Monday, May 31, 2010

Post 1246 - A Disappointing Return to the City

We returned to the city a few hours ago.  We didn't really want to return.  It's mostly because we couldn't mow the lawn up there.

We had asked the technician to drop by the cottage to give the lawn mower a tune up for this morning.  In the meantime, we would mow it on Saturday.  It wouldn't start.  We figured we'll wait until this morning; the weekend wouldn't be lost.  Well, it turns out that the guy doesn't serve that part of the county on Mondays.  It will be on Friday instead.

The lawn is so long that if we don't mow it soon, we'll have to braid it.   The grass sways in the breeze like miniature palm trees.   If I ran through it, the blades would cut my shins.  You get the idea.  

Patricia will be taking a vacation day on Friday to have the lawn tractor serviced, and then spend hours and hours mowing the lawn with the blade set to the highest level.  A day or so later, she'll have to mow it a second time, with the blade at a lower level.  The amount of mulch that will be produced by this iterative process will be considerable. 

I'm not complaining, at least not much.  It's been too rough a month for complaining about minor things.  But we'll never buy another lawn tractor from Sears.  Big mistake in 2006.  They messed up everything about the original order.  And to get a service call would have tried Job's patience.  I don't know if they just don't care, or they're totally incompetent in the customer service arena. 

We wish we had bought a John Deere lawn tractor.  It would have been delivered on time.  It would have arrived assembled.  And there would have been local service. 

Besides, John Deere hats look cool.


Sunday, May 30, 2010

Post 1245 - That's More Like It

Getting plenty of comments on my facebook regarding yesterday's blog post, the one about the principal's actions at Graham Creighton Junior High. Nice to see those comments and the blog traffic, but I also welcome comments here on the blog.

Did a whole lotta nothin' today. Transcribed couple of long interviews last night and this morning. One is taking shape quite nicely. It was conducted nearly 2 months ago. Dad's death affected my output, and rightly so. I will finish both transcriptions in June. I'm looking forward to sharing them with you.

Watched the Ron James New Years Special just now. Good cottage viewing at the end of May, huh?

The lawnmower guy will be dropping by in the morning. After that, I will be spending several hours mowing the lawn. Then, it's back to the city and work on Tuesday.

See you tomorrow.

From Bevboy's BlackBerry to BevBoy's Blog!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Post 1244 - Graham Creighton Junior Video

I am embedding the video from the Graham Creighton Junior incident that nearly resulted in its principal being fired a couple of weeks ago.

I don't normally comment on things of this nature, but will make an exception in this case.

I will never understand why teachers and principals feel they have a right to beat students.  I had a teacher in Grade 8 who would beat students until they cried.  That was his goal.  That was his way of commanding respect from his students.  By beating them.  Big man.

In no other walk of life, save for law enforcement, is physically beating someone countenanced, especially beating someone younger and more vulnerable.  If a manager at my work were going around beating up his staff, he would be gone, toot sweet, and be up on charges to boot.  If you worked in an office environment where people were fighting, or even threatening to cause you physical harm, you would have grounds to sue and to have that person charged with uttering threats.  But teachers feel entitled to beat students, and that should not be allowed, under any circumstances.

I understand that the school board refused to allow the parents of this young man to see the video of his being beaten by his principal.  I can see why, now.  I further understand that these parents will be showing this video to their lawyer.  I don't blame them. 

I have no idea who leaked this video to Frank Magazine, but this person did the Lord's work.  Frank Magazine was absolutely right to run stills from the video in its current issue, and even more correct to post the entire video on youtube.

Herewith, the video that nearly (and should have) cost a principal his job.


Friday, May 28, 2010

Post 1243 - At The Cottage

We arrived at the cottage around lunch time. As we feared, the lawn is frightfully long. I will do a cut tomorrow with the blade at its highest level and then do another one on Monday.

We haven't seen our ATV-owning, cousin-dating, beer-swilling neighbour yet, but we have seen evidence of his handiwork. A property marker has grown legs and walked a few feet over, extending his property. Oh, well. I will just put it back tomorrow. It was nice of him to mow that bit of land, though.

I haven't discussed my dislike of our neighbour or all-terrain vehicles here lately. I don't need to. People who know me, just know, how I feel about them, and him. They're always asking me if I have seen this neighbour and his infernal machine. It is a bit of a tease.


