name, and a kewpie doll and a big kiss if you have heard of that manufacturer before, 'cuz I sure ain't. But the interesting thing about those low end machines is that they are manufactured "generically", by which I mean that they are often the models that play dvd's from multiple regions. Sure enough, when I put in a Region 1 disc last night, it didn't play. There was a button on it that switched between ntsc and pal formats, so I am happy to report that this dvd player will handle discs recorded in PAL format too. I don't have any such things, but if I am looking on ebay for an obscure dvd sometime, (some Swedish porn perhaps, or German folk dancing, or maybe even a documentary about sausage making in Luxembourg), then I now have a machine to play it on. I'm pumped!

Patricia and I had lunch out today before returning to her place to watch the season ender of "Dancing with the Stars". It was probably our favourite season of the show. The dancing was exciting, the women more beautiful than ever, the clothing even less plentiful in previous years, and that's saying something.

We would have preferred to have Melissa win. The second choice would have been Gilles. But that little kid Shawn won. She is a nice girl and everything, but not in the league of the other two.

You know, I am simultaneously transcribing 4 interviews for this blog. You want interviews, you're gonna get them, folks. Keep your eyes peeled, whatever that means. Just do it. Just do this one thing for me. Please.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

810th Post - The Best Day of my Life!

Say hello to my new friend and new Blog reader Wayne Harrett. He is the general manager, program director, chief bottle washer, and so much more, at Seaside FM in beautiful Eastern Passage, Nova Scotia. He also runs this website about local radio.

Wayne has his finger on the pulse in local radio in a way I can only hope to emulate. While I listened intently to every moment of the Q104 25th anniversary radio reunion six months ago, Wayne was there in studio, taking multitudes of pics. I'd go on about this man, but the few shreds of my remaining dignity would disappear. I need them. After all, I am gonna get married sooner rather than later.

Patricia and I went to the radio station to interview someone for this blog. Never mind who. You'll see soon enough, right after I transcribe the full 2 hours of material I recorded this afternoon. But it's a major "get", and I "got" it because of Wayne. I hereby publicly thank Wayne for his many kindnesses this afternoon, from the bottle of water I consumed to the use of his executive office, to the tour of the station, to letting me pretend to read the news for him. Maybe, just maybe, next time it won't be pretend, Wayne? Maybe? Pretty please?

This day was wicked awesome for Patricia and me. We had lunch in Timberlea before we got cleaned up and drove over to the station, which is quite a distance from my home.

I blush to admit that I had never been to Eastern Passage before. My God, what a beautiful place! We kept kicking ourselves for not having been there before. Fisherman's Cove is a little community unto itself, with a couple of "streets" of these little shanties that contain stores. There are also full-fledged restaurants there, one of them being called Boondocks, which is where we had a lovely dinner tonight after the visit to Seaside FM.

During dinner I ventured to Patricia that Eastern Passage might be a really nice place to move to. Since she didn't attack me with her salad fork, I figure she agrees with me. Timberlea is starting to wear on me a bit, anyway. Ever since the break-in 2 years ago, and the murder of Paula Gallant, this place hasn't made me feel very comfortable.

But enough of this negative stuff. I got to spend hours and hours interviewing a famous radio legend. I got a tour of a cool radio station. I got to pretend to read the news. We discovered a beautiful part of the Halifax Regional Municipality we hadn't known about. I got a free bottle of water. I got a decal. A business card. A little Seaside FM teddy bear. A great meal at Boondocks. Frig, what else could cap off this wonderful, wonderful day?

OK, besides that!

This is a family blog, you know!


Friday, May 22, 2009

809th Post - Walking To My Car

Nice to see that even Elvis and Marilyn can get stuck in traffic.

From Bevboy's BlackBerry to BevBoy's Blog!

808th Post - The New Chair

See? It goes with my eyes!

You'll never believe the wheeling and dealing I had to go through to get this.

From Bevboy's BlackBerry to BevBoy's Blog!

807th Post - Thanks For The Support

Say hello and goodbye to my work chair. I have had it ever since I started working here in 2007. It has been a home for me sorry arse for quite a while now, but I received a new chair in the last few minutes, and there's is no looking back. The new chair offers much more support for my back and is a darker blue, so it matches my eyes, which is important to me. I mean, if you have to sit in a chair at your work for hours upon hours, wouldn't you want it to match your eyes? Come on. Be honest.

