Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Post 1831 - Nearly There

In but a few hours, it will be December first, 2011.

You know what that means!

It will be the beginning of the fourth annual  Bevboy's Blog Christmas Tie Extravaganza!

Every day that I work in the month of December that I work, up till and including December 23rd, I will wear a different Christmas tie, and it will be dazzle you.  Like in other years, I will have my picture taken in as many different exotic parts of the North End of the city that I can find.  I'm... sure there are a few, somewhere.  You and I will have fun finding them.

And, it all starts... tomorrow!

See you then.

I'm so excited!


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Post 1830 - Mission Accomplished

Patricia keeps going on about how I am not handy, but this evening I fixed her computer, darn it.

The wireless wasn't working  on  her netbook, with the most recent, and probably last, version of Easy Peasy, a pretty good ubuntu-based linux distro.   These usually work well, but wireless is a funny thing, as I have come to find out.

I downloaded some stuff and tricked the computer into revealing its wireless by sticking a wireless usb stick in it.  I have found that has worked before, and it worked again tonight.  Yay for me.

I also washed the dishes this evening and watched the latest, slightly less interminable, episode of "Hell on Wheels".  This show would probably be much more acceptable to people if it did not follow "The Walking Dead", which is so much more exciting.  I will watch HoW a bit longer, but my interest is seriously waning.

I will be taking a couple of vacation days next week, spending them with my mother in the valley.  Looking forward to that nearly as much as I am to... the 4th annual Bevboy Christmas Tie Extravaganza!  Yes.  A different Christmas tie every work day in December up to December 23rd.  Of course, every day you will see those pictures here on the blog.  Won't that be fun?

See you tomorrow.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Post 1829 - Getting There

I want to note the death of Cub Carson's father.  Cub, of course, is the morning man at Live 105 in Halifax.  My very best to you during this difficult time, Cub.  All the best.

In other news, I spent part of my lunch hour transcribing more of the Jax interview.  I should have finished by now.  I had all the best intentions in the world this weekend.  I certainly planned to work on, even finish, the interview when I was at my mother's this weekend.  But I was hopping so much on Friday and Saturday and especially Sunday that I had no real opportunity to do anything with this interview.   I'm sorry, Jax.  You deserve better.  Will try very hard to be finished by November 30th.

Watched the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead this evening.  Amazing episode.  If you watch the show and haven't seen the episode yet, I won't ruin it for you.  If you don't, I can't imagine how my telling you about the surprise ending would rock your world in the least.  So, just take my word for it.  It was really good.

I have decided to continue with the Bevboy Christmas Tie Extravaganza.  Every day that I work in the month of December up to and including the half day on December 23rd, I will wear a different Christmas tie.  The tie will match closely any shirt and pants that I wear.  I will have to select the clothing properly and carefully.  It will be similar to being a girl.  

You guys have a good evening.

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Post 1828 - A Sad Day

I'm one of the executors for my father's estate.  Today, we sold off the majority of my dad's power tools.

The ones we sold, were ones that my sister and brother-in-law already had newer editions of, and which would be not very useful to me when I am at my mother's.  I don't need a drill press.  The average person doesn't need a 15" auto planer running on 220 volts and I'm at best a below average person.  A snowblower might be nice, but Mom gets a guy to clean the driveway during the Winter, so it's not really necessary.  There were some other things sold, most of which I would never have used and would have to guess at as to their function.

It was a little sad.  I kept expecting Dad to come out of his bedroom and wonder what the Hell was going on, and why we were selling off his stuff.  But, he didn't, and we did.  

After the guys left, I gave the proceeds to another one of the executors, who will deposit the money into the estate bank account tomorrow or the next day.  I returned to my mother's and contemplated my life for a little while.  Newbie kept pouncing on me like I was a rodent to be played with.  I regarded him for a few minutes before I picked him up and put him in the bathroom and got his carrier and stuffed him into it.   He didn't like that very much.  Tough.

15 minutes later, my car packed, I returned to the city.  Patricia greeted me warmly ("Who the Hell are you?  Why did you get your hair cut?"), and we had dinner.  Patricia was watching an interminable Stephen King movie called "1408".  I surfed the web while it prattled on, and then we watched the most recent episode of  "Sons of Anarchy".   Two episodes to go in that fine series.  Almost makes we want to join a motorcycle gang.  Almost.  