We still love it here. After the month I've had, it is nice to spend the last few days of it here. If we see Mr. Knuckeldragger, we don't have to talk to him. Besides, he's only capable of expressing himself via grunts and flinging his dung. We can just ignore him. Life's too short to allow a fiendish knob like him to ruin our lives.

Time for bed. Busy day tomorrow.

From Bevboy's BlackBerry to BevBoy's Blog!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Post 1242 - Off to the Cottage

I am scared to death right now, ladies and gentlemen.

I am being honest here.

Scared. To. Death.

You see, what with my father's death and all, I haven't been to the cottage since the Easter long weekend, some 7 weeks ago.  Since then, we have had some beautiful weather, most conducive to a healthy lawn spurt.  I am scared crapless to think about just how long the lawn has become.  I had to mow the lawn a couple of days ago at my mother's, and had mowed it perhaps 10 days before that.  In that week and a half, the lawn had become nearly unmanageable.  The time before that, 2 weeks or so ago now, the lawn mulch resembled hay. 

We're off to the cottage this evening for the weekend.  Assuming we can drive through the brush, tomorrow I'll fire up the lawn tractor and set the blade to the highest setting, and do the first cut.  It will still be a long lawn after that, but at least it will be a start. 

People think that because we have a cottage, we live the life of Riley.  But it's quite the opposite.  It's having 2 sets of everything, and having to maintain 2 residences is a lot of work.  It is not without its rewards, but it is also not without its share of toil and sweat.  There will be lots of that this weekend.

During the mowing, I just hope I don't run over some pygmy children who've taken up residence in the grass!  The paperwork for that is incredible.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Post 1241 - The Letter, Parts Sixteen and Seventeen

Double duty this time, courtesy of Mark Dooley. 

Losing my dad this month has made this strip especially moving and resonative (is that a word?  it is now!) with me.  Besides, Dee has a pet cat in this sequence, and no cat person is all bad.

See you soon.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Post 1240 - Movie History

I follow Roger Ebert on twitter. He's been a film critic and writer since the 1960's. He was the co-host of a movie review show for decades until he lost his ability to speak.

It hasn't stopped his work though: He writes prodigiously reviewing films for the Chicago Sun-Times, maintaining his blog, and tweeting from early in the morning until late at night.

I had a chance to be followed by Ebert on twitter recently. If I had been among the first 3 people to rt him, he would have followed me on twitter. I was not, alas.

From a tweet this morning, here's a link to the history of movie theatres!

From Bevboy's BlackBerry to BevBoy's Blog!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Post 1239 - TV Headlines

Watched the series ender of Lost Sunday evening. Don't ask me to tell you what it all means. Beyond my pay grade.

Watched the season finale of Grey's Anatomy Saturday night. I don't normally watch the show, but did watch that. I liked it.

Watched the penultimate episode of Flashforward the same evening. The show started with such great promise but has only been disappointing since it came back from its hiatus in March. I won't miss it next year.

Haven't watched V since Dad died. It was a chore to watch, and I'm not interested in trying to catch up.

Have the finale of season five of Supernatural back in Hali. Will watch it this week.

Just now finished watching the final 2 hours of 24. This season of 24 has been dull and listless, for the most part, but these last 2 hours were amazing, edge-of-your-seat stuff. I fell in love with the show all over again. I can't wait for the oft-promised 24 movie. I hope it isn't too long. Jack Bauer has never been in a tighter situation than he's in now. I want to see how he deals with being hunted down by the Russians and his own country.

People rag about tv and how it rots the brain. I can see some of that. But if you can forget about the problems of daily life for an hour or so by watching a favourite program, I can't see what's wrong with that.

Everything in moderation.

Especially moderation.

From Bevboy's BlackBerry to BevBoy's Blog!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Post 1238 - A Long Weekend In The Valley

It's Sunday, and we are at my sister's for a barbecue, our first of the season.  We brought up some chicken breasts and wings, and there is steak and other chicken here as well.  There are rumours of potato salad.   I hopped on an open network from the next door neigbhours.  Life is good.

The last episode of "Lost" is on tonight.  I stopped watching it a couple of years ago, but may tune into tonight just to see how it all ends. 

Patricia brought up the coffee maker this afternoon.  Praise be!  Coffee tomorrow morning.   Can hardly wait.

Patricia and Glenda will be signing the thank you cards from the donations from Dad's funeral this evening.  Will get them out on Tuesday.