I'll post a pic of my new chair, soon. Just promise you won't be jealous.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

806th Post - An Unusual Kijiji Ad

My friend Elliott sent me this link to a Halifax-area kijiji ad. I had to share it with you. I notice that the ad is no longer there, but it sure was there Wednesday evening.

Here's the text.

Thanks, Elliott.

My closing comment is below the ad.

Wanted: want to rent 3-4 bedrooms Price: Please contact Ad ID: 129399794 Visits: 28

Bedrooms (#): 4 bedrooms Bathrooms (#): 1.5 bathrooms Pets Allowed: Yes

Address: Cole Harbour Forrest Hills area View map Location: Halifax Date Listed: 20-May-09

I am a single Mom of 4 aged 10-16, and have a pitbull. I am on welfare and I am going to NSCC. I have income from Community Services and Child Tax Benefits.

I live in Cole Harbour by Cole Harbour High. My landlord is kicking me out because I am 6 months rent in arrears. But I am not moving until I can find another place where I can stay. Preferrably the landlord will let me get away with not paying rent.

My Social assistance will not approve funds for me to pay rent any more because they know that I am not paying rent to my landlord.

If you have anything suits me, please let me know. I am a sweet talker, I act like I am very responsible, you will like me in first sight. Thank you

Bev again.

Gosh, has the Octomom moved to Halifax?


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

805th Post - Can You Keep A Secret?

Tonight I'm gonna skip my weekly Toastmasters meeting to go to a play. It is... God Help Me! ... "High School Musical".

I have zero expectations for this play. If it were possible to have less than zero expectations, I would. Patricia won the tickets a few weeks ago, and we're going. I am told that many of the female dancers are cuties. Cute in a I'm-45-and-they're-18-you-creepy-guy kind of way. I'll leave it at that.

I'll get home tonight, have a cold shower, and briefly report on what I thought of the show.

But I'm not expecting much.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

804th Post - Sixth Day

I am back in the city. Nice to be back.

We awoke at the cottage this morning. Loaded the car. Tracked down Newbie, who had hidden in one of the bedrooms. Little so-and-so hid under a bed, so I removed the mattress and box spring, just in time for him to slink off to another corner underneath a chair and some other things. I placed barriers to prevent him from going back to the bed, removed the chair, scooped him up, and placed him in his carrier.

We had lunch at Sharon's Place in the town of Pictou. From there, it was back to the city, where we arrived around 2:30. I showered and shaved and changed my clothes and came down here to my home office, where I composed questions for two of the interviews I'll have later on this week. One of them is to a long-time radio broadcaster; the other is to a long-time newspaper columnist who retired earlier this year. I am delighted that both of them have agreed to sit down with a lowly blogger like me.

It is back to work tomorrow morning. Woohoo! I have been off work for six days, and while I have enjoyed the time off, I am looking forward to returning to work. I am one of those weirdos who like their job. One of the 15% or so of people who like getting up in the morning and going to work. My bosses have created a fun, exciting environment in which we can excel. I am consistently given interesting, challenging tasks to perform, and work hard to achieve them. Time away from work ultimately saddens me, as it means time away from this wonderful workplace!

Why, yes! My boss reads this blog. Why do you ask?


Monday, May 18, 2009

803rd Post - Fifth Day

Our last day at the cottage. We return to the city in the morning.

Slept in this morning. Big surprise.
Watched a couple of movies today. "Tropic Thunder" is a comedy directed by Ben Stiller that he must have thought was pretty funny at one point. It was a little overblown as the filmmakers tried to make us believe that these actors didn't realize that they were in a movie when they were not.

Much better was "Wall-E". We wish we had seen this one in theaters.

Saw the season ender of "24" just now. It was a nice, understated finale. There are enough threads to carry over to next season (Did Renee kill Alan Wilson? Will Kim's attempt to save Jack work? Why is President Taylor's security so hell bent on picking up Wilson? Has President Taylor's family deserted her?) to keep me wondering all summer. And while I understand Tony Almeida's motivation I don't buy it. No thinking person would.

Off to bed. Big day tomorrow.

From Bevboy's BlackBerry to BevBoy's Blog!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

802nd Post - Fourth Day

Tried to mow the lawn today. The battery is kaput.

Did not much today. Watched season enders of "Castle" and "Supernatural". The latter was excellent as always. This should be a top ten hit.