It's still early, but I have had a long day, and a sad and stressful one to boot.  I will turn in early.  

See you tomorrow.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Post 1827 - Newbie On Vacay

The end of another day at my mother's. Newbie and I should be heading off to bed shortly.

Oops. He's beaten me to it.

See you tomorrow.

From Bevboy's BlackBerry to BevBoy's Blog!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Post 1826 - Free Wifi

I write these humble, pathetic words at the car place where my ride is getting a new control arm bushing installed.  It has something to do with the driving mechanism and costs $160.  Don't ask  me anything else to avoid embarrassment on my part.  Deal?

I am connecting to a free wifi signal, for which I'm grateful.  It's the only free thing I'll have today.  Everything else is gonna cost me dearly.

I was up until late and rose early, in no small part due to Newbie, who feels it is against the law and offends his very nature for me to sleep in.  He doesn't understand when my days off are and wants me up early every single day.  I will wake him up some day and keep him awake my knocking things over just as he's drifting off. He'll know how it feels then.  Little bastard.

After I leave here, I will go into New Minas.  There is an ongoing mystery at my house.  I am missing something like 10 pairs of socks.  Patricia claims not to have thrown any out unless they were holey beyond description.  Newbie and Cindy refused to look me in the eye when I asked them, so they may have played a role in this.  It doesn't matter as I need these socks very badly.  Patricia doesn't feel comfortable with me wearing her knee highs.  

After that, I will drop off a vhs rewinder to a guy in Wolfville.  He spoke up for one on freecycle on the weekend, and I happened to have one on hand that I didn't want any more.   He gets it, and I am free of one more thing  that I don't want.  Everybody wins.

I have got quite a few things on freecycle: a dvd case, a computer desk, 2 flatbed scanners, several other things.  I have also given away quite a few  things including the first 18 or so James Bond movies on vhs.  Nice to see these things go to a good home.  Let's be honest with each other and state that most of the James Bond movies suck.


Most of the James Bond movies suck.

I feel much better now.

I have a full day planned for myself, and that's not including the myriad of things my mother has planned for me.   I'd better fortify myself with coffee and protein.

See you later.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Post 1825 - A Long Weekend

I'm at my mother's for the weekend, having arrived here a few hours ago.

I brought treats with me. I got a new-to-me flatbed scanner a few weeks ago and I hooked it up to a linux machine tonight. Naturally, linux knew exactly what the model number was instantly and it scanned the thing I asked it to within seconds. Sweet.

It's past midnight and I have to get up fairly early to take my car into the shop and run some errands afterward. It will be a busy day.

See you tomorrow.

From Bevboy's BlackBerry to BevBoy's Blog!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Post 1824 - A Snowy Day

The weather outside was frightful today in Nova Scotia.  The drive in to work was fine, but the drive home tonight was brutal.

The snow hit around 8:30 and continued all day.  I left work a bit early to try to beat the heavy traffic.  The usual route, up Young Street to Bayers Road, was impossible; I found out later that two Metro Transit buses were stuck a few blocks up, unable to move.  I went around the other way, to Robie and then to North and then to the Armdale Roundabout.  Creeping along, inch by inch, I got home within an hour, easily twice as long as it normally takes to get home at night.

I got home and cleaned off the steps.  Patricia took the bus and got home around 6.

I was hoping for a quiet evening at home.

No such luck.

Patricia has long since forgotten the password to her netbook for the purposes of installing updates.  It's a linux computer.  I have spent the last few hours trying to re-install another version of linux.  The install works, but the wireless doesn't work at all.  I have tried many things.  I am about to try a wireless usb key to see if that works.  If it does, I will call it a night.  If it doesn't, my frustration will probably keep me up all night.  I am like a dog with a bone with this stuff.

Tomorrow's Thursday, and I'm off on Friday.  Looking forward to a good break.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Post 1823 - The Early Bevboy - Part Eight

Well, where have you been?

The Early Bevboy series is where I discuss the events of my early life, up to around the age of 25 or so.  If you click on the label associated with this post, you can find all the earlier chapters in this series.