Maybe tomorrow we'll go to the Al Whittle Theatre.  Wolfville is nice this time of year.

Bevboy, out.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Post 1237 - An Acadian Mystery

I type these humble words at the public library not far from my mother's home.  I was unable to find an open network to hop on, not even when I went for a walk in the neighbourhood and tried to find one.  I found other ones, but they were closed, too.

So, instead, I drove the short distance to this library.  I would normally have signed in to the open connection they offer here, but instead I found another open connection that's stronger.  It must be next door or something.  It is upwards of 85% strength, which is more than I get at home when I'm in an upstairs bedroom and pick up the home network broadcasting 2 floors below. 

I came up here suddenly and unexpectedly on Thursday evening, on the cusp of a long weekend in Canada.  We would both love to be at the cottage this weekend, but reality has dictated otherwise.  At least I can get somethings done for my mother, which I know she appreciates.

I have had my fill of fiddleheads in 2010.  Have you not had them?  Go out and get some already.  They're a green plant in the fern family whose ends look for all the world like the heads of a fiddle, hence the name.  Today, at lunch, I steamed some for about 10 minutes and then fried them with some margarine and put a little bit of salt on them.  Delicious, but I've had all I want for this year.

In 1976, my father got a book on the history of Port Williams for Christmas.  I know the year because it says "Merry Christmas, Cecil.  Love, Warren, 1976" on the first page.  This is not another example of my weird memory!!

Anyway, I opened up that book again for the first time in a couple of years, last evening.  I had always been fascinated by a story in there of a time around 1835 when some strange men came to Church Street and were looking for... something.  The land owners had no idea who they were, or what they were seeking.  They were speaking a language unknown to the current landowners.

Many years later, when the owners of that piece of land were hoping to erect a barn,they found what turned out to be an Acadian communal set, buried.  The old woman who lived there remembered those strange men and put 2 and 2 together, deducing that they had been looking for that set.  Apparently those sets are only buried in the case of an emergency, like the Acadian Expulsion of 1755 would have been, and then  only in the Eastern section of the foundation of a church.  The thing is, no evidence of a church in that location has ever been discovered, and there is much evidence of many other churches in the area that are long-gone now.  It's a mystery, this alleged Acadian church, and who those fellows were.  Were they the grandchildren of expelled Acadians trying to find old church heirlooms?  Were they treasure hunters?  Who knows?  It's a mystery, and one not that many know about. 

I moved away to the big bad city quite a few years ago now.   It has its merits.  But in recent months I have spent more and more time back in my home area, and it feels good to spend so much time here.  Getting re-acquainted with the local lore and legends is one way to feel at home again.  As I grow older, being home feels better and better to me.


Friday, May 21, 2010

Post 1236 - Have We Had Enough Yet?

I'm writing, once again, from the Al Whittle Theatre in Wolfville.  I love this place.   The ambience is fun.  The coffee is wonderful.  And it's got free wifi, which is much appreciated when I have this netbook and no home internet service when I'm here. 

I drove up last evening for some family stuff which continued into today.  I have decided to stay for the whole weekend, as I'm needed here.   That's fine, as it means more time in the valley and more time at the Al Whittle Theatre.  While I'll be busy doing work around the house, I'll also find some time to check out some old haunts.

We buried Dad 2 weeks ago today.  My sister and I were reflecting on that this morning.  It is still hard to accept that he is gone, but that's a big part of getting through the grieving process, so accept we must.

Man, the wireless is funky in Ubuntu 10.4.  I gave up on getting it working on my dell laptop.  I stuck a puppy linux cd in the cd rom drive and boot from that, which connects to the web quite well.   But on this netbook, it takes longer to connect and the connection is weaker.  I have been trying many linux distro's over the last couple of weeks: Mint, easypeasy, ubuntu, puppy, puppeee, and xandros.  Probably more.  So many of them are so similar to ubuntu that I am not sure how legitimate it is to claim that they are distinct flavours of linux.  If the only differences are that the colour schemes are dissimilar and a couple of them carry skype or a different version of the media player (banshee versus rhythmbox for example), then those do not strike me as significant differences.  I suppose you could get down to the kernel level, but once again, so many are based on ubuntu that the differences would probably be slight. 

I've got an email or two to reply to before spending the afternoon washing dishes.  Oh, the life I lead!!


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Post 1235 - An Endless Loop

Another long weekend. Another weekend in the Valley.