Just finished watching 2 episodes of "Rescue Me". Will watch another one tomorrow.

Patricia is watching the season ender of "Desperate Housewives". Me? Not so much.

Turning in early.

From Bevboy's BlackBerry to BevBoy's Blog!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

801st Post - Cottage Living

I meant to get up early this morning. 430 comes early. But I messed up and slept in an extra hour. The plumber was gonna be at the cottage by 9 to turn on the water. It was more than a. 2 hour drive. A small window.

Threw on clothes. Tricked the cat into his carrier. Stuffed stuff into a suitcase. Loaded the car with those things plus some food plus a couple of vhs tapes and dvds. Mailed a letter for my father. It was now just past 6.

Picked up Patricia. Loaded the car with her things. Got coffee. Hit the road.

We got here around 840. We were just putting the food away when the plumber showed up at 9. Took buddy and his son 2 hours to do their thing.

Took a nap after they left. Got up and drove into town for lunch and more groceries. Got back here a few hours later and took another nap for a few hours.

Yes! The annual cottage sleeping sickness is back!

Tonight Patricia is watching "Ugly Betty" while I have thumbed the last 2 posts.

Tomorrow will try to mow the lawn.

From Bevboy's BlackBerry to BevBoy's Blog!

800th Post - The 800th Post!

Welcome to the 800th post!

When I began this blog 18 months ago I had no idea it would make it this far. Maybe 500 posts. That seemed like a nice round number and I would never make it this far.

The early posts are a little embarrassing to reread today. Yet it is those posts that regularly show up in google searches. Those plus the radio interviews have accounted for the bulk of nearly 27000 hits the blog has received.

I can see no end to this blog. I find new things every day that I want to discuss with you all. And nobody has told me to shut it down yet.

6 more interviews are in various stages of production. After those are done I will consider taking a break from them for a spell. I will leave that up to you.

Where would you like to see Bevboys Blog go? What do you want me to discuss or leave on the table for another blogger to mention?

This is my blog but you are my readers and I love you all. What do you like and dislike about this blog?

More in a bit.

From Bevboy's BlackBerry to BevBoy's Blog!

Friday, May 15, 2009

799th Post - Day Two

Day two of my minivacation is nearly over. It is now pushing 10pm. I have been on the go all day.

My mother had an appointment here in the city this morning. It ran late, of course, as these appointments always do. We had a late lunch at the Spartan restaurant. From there, she wanted to go to the Value Village in Bayer's Lake. At the same time, my Dad and I returned to my home, where a freshly-purchased bolt cutter and hasp were used and installed on my outside shed. I grabbed their luggage and we went back to pick up Mom at Value Village. She was still shopping, more than 90 minutes after arriving there!! When she finally finished, I drove them back to their home, before returning to my own house, not very long ago.

I get up at 4:30 in the morning to drive Patricia and the cats to the cottage. We will spend the long weekend there. But fear not, effendi. I will still blog from the cottage. I know you need your daily fix of me. I respect that.

Watching the series finale of Prison Break. The first couple seasons of that show were pretty good. The last two have been pretty poor. Not sorry to see it go.

Seeya tomorrow.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

798th Post - A Day Off?

My parents are getting ready for bed. I am downstairs in my recroom wondering if I will ever get the hang of typing on this EEE pc.

I took the day off w0rk to clean the h0use up enough to get them off my case. I don't know how people do it: Hold down a full time job, have a bit of a social life, and maintain a house. They both love the new shower, so that buys me some credit with them.

Tomorrow, Mom has an appointment. She wants to go to Value Village as well. Who knows what other plans she has for me. I will find out 10 seconds before I actually have to do it.

Wanna get a better battery for this eee pc. No way does the current one last "up to" 3 hours.

Oh, just firmed up yet another interview for this blog. That will be three interviews next week! Two radio people, and one other person who's a real "get". Thrilled to be able to speak with him.

Cottage this weekend. Opening the place up. Looking forward to it.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

796th Post - A Mini Vacation!

I am off work for a few days. We're gonna open up the cottage on Friday if things go according to plan. I go back to work on the 20th.

I am still transcribing 2 interviews from a few weeks ago. Just today, I firmed up an interview for next Thursday the 21st. And on the 22nd, I meet with someone else. There is a chance there will be a third interview on the 23rd. Hours and hours of stuff to transcribe.

There has gotta be a software package to aid me in this. People tell me this all the time. "Bev, you're wearing your fingerprints off typing all the time. I'm worried about your health!"