It has been.. 10 months or so since the last edition of the Early Bevboy.  I really must produce more of these, more often, but fate conspires against me.  So does sleep.  And transcribing long, long interviews.

Back in January, I promised that the next post would be about my first bicycle, but I have changed my mind. 

This one goes back to 1985.  May. 

You are looking at  a picture of actress Shirley MacLaine, on the occasion of her graduation from Acadia with an honourary degree in something or other.  People have long since forgotten that she came to Acadia for this honour, all those years ago.  I remember it very well indeed.
I did not take the picture that day, but I was on the campus.  It was the second  "Summer" during which I was working at the university library.  My first 4 month job there, full-time, had been the previous year, 1984.  I had started working there on a part-time basis in 1983.  So impressed by my work was my boss, George Halliwell, that he decided to keep me on full-time the following summer. 
(Yeah.  I had a guaranteed job at a time when lots of students had to scratch to find any work.   Sorry!)

The job was fun if you're a bibliophile like me.  My job with George and Paulette was to put serials/magazines away all day, to compile lists of serials, to tidy up newspapers in the newspaper reading room, to serve the public.  I loved that reading room and was disappointed when, a few years later, it disappeared in the name of building renewal.   But I digress.

On that day in May, 1985, George took his camera, his film camera, and stood on the steps of university hall waiting for Ms. MacLaine to get close enough to get a good picture of her.  I'm told that Mary Hart from Entertainment Tonight was standing not far from him.   George, why didn't you get a picture of Mary Hart as well?  Were you worried that Ann might be jealous?  I mean, really!

(Oh, behind Shirley MacLaine, the bespectacled man is Dr. JRC Perkin, the then-President of Acadia.  The man adjusting his jacket, whose face is partially obscured, is probably Alex Colville, the then Chancellor of Acadia, and the world-famous painter.)

Why did Shirley MacLaine agree to appear at Acadia university in the first place?  This was a year after she had won the Oscar for Best Actress in "Terms of Endearment", one of my fave movies from the early 1980's, and one which I haven't seen in many years.  Why, you ask?
Turns out that, as a little girl, she and her brother, Warren Beatty, had played in Wolfville and been friends with the boy who would grow up to become the Vice President Academic or something at Acadia that day.  She spoke fondly of her time in Wolfville.  I am pretty sure that her mother graduated from Acadia  and those memories of her mother going there and her own times frolicking in town made her feel nostalgic for the place. 

George got the picture, returned to work and made sure I got a copy of the picture he took.  As you can see, I have kept it all these years. 

Over the decades, I have looked at the picture many times, and misplaced it nearly as many times.  It has reminded me, over and over, of the value of an education and my own years as a student there.  They were an admixture of hard work, frustration and exhileration.  I had some good times there.  I had some profoundly crappy times there.  But they were and are my memories and I cherish them more than I dread them.  I guess that's all you can ask for out of a series of recollections such as these.

In recent years, Shirley MacLaine has become more and more shrill in her defence of reincarnation and the equally silly claptrap that goes along with it.  I just like to think of her on that pleasant day in May, 1985, in a small part of the world that welcomed her and made her think of a simpler time. 

That's why I do these silly things, these tales of Bevboy as a younger person.  They remind me of an earlier time when life seemed easier and more carefree.  Life has a way of glossing over the crap in one's life and making one think of the more pleasant aspects of it.  I yearn for those times now, the pre-mortgage days before the years had washed my hair gray and my knees began to hurt going up and down the stairs.  The funny thing is, if I'm still around in 20 years, I'll look back on 2011 as an easier time in my life, and right now, it seems like anything but.

Next time: I will get around to the tale of my first bicycle. 


Monday, November 21, 2011

Post 1822 - A Call For Help

It is 10pm Monday night, and I will be going to bed shortly.

Newbie is scratching at the wall as if he sees something, but I have no idea what it is.

It was a decent day at work.  We returned home, and I took over a box of comic books to a neigbhour up the street.  I took some shit for giving out comics on Hallowe'en, and this lady came to my defense.  I will not be giving out comics ever again, but was happy to give away some to this woman and her family.   It's funny, because I gave away comics for 10 years and never had a problem; but this year, all Hell broke loose.  Whatever.  Next year, we'll go out to dinner and a movie.