Lots of "anothers" this weekend. Sigh.

From Bevboy's BlackBerry to BevBoy's Blog!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Post 1234 – The Letter, Part Fifteen

Mark is on a roll.  He never stops.  He seeks no rest or nourishment.  He is unstoppable.

Thanks for your excellent work as always, Mark.  Keep it up.

As I have stated before, people: I am the official Canadian supplier/provider of Mark Dooley’s work.  I feel honoured and blessed.



Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Post 1233 - The Letter, Part Fourteen

Mark's work improves with each chapter, doesn't it?

Keep it up, my friend.


Monday, May 17, 2010

Post 1232 - The Letter, Part Thirteen

And, what better way to cap off a return to work after a few weeks than to present the latest chapter in The Letter, by the prolific, talented and fragrant Mark Dooley? 

Why, there is no better way, of course!

More later.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Post 1231 - So Much For A Quiet Day Off!

Mostly had a good day, but installing linux on my netbook and laptop was enough to drive me to distraction, if not drinking.

A couple of weeks ago, I got a usb key from a friend at work and burned the latest ubuntu netbook remix image on to it.  After all that's happened the last 2 weeks, I didn't have a chance to try it out until this afternoon.  After much fiddling and farting around, I decided to re-create the usb key, only on my linux desktop here at home (the one I'm typing this post on).  That worked, and I was then able to get the netbook remix installed on my asus eee pc.  The wireless still didn't work properly, so I turned it on and off a couple of times, and it worked.  Weird. 

The problems with the Dell laptop continue.  I put the netbook remix on it as well, but have no more luck with the wireless than I have up to this point.  The forums told me to install packages, which I did, to no avail. 

What is it with Dell, anyway?  Do they create crappy computers nowadays?  Do they make no effort to produce quality products?   Do they work in spite of themselves?  

I put another call for help on the forum this evening.  I am hopeful, prayerful, that they can tell me what to do to get the wireless working on the dell.  If not, well, I will put a sledgehammer to the stupid thing.   I'll just blame the cat. 

Am I the only one who is disappointed with Dell laptops?


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Post 1230 - Viva La Valley!

I am back in the city. I miss being in the Valley, but it sure is nice to be able to access the internet anywhere in the house. Skulking around looking for an open internet connection somewhere is for the birds. Of course, The Al Whittle Theatre is this close to heaven.

Left Wolfville and decided to drive to Canning this morning. I noticed that the Canning library was open for a change, which is almost never is when I'm around. Turned out to be the library's 15th anniversary. There was a writer talking and reading from her book, The Birth House. The author's name is Ami McKay. She's originally from Indiana, but ended up living in Scotts Bay. The book is about a house that was used by a midwife. McKay lives in a house that was owned by a midwife years and years ago.

Rural living isn't for everybody. There are times when it isn't for me, to put it mildly. I like some creature comforts, like access to the internet, good coffee, a movie theatre, a concert venue. Halifax offers all of those things; but increasingly, so does where I'm from. The last couple of weeks of dealing with my father's death, I have had a chance to become re-acquainted with the Annapolis Valley. I have had an opportunity to see what it has to offer, and what it has to offer excites me.

I like my job. I like Halifax. But, if I could do it, at all, I'd move back to the Valley in a heartbeat. There are too many interesting, fun things to do there to make me want to stay in suburbia.

Back to work on Monday.  Looking forward to it!


Friday, May 14, 2010

Post 1229 - Hurray (For Me!)

Around 9 pm tonight, the phone rang. My brother-in-law needed help printing a document on their computer. Turns out the new Ubuntu didn't overtly support their brand of printer.

Spent time on the ubuntu forums and the Brother website. Turns out a couple of simple downloads of rpm files (whatever they are) and 2 .deb files which I installed, was all that was necessary. My sister didn't see me sweat.

Returning to the city Saturday afternoon. Have a dell laptop there whose wireless isn't working. Will try to get that working yet again, but not before I get Patricia to leave the house for a few hours while I turn the air blue with invective. It's a rite of passage.

I've earned it.

From Bevboy's BlackBerry to BevBoy's Blog!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Post 1228 - Who Knew?

On our adventures in Wolfville this afternoon, before we went into Tan Coffee, we wandered into Light and Shadow video. A rental place for 20 years, it recently became a retail-only joint.

They have a really eclectic film selection. If there's a strange film or tv show you can't find anywhere else, you can probably find it there.