Then they say something like, "Haven't you heard of [insert name of software package here]? It will take what you say, an audio file, and turn it into text!"

I am dubious. Even doubtful. Skeptical.

I have researched the Hell out of this. I am not aware of any software package that will take the words of more than one person and reliably turn that conversation into a reasonably accurate text file. Yes, one person can read prepared sample text into a microphone and have a software package like Dragon Naturally Speaking learn how that person speaks. After that, the software can do a reasonable job of taking, say, a dictated audio file and turn that into a text file. I am sure you'd still have to go through it afterward and manually insert paragraph breaks, and change things like "to" to "two" or "too" as the case may be. Other packages don't require you to read sample text to them; they just learn how you speak and inflect as you go along and do their best to create a text file you can use.

But as for taking the words of two or more people, and have any software package break that down into a useful text file: Let's just say I don't think the technology is there yet. I don't think the day will dawn any time soon when you can take, say, all the cross talk of the women on The View and break that down into a text file that is useful to anybody.

Please, correct me if I'm wrong. Seriously. If you know of any software package that will do what I need it to do, I'm here and waiting to hear all about it.

Something tells me I'll be waiting for quite a while.



Tuesday, May 12, 2009

795th Post - How To Give A Cat A Pill

So, I have a cat, Newbie. Except that a person doesn't really have or own a cat. A cat is an independent creature who loves you on its own terms. I know Newbie cares for me at least twice a day. When I feed him.

He is aloof, is my friend Newbie. But there are times he insists on company. Until a few seconds ago, he was brushing up against my arm, making it hard to type this post. Then, abruptly, he gave up and slinked off. He'll be back for more. He always is.

I have had Newbie to the vet several times. The first time was when he was about six months old and I had the vet remove his, uh, newbies. Newbie hasn't forgiven me since. Any time he goes into his carrier, he associates it with going to the vet, I think. He doesn't like that.

I have given him pills, but they're so small they barely exist. I mix them in with his food, and he seems to eat them.

However, this old humour piece seems to be so full of truth that I had to share it with you.

Herewith: How to give a cat a pill.


794th Post - Things That Don't Make Sense in Halifax, Part Two

Post 777 of this blog inaugurated this occasional feature: Things In Halifax That Just Don't Make Sense (TIHTJDMS). These are things that may appear to be quaint or interesting, but if you spend any time thinking about them, they just don't make any sense.

Today, I will discuss this bar/restaurant, The Press Gang. I have never eaten there. The restaurant is a little above my pay grade, unless taking someone there would result in a healthy dividend, if you catch my drift.

I am sure that the quality of the food there is very high. I visited their website this evening, and it looks very nice inside. The menu prices are designed to keep riff raff away, so I stay away. For a while there, and perhaps even now, it was a trendy place to eat. Harrison Ford has eaten there. Judy Dench has been there. Other celebrities in town to do movies have been there too.

I want to comment on the name of the place.

The Press Gang.

What is a press gang?

Take a look at the second picture I took during my lunch hour. See those guys holding a club? Not very friendly-looking, are they?

A press gang back in old Halifax was a bunch of guys who would go around the city and club unsuspecting men over the head, or intoxicate them to the point of unconsciousness, before carrying them to a ship and tossing them in the hold. These guys would wake up out to sea and be forced, "pressed", or "impressed", into service. Refusal to work as hard as they were supposed to would probably result in a fatal swim.

This is not a chapter of Halifax history we should be proud of. Aware of, yes. Our history should be known by all. I have dozens of Halifax history books, and plenty of other history books about other parts of the province as well. I'm always seeking more. But we should not romanticize this stuff. These were not the "good old" days. It was a shameful part of our history.

I don't understand why a restaurant, especially an upscale one I can't afford to eat at, would want to name itself after this part of our history. What's next? A nice restaurant named "Titanic Survivors"? "Swiss Air Flight 111 Bistro"? "The Halifax ExplosINN"?

Like I said: The Press Gang just doesn't make sense.

Next in this occasional feature: Something that used to look really nice and clear, but not so much now.


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794th Post - Happy Birthday, CHNS

CHNS radio went on the air this date in 1926. They began broadcasting at the Carlton Hotel before moving to the Lord Nelson Building a couple of years later. This photo was taken in 1928. It's apparently actor Austen Willis at the mic.