For one example, take a look at this pic. Randall and Hopkirk (deceased) ran in the 1960's. I remember seeing an episode of a show about a cop protected and aided by the ghost of his partner. I recalled that and that they were British.

I had no idea what it was called. To give you an idea of my memory, I saw this the night before I started school, in September of 1969. 40 years later, today, I learned the name of it, just a few kilometers from where I first saw it (for the only time) back when I was 5!

Coming full circle is nice.

Now, whatever happened to Michelle Hart, the girl I had a crush on in 1973?

From Bevboy's BlackBerry to BevBoy's Blog!

Post 1227 - More Coffee!

I am tapping these words from the TAN Coffee outlet in downtown Wolfville.   We were both at the Just Us!/Al Whittle Theatre this morning, so caffeine is racing through my veins.  

We had never been to the TAN coffee place.  I am not sure when or whether we'll be back here.  Just US!  is just so good, the ambience so eclectic and beautiful, that we cannot deny its many advantages.

It's nice to have the choice, though.

Had fiddleheads as a side dish at lunch today.  They're in season now, $3.99 a pound at the grocery store, and a dollar more expensive at the vegetable stands around here.  I am strongly in favour of local fruit and veggie stands, but if the same product, produced locally, is available at a grocery store for less money, you're pound  foolish to spend more money elsewhere to get the very same thing.  

Over slept this morning.  Had the very first good night's sleep since my father died.  His will be a permanent presence in my life, but I can certainly accept that he's gone to a better place.

I am slowly spreading the word, the cult, of Ubuntu.  Installed 10.4 on my sister's computer last night.  When she saw that there were more than 32000 free software apps to download from the ubuntu software centre, her face lit up.  Free is good.   Very good.

One more full day in the valley before I return to the city on Saturday, and work on Monday.  I miss work.  I miss a routine.  But it's been nice to be here, reflecting on my recent loss, and wondering about my future without my father.

Patricia has never been to EOS foods here in Wolfville.   Time to throw out the rest of this crappy coffee, go to EOS, and then go back to the Just US! for real coffee.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Post 1226 - Coffee!

Spent 2 hours or more this morning at the beloved Al Whittle Theatre in Wolfville. A caffeine-laced drink coupled with internet access makes Bevboy a happy... boy, I guess.

Had a meeting with the other executors and our lawyer this afternoon. Gee, you don't think the biggest chunk of change going out of the estate will go to lawyers, do you? I don't see how that's possible. I mean, they're all so frugal.

Installed ubuntu 10.4 on my sister's pc this evening. So far, it runs a damn sight faster than XP ever did.

I'm actually half watching the 7th game (3rd period) of the Montreal-Pittsburgh game. Montreal just went up 5-2. Whatever that means.

Time for bed.

From Bevboy's BlackBerry to BevBoy's Blog!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Post 1225 - Phew!

Turns out I am an executor of Dad's estate.    Spent hours today running the roads, dealing with an insurance company, filling out forms.  

It sure is nice to sit down here at this here internet cafe and tap out a blog post, and have actual internet access again.   It's nice to be connected  again. 

Patricia is taking a day off work on Wednesday to come down and be with me.   Yay!  Of course, she has an ulterior motive: She wants to shop at all the fruit and vegetable and used clothing places up and down the Annapolis Valley.  My niece wants to install ubuntu on my sister's computer, so I've asked Patricia to bring down the cd I burned with the latest 10.4 Ubuntu image on it.  Hope she remembers to save Maggie the trouble of downloading it herself.  

No, I still haven't got the wireless working on the Dell laptop.  Shut up.  Just shut up.  Did I mention there's a whole section of the ubuntu forums dealing with Dell laptop issues?  I did?  Sorry.

Time to go back to the house for more leftovers.  Hold me back!


Monday, May 10, 2010

Post 1224 - Yikes!

We are living in interesting times. The big family meeting today will result in extra work for us, starting on Tuesday and continuing for the rest of the week.

Yep. Interesting times indeed!

From Bevboy's BlackBerry to BevBoy's Blog!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Post 1223 - Back at the Homestead

I know you're wondering, so I will answer your question right now: No, I still haven't figured how to get wireless working on the Dell laptop I have at home. A cabled connection let's me connect to the internet just fine. But wireless just doesn't work.