In 2001 I attended the station's 75th anniversary celebrations, at the Lord Nelson Hotel. They had many of the old timers from the 1960's and up on the air talking about the old times. I taped much of that, and still have it on tape at home. Must digitize that stuff.

A fascinating fragment from that weekend was when someone (perhaps Frank Cameron) said that he had just spoken to someone off air who had worked at the station in the 1930's. Why, oh, why, did they not interview that man? These stories are being lost to us every day.

No, I haven't finished transcribing the latest interviews yet. And there are gonna be upwards of 3 more interviews conducted this month. Who's a glutton for punishment?

More tonight, if you're good.


Monday, May 11, 2009

793rd Post - Burp!

Ever wonder what 18 empty boxes look like?

Wonder no more!

From Bevboy's BlackBerry to BevBoy's Blog!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

792nd Post - A Very Brief Post

A busy day. Transcribed more of a recent interview. Visited Patricia. Went to the Diana Krall concert tonight. It was great.

And, my mother was taken to the hospital tonight. She will remain for observation over night at least. On Mother's Day.

Long day. Up in six hours. Time for bed.


Saturday, May 9, 2009

791st Post - Another Toastmasters Certificiate

Say hello to my most recent Certificate of Participation in Toastmasters.

There was a mix up, resulting in my arriving at the contest more than an hour early. Kinda sucked.

There were two contests today: International Speech, and Table Topics. I was a participant in TT. I was led into the auditorium and asked a question about what makes a person happy.

I had a couple of seconds to think about how to respond. I remembered a university course I took in 1986; it was an English course in fantasy. I recalled the professor saying that happiness is a by-product of whatever you're doing. I seized that fragment and used it as the basis of my two minute speech.

I talked about how, if you seek happiness, you're doomed never to find it. You'll die miserable and alone, and nobody will attend your funeral. Instead, find things you like to do. Surround yourself with people you enjoy being with. Get a job that you look forward to getting out of bed every morning to go off to.

I was the sixth person to speak, out of eight. I only have an idea what was said by the earlier participants. But several people congratulated me for my performance, and several more expressed disappointment that I did not win, place, or show.

I could only do my best today, and I feel I did. If the judges feel that others did a better job than I did, then I can't do anything about that. I have to accept their decision, and I do.

This is the farthest I have ever progressed in a TM contest. Perhaps next year I'll go to the next level.

Wish me luck.


Friday, May 8, 2009

790th Post - Mark Dooley Star Trekkin' Part Four

Part four of Star Trekkin'.

I publish them here as soon as I get 'em. I guess I am the official Canadian provider of Mark Dooley comic strips. I feel blessed.

I like Mark a lot. He has been kind to me over the years in ways that might bore if I told you about them, or at least make you think I was off my rocker. Suffice to say that he is one of the good ones.

His comics work is very fine. I love the little injokes he inserts here and there. Yes, Mark, I get the Zot t-shirt. Is Scott McCloud a particular favourite of yours? And calling the laptop "core" is a nice touch, too.

I know that Mark has strong Christian values. Several people reading this blog feel the same way. I am not sure why they read this blog. Either they really, really like me, or perhaps it is a place where I tend not to cuss very much. This is out of partial deference to them, and to my sister, who also read this blog; but mostly it's because I just feel that one should be able to express himself without resorting to swearing. I don't always practice what I preach, but I do try, more than some people I know, and do strive to improve.

Anyway, the Christian values in Mark's work are one of the things that attract me to it so much. It is gentle, and non proselytizing , and that goes a long, long way with me.

Mark, keep up the great work, my friend.

I have a busy frigging day tomorrow. Toastmasters provincials contest to participate in in the morning. I will walk out there in front of 40 or 50 people, be given a question I have never seen before in my life, and have to talk about it for 2 minutes. No pressure at all.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

789th Post - More on the Asus EEE

As I mentioned last evening, I recently bought an Asus EEE 8G Linux-based computer. I thought I'd tell you a bit about it.

I had been pricing netbook computers for a couple of months. I really wanted one, but the price of a brand-new one in a store was really more than I wanted to pay. The Acer Aspire One series, the EEE series, several others, easily can cost $400 or so. By contrast, the CPU for the (desktop) HP computer I am typing this post on was just $297. Granted, this is last year's model, and it was part of a Boxing Week Sale promotion; but it is hard for my little brain to understand why I should have to pay a hunnert bucks or more for a device when a more powerful computer with much more storage and versatility cost much less and came with everything save for a monitor.