The Ubuntu forums actually have an entire section devoted to problems with Dell laptops! Dozens and dozens of threads, with plenty of them discussing wireless issues. I have followed much of the advice therein but still not have achieved satisfactory results. I will keep trying when I return home next weekend.

I did a second installation of Ubuntu 10.4 (Lucid Lynx) this morning. When I get back there on Saturday, I will try to get wireless working again. My nerves should have calmed down by then.

Drove to Mom's this afternoon and plan to stay for most of the week. There is much family business to deal with over the coming days.

The house feels so radically different without my father in it. I miss him so much.

Will need lots of sleep tonight. Monday's gonna be a very busy day for all of us.

From Bevboy's BlackBerry to BevBoy's Blog!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Post 1222 - A Day Off

Did practically nothing today.   We drove back to the city Friday evening because we needed a day off from the stress of this week.  

Slept a lot.  Watched some tv shows that we like.  Installed ubuntu 10.4 on a Dell laptop, and that was the beginning of several hours of stress and aggravation.  Wireless doesn't work well on Dell laptops running ubuntu.  I had a problem with it this winter and fixed it by a combination of downloading and installing drivers, adding new packages, fooling around with BIOS settings, and swearing a blue streak.   I'm convinced the last part kept me sane.

Now, because of Lucid Lynx, I get to do it again.

Oh, boy.


Friday, May 7, 2010

Post 1221 – Eulogy for my Father

The following is the eulogy I delivered for my father earlier today.  I hope you like it.  I managed to deliver the eulogy without crying, by the way. 

Let me know what you think.


My Dad

Cecil David Keddy was born in Forest Home, Nova Scotia, on June 4th, 1931. My brother got his middle name from Dad's first name. I got mine, from his middle name. Never mind where the “Beverly” came from.

I learned a lot from my father. I learned you should always say “Please” and “Thank You”. You always take your shoes off when you enter someone's house. You always make an effort to be presentable. When someone from the hospital came to the house to discuss my father's condition, back in December, he took off his shoes. Points there. But he had a hole in the toe of his sock, and he lost all credibility with me.

I learned that the poor man will always pay, and the rich man will always have excuses not to. But, you still have to be nice to the rich ones because they can make your life miserable.

I learned not to give a flying fig about sports from my father. One time, years and years ago, we tried watching Hockey Night in Canada together. After 20 minutes of the game, which I hear they call a “period”, we looked at each other and admitted that we didn't care what those people were doing on the ice, and why they were chasing that black round thing like their lives depended on it, so he got me to walk over to the tv and change the channel to something much better (because we only had two channels and either my sister or I would be the remote control). Atlantic Grand Prix Wrestling.

Dad's ability to remember dates always astounded me. For example, when we managed to get him to visit our Pictou County cottage in 2006, we had to go into New Glasgow to get some things. Instantly, he said, “I haven't been to New Glasgow since I had to deliver a load of potatoes there in 1947!” If you say so, Dad. He could tell you what year he built what house, and who had owned it over the years, sometimes to the present day,

Dad did a lot of pro bono work. One time, he was doing some work at the Legion here in Kentville. He noticed that there was no washroom for people in wheelchairs. He asked why, and was told that they had no budget to install one. Dad spoke with his co-worker, and they decided to donate their labour to build such a washroom. The Legion was so grateful that they made Dad and Paul members of the legion, and gave them lifetime subscriptions to the Legion magazine. Dad always took the time to look at the magazine every month. You can stop sending them now.

I will never forget the time when I was riding my bike home from a baseball game in Port Williams. The rear derailer broke, and the chain fell off. I had to push the bike home in the dark, on Sutton Road, back before it was paved. I got home late. Dad saw my bike and the mood I was in. I thought he might be mad at me, but he wasn't. The next night, when he got home from work, he beckoned me outside. There, on the front lawn, was a brand-new 10-speed bicycle! I was in Heaven. I knew even then that that money had come from somewhere, perhaps for something that my parents needed for themselves, and I appreciated it. Thank you, Dad.

I will also never forget the first time I got drunk, and my dad's reaction to it. We were visiting my Uncle Bob one evening in August of 1978. I was 14. It was a Sunday, so it would have been the sixth, thirteenth, twentieth, or twenty-seventh.  I'm sorry, Dad. That's the best I can do. Anyway, somehow I got into Bob's homemade apple cider, and it was mighty tasty.