A month or so ago, I began looking on the local kijiji site for netbooks. I found even the used ones to be more than I really wanted to spend.

Finally, in the last 10 days or so, I found a couple of netbooks on kijiji that I liked and didn't require a loan application to get. And, they were both offered in the Annapolis Valley. Turns out that I would be there this past weekend. It was nearly kismet. But, which one to buy?

I decided on an Acer Aspire One with a few extra goodies like a leather case and so on. Buddy wanted $250. I spoke with him, and he was willing to drive to the part of the Valley I would be in.

During the course of our conversation, we became disconnected. That evening, I called him at his home number. Claimed that his phone died at that very moment. He couldn't talk any longer as he was getting ready for work.

The next day, Friday, I wrote him a couple of times, asking him more questions about the computer. No answer. Finally, during lunch, he wrote that his sister had dropped the computer down a flight of stairs, and it was therefore no longer for sale. Yeah, right.

I gave up on him and went back to kijiji, finding the Asus EEE 8G machine. I wrote that Buddy, asking if it were still available. It had been up on the site since March. He wrote me back within minutes to indicate that it was available. He gave me his number. I called, and he gave me some more information about the unit. We made arrangements to rendezvous at a New Minas Tim Hortons on Saturday morning at 10.

The next day, early, I drove to my parent's place. At 7:00 or so, I took my father for a hair cut, and I have related that event on this blog in the last few days. We ran the roads for a couple of hours before returning home, whereupon I took my mother shopping. We arrived at the store she wanted to go into around 9:55. I strolled over to where this fellow was parked. He showed me the computer. I liked it a lot. And I bought it, paying cash.

I am liking it quite a bit so far. The keyboard is a challenge. The keys are smaller than my grubby paws can easily handle, but I will get used to it over time. The mouse button is really a metal strip along the bottom of the touch pad. It is a little hard to press. But the touch pad is one I can tap, simulating a button depression. No big deal. Perhaps a future model with have two buttons, on the left and right hand side of the touch pad. That makes more sense to me.

I don't mind the screen. My very first computer back in 1985 was a CP/M machine called an Osbourne, and it had a five inch screen. The seven inch screen on the EEE is a luxury by comparison. I admire how they managed to cram in so much stuff in such a small space. And I have to wonder what the EEE series will look like in a couple of years when the technology has advanced that much further.

The amount of ram is pretty low, at 512MB. It is expandable to 2G, and I will do that at the first opportunity. However, this is not a Windows machine. It runs Linux. I feel quite at home when I open up a terminal session and use familiar unix commands to move around and get the lay of the land.

The machine comes with quite a few programs, utilities, and games. I want to download some more stuff, but the website that asus offers for its users doesn't have a whole lot of things on that interest me.

They have sold more than a million EEE units over the last 18 months or so. I am not surprised why. Overall, this is a smart machine. It is about the size of a hardcover book, the size that Danielle Steel writes, not the size that Stephen King writes. It weighs perhaps a kilogram.

And, no, I don't read Danielle Steel novels. I just see them in the store, ok? Shut up! Don't judge me.

I ordered a book today through Amazon that discusses how to make the most of your EEE computer. I know this stuff is all online, but having a printed resource like this can only help me get better, faster.

Check out the asus eee pc series. They're not for everybody, but for a second home computer, you could do a heckuva lot worse.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

788th Post - Who Is This Woman?

I was at my weekly Toastmasters meeting tonight, minding my own business, when this strange woman came up to me and hugged me.

I have no idea who she is.

Really, Patricia. I have no idea.

Ha ha.

Actually, it is my friend and fellow Toastmaster Candace, whose final meeting was tonight. In a couple of days, she takes off for Europe with her boyfriend for a couple of months prior to starting a new job in Korea. All the best, Candace. We will miss you.

I am writing this post on my new ASUS EEE pc, an incredibly small and powerful netbook computer. Hellish hard to learn to type on this thing. But I will learn. I bought this from a guy selling it through kijiji. We did the deal in a Tim Hortons parking lot.

Frig, this keyboard is small. My fingers are so big.

My first shower in the new shower tomorrow morning. If I weren't gonna be naked, I'd shoot video of myself in it. Maybe I will anyway.