I had more and more of this delicious nectar. I began to act silly; or, rather, more silly than I do by default. The look on my mother's face! My father said nothing. When we got home later that evening, Dad took me aside, shook his finger at me, and said, “No more drinkin', boy!” There was no “g” in “drinking”, so I knew he meant business. I was scared to death. Dad, in the past 32 years, I have not had a single, solitary drop of alcoholic apple cider. And, I promise all of you right now that I never, ever will.

Dad taught me lessons, even when he didn't know he was teaching me anything. When I got my first job in Halifax in 1988, I continued to go home most every weekend. I usually took home my laundry for my mother to wash for me. Yeah. I know. I took these dirty clothes home in a garbage bag. I'd return to the city Sunday evening with a garbage bag full of clean and folded laundry.

One of Dad's favourite snacks was prunes. He relished them. He would spit the pits into a garbage bag in the kitchen.

You know where this is going, don't you?

One Sunday evening, I returned to my apartment in Dartmouth and unloaded the garbage bag of clothes that my mother had prepared for me. There were ... things sticking to the clothes. Upon closer examination, I discovered that they were prune pits. Dad, it seemed, had spat the prune pits into my laundry bag, I hope in error. That was the last time I took my dirty clothes home. Dad had taught me to fend for myself, and he didn't even know it!

I'll tell you something about my dad that you didn't know, guaranteed. I'll tell you only if you promise not to tell anybody. Do we have a deal? OK. Dad loved to watch “Dancing with the Stars”. He would call me in Halifax during the commercial breaks and say something like, “That was some good dance. I like that feller!” He could never remember the names of the celebrities on that show. Come to think of, neither could I. I have always called it, “Dancing with the Guy Who Used to be on that Show”

Dad also liked country music. His favourites were Wilf Carter, Hank Snow (two Nova Scotia boys!), and Johnny Cash.

Dad never hesitated to show us the ropes: How to build things, how to fix things. But he gave up on me. I was a lost cause. By the time I was in my teens I was such a klutz, so inept, that he began steering me away from his line of work over to office work. “Don't be a carpenter!”, he would say to me, over and over. I took this as a sign that the handyman life was not for me. But it is a big regret of mine that I didn't pay attention to those lessons when he was around to provide them. I'm still a klutz and inept when it comes to working around the house. Be quiet, Patricia.

Dad always valued the importance of an education, even though he was not a learned man himself. “Once you get it up here”, he'd say, tapping the side of his head, “they can't take it away from you.”

Dad loved to joke, and some of those jokes were good ones that I never got to see. He did a lot of work for this funeral home, as well as at Cyril's friendly competition up the street. I think it was there, not here, where Dad, as legend had it, would hide in a coffin and frighten his men as they walked past. This was verified to me last weekend by Dad's good friend of 55 years, Merrill Ward. Thanks for that confirmation, Merrill.

Dad loved his oxen, which he always called Lion and Bright, no matter which set of oxen he had at the moment. They were his only luxury. He loved showing them off in competitions. One time, in the early 1990's, a friend of his arranged for Dad to participate in an ox pull in Dartmouth at a pub, which I think was the Ship Victory. I drove over to be with him. The mayor of Dartmouth at the time was John Savage, and he showed up and met Dad. I think Dad knew who he was, but because he treated everybody pretty much the same, he was not awestruck by being in the presence of a major politician. He just shook John Savage's hand, excused himself, and tended to his oxen. They were more important. He wanted to deal with ox shit, not bullshit.

Dad was so excited to learn he was going into the Shannex facility in Greenwich. He actually had a few good days there before he got so sick again. They provided such excellent care and I know he appreciated it.

Dad always worried about us, even though he had taught us, and expected us, to be independent. I am so independent that I would do my own root canal if they would let me, and then only charge myself half what my dentist would. I don't know why he worried so much about us, but he did. We worried about him, too, especially toward the end. But Dad never lost that glint in his eye, not even when we saw him and said goodbye to him Monday evening. Dad was Dad until the very end.

If there's something that I want you to remember from the few minutes I've been up here, it's that Cecil David Keddy was a lot of things to a lot of people. To Mom, he was her husband for 57 years. To me, and Gayle and Glenda, and Ernie, he was Dad. To Eric, he was “Cease”. To Maggie, he was “Grampy Cecil”. To Patricia, he was, “Hey, Buddy!”. None of us will ever forget him. He meant the world to us.