Have a good night.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

787th Post - A (Non) Vacation Day

Not much to write about today. I got part of my bathroom changed around today. The walls and crap around the tub were replaced with stuff from bathfitters. They removed the tiles that had been behind the original plastic wall the previous owner had cheaply put up over the wall (which was missing some tiles). They ripped out and replaced the old, damp, crappy drywall, replacing it with new stuff. They put a strong adhesive over that to hold the special acrylic wall that looks and feels just like tile. They replaced the old faucets with one new one. The shower curtain rod has been replaced with a curved one that is up higher than the old one. It looks just great. But I can't use the shower until Wednesday morning at the earliest. I'll likely wait an extra day, just to make sure the adhesive and the silicone have all had a chance to adhere and dry completely.

I took some pictures. I could put them up here on the blog, but some of the before picture are pretty gross. Let me know if you still want to see some of these pictures. It is shameful how the previous owners allowed the tub area to become so grody. But it`s all better now, and I`m happy.

While Buddy was doing his work, I was down here at my desk, transcribing the latest interviews. I fell behind last week, unfortunately, with life just getting in the way of this task. I also firmed up plans with a certain radio person to meet with her this coming Friday at noon. I am looking forward to it.

Plenty of work to do outside of my day-to-day job. I need to be cloned! As long as my clone is not as cute as I am, I'll be ok with it. If you remember all the cloned Michael Keatons in "Multiplicity", you'll know what I'm talking about.


Monday, May 4, 2009

786th Post - It Takes Class

I don't know how many of you have seen the 2004 film "Catwoman", starring Halle Berry. It is not a very good film. In fact, it is so bad that it was nominated for all kinds of Razzie Awards a few months later. Berry herself, just a few years after winning for best Actress for "Monster's Ball", was nominated for Worst Actress for her performance in "Catwoman".

And she won! Or lost, if you want to look at it that way.

Most people who win these awards don't want to acknowledge it in any way, shape, or form. But Halle Berry actually showed up to accept her award.

I have found a somewhat edited version of her acceptance speech. Here it is:

I have to admit that I respected her for doing this. The Hollywood hype machine is such that every film that comes out is marketed as a masterpiece, even though many of them suck big time. One of the suckiest films of 2004, or any year for that matter, was "Catwoman". We saw it at the cottage a couple of years ago, and it was a surreal experience. We were amazed by how stupid it was.

Watching Berry accept this award helps explain some of the problems with this film. If there is ever a special edition of the dvd, with an audio commentary or two that's truthful about how cruddy the movie is, I'll buy it in a heartbeat. It would be much more entertaining to listen to it than the film could ever be.

More later depending on my schedule.


Sunday, May 3, 2009

785th Post - I Feel Like Jack Bauer

My father was rushed to hospital last evening. I went with him, not returning to their home until 2:30 Sunday morning, 22 hours after I had got up. My mother required some attention 3 hours later.

Went to the hospital twice. First time was to take some toiletries over to my father. Got some breakfast in town, and returned home. Barely got settled into bed when the phone rang a seconcd time. That phone call was from my father, again, but this time asking me to come pick him up and bring him homie! Prepared lunch for them before taking Dad on a small errand and a return to the city. Had an hour's sleep in the afternoon at Patricia's.

Finally back home. Can't wait to fall asleep.

From Bevboy's BlackBerry to BevBoy's Blog!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

784th Post - The Chair

Had to get a picture of this really old barber chair. Probably 75 years old.

From Bevboy's BlackBerry to BevBoy's Blog!

783rd Post - Early Saturday Morning

Got up at 430 this morning so that I could drive to my parents place for the weekend.

It is now 730. Dad wanted to get his hair cut. We drove to nearby Canning. Guy here has been cutting hair out of the same building for 50 years. Charges 5 bucks per haircut.

Both parents have planned my weekend. "Take me here". "Take me there". I may get to bed by midnight.

Newbie didn't bust my balls over the drive here. Didn't puke in the car or anything. Maybe he is finally getting used to car travel.

More later if I have the time.

From Bevboy's BlackBerry to BevBoy's Blog!

Friday, May 1, 2009

782nd Post - Mark Dooley Strikes Again!

My friend Mark Dooley gave me permission to post some of his work last week. You'll recall that they are about how he got diabetes, and how he handled the news. These are lighter in tone, not that the ones last week were dark or anything. There will be more parts to this story as it unfolds.

Thanks again, Mark. Keep 'em coming!