Rest in peace, Dad, Cease, Grampy Cecil, Buddy. You've earned your sleep.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Post 1220 - One More Day To Go!

Two visitations today. The funeral is tomorrow.

My sister and I cleaned out his Shannex room this morning. The reality of his death sank in for us. It is still really hard to accept that he is gone, but it is not like his death was a big surprise to us. He'd been so ill for so long.

The eulogy is written and I have been reading it over during spare moments. I want to make my old man proud and not break down during the presentation. You will see the eulogy here on the blog next week. Maybe even my little troll friend will like it, once he gets someone to read it to him, of course.

Tomorrow will be a very busy, trying day for us all. We pray we have the strength to get through it.

Wish us luck.

From Bevboy's BlackBerry to BevBoy's Blog!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Post 1219 - Proof!

The women. The wine. The collage!

From Bevboy's BlackBerry to BevBoy's Blog!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Post 1218 – The Day After, Part One

Today was a whirlwind of cleaning the house, telling folks that Dad died, talking to the undertaker and the minister who will be officiating his service, coming back to Halifax to find as many  pictures of Dad I could email my niece as possible.  

I have been asked, and have agreed, to write and present a eulogy for my father at his funeral on Friday.  I have been in Toastmasters for 18 and a half years.  I have done speeches in front of large groups of people, some of them not too terribly friendly.   I am scared crapless about speaking at my father’s funeral, but I have agreed to do so, and am not about to chicken out. 

I have written a rough draft of the eulogy.  It is not ready for public consumption.  I will show it to the immediate family sometime on Wednesday.  They will doubtless ask for changes because we all want it to be perfect.   My sisters are also welcome to speak in front of the crowd.  I don’t know if they will.  It is their decision.

This is a link to my father’s obituary.  It will run in the Halifax Chronicle Herald on Wednesday May 5th.  It will run for only one day.  I will, in a week or so, discuss the reasons why we are only running it for a single day.  It will make you roll your eyes, and possibly tick you off a bit.   The business of funerals is becoming clearer to me.

Wednesday will involve the women of the family compiling pictures of Dad for some kind of collage that only women have the ability to prepare.  Men, not even the gayest of the gay, would know how to do this.  My brother-in-law and I will look on in awe and admiration as we serve them wine and stay the Hell out of their way.

Dad loved these women, his daughters, his granddaughter, Patricia.  I know he’d be delighted to see what they have up their girly sleeves.

More in a bit.


Monday, May 3, 2010

Post 1217 - Dad

My father died this afternoon around 3:30, 3:45.

It hurts so much.

From Bevboy's BlackBerry to BevBoy's Blog!

Post 1216 – This, Too, Shall Pass

In a week where I am probably not going to find much humour, I found much of it here in this video.  it was apparently shot in one take with no camera trickery.  I find that hard to believe.  And I find it harder to understand how they even tested this to make sure it would work.  But it does, and I’m sharing it with you.

Make sure you press the full screen mode or you will miss much of the action.

My thanks to Mark Evanier’s excellent blog for this link. 

Three huzzahs for the shopkeep!


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Post 1215 -A Decision I Will Regret?

After much soul searching, I have decided to return to work in the morning, unless my loved one's condition worsens precipitously over night or something. 

As things stand, he has reached the point where he can only be comforted.  There is no practical way, short of a proverbial miracle, for him to pull out of this one.  Rather than sit there and watch him breathe less and less and less, potentially for weeks, I think it may be best for everyone for me to go back to work.  I need some routine in my life again, and want to be productive again.  I can't do that, sitting in that room in the Shannex and waiting for the inevitable. 

I just pray this is the right decision.  It feels right, but I have been wrong plenty of times.

Of course, should his condition worsen, I will leave work at a moment's notice.

It does feel good, though, to be back home with an internet connection.  No more skulking around, trying to find an open connection somewhere in the middle of the night or at an internet cafe or something.   This one is legit!

Seeya tomorrow.


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Post 1214 - No. Not Yet

The word is not good about my loved one, but he's still hanging on.   It is upsetting to see him, once strapping, and now anything but.

The care he has been receiving at the home has been phenomenal.  I can't get over how much the staff all work to make him and the other patients comfortable.  When my time comes, I'd be lucky indeed to end up in a place like that.

We spent some time swapping stories about him this evening.  Lots of laughs.  We'll need to draw on those times in the days ahead as the inevitable happens.

We just wish we could have more time with him.   Just a little more.