I have Friday off work, and already my mother is planning my weekend with her.  I am hoping to be able to get a few hours of sleep here and there.

I want to buy an e-book reader for someone for Christmas.  I am unable to choose between a kindle and a kobo.  Does anybody reading this, in Canada, have any suggestions?  Remember, in Canada, you don't get all of the bells and whistles with either device that you would in the States.  Up here, the kindle is good for reading most of the books offered American customers, for reading wikipedia and the dictionary.  The "experimental browser" doesn't work otherwise.   The kobo has a built-in dictionary, but no other browser capability.

Any suggestions?

Tomorrow is Tuesday, at least up here it is.  In your neck of the woods, maybe some other day of the week follows Monday.  You're lucky if it does.

See you tomorrow!


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Post 1821 - A Lazy Sunday

Today was Patricia's actual birthday, so I made breakfast for her.  It was my patented French toast.  If I haven't made it for you, it's because it's a breakfast dish, and it would be a little creepy if I weren't living with you.

One of my desktop computers spent a few hours today copying mp3's from that computer to a 32gb sd card that I keep in this netbook computer.  It is not the fastest class card, so the best transfer speed was about 1mb a second, so it too a long time to copy over some 16 gb worth of stuff; it was already about half full.

We spent time today catching up on some shows like "Sons of Anarchy" and "Supernatural".  We are caught up now.  So, you don't have to worry.

It has been a crazy lazy day, but after all the running around we did on Saturday, staying home and recharging our batteries certainly felt good.  It precedes returning to work tomorrow morning, which I wish they would do something about.  I mean, why can't some other day of the week follow Sunday, just once in a while?  If, say, Tuesday followed Sunday the odd time, we'd be that much closer to the weekend.  I'm just saying.

Until then, I'll see you tomorrow.




Saturday, November 19, 2011

Post 1820 - The Day Before The Big Day

Here is Patricia blowing out a candle on her dessert following a wonderful lunch at Acton's Cafe in downtown Wolfville, earlier today.

We got up around 8 and drove down there around 8:30.   We went to get some cash and then to the farmer's market.  I bought a scone.  It had a hair in it, and the girl I bought it from gave me my money back and offered me another scone. I opted for a macaroon instead.

Afterward we walked to the Wolfville Animal Hospital to take a look at the cats.  This is where something neat happened.  Patricia was looking at some cats in a cage.  A woman wanted to get past her and excusted herself as she did so.  Patricia looked up and called out a name, and the woman turned around and regarded her.  Turns out that she, and her daughter, lived across the street from us.  Patricia had befriended her last year.  They had moved away without telling her, ending up in Wolfville.   

We had ended up there on the spur of the moment.  So had they.  Through pure happenstance, they ran into each other.  What were the odds?

They talked for quite some time.  We all left together and ended up at EOS Fine Foods.   We stayed for a few minutes before taking our leave.  I gave each of them a business card, and they promised to keep in touch.

We made our way to the main street; we still had 30 minutes to kill before lunch.   We went to the used bookstore on Main Street, Rainbow's End.  The owner had been at Hal-Con the previous weekend, and we talked about that.  I got a book and then it was time to go to Acton's.

I grew up there, but I had never set foot in the place before.  It was wonderful.  I had a salmon dish with a nice salad; Patricia had a seafood hot pot.  We both had dessert, which is why you see that picture of Patricia up there.

After lunch, we wandered around town for another 90 minutes or so, spending time in the New bookstore the Box of Delights.  I tried on Winter boots and heard that Jason Priestley shopped there on a regular basis.  We checked out some other stores in that beautiful town before going to my mother's for a few hours.

Of course, my mother had prepared 2 shopping lists for us.  We went to New Minas to get those groceries.  Behind me at the check out was none other than MP Scott Brison.  I learned something about Scott Brison: He owns jeans.  He was wearing a pair today.  Of course, I gave him a blog business card and he agreed to an interview sometime.   I get that a lot.

We returned to Mom's and watched the evening news before going back to Wolfville.  We got some  hot chocolate at Just Us!  We got some pumpkins and fruit at a stand just off the highway.  And we returned here, arriving around 9:30.

It's been a very  long day, rich with incident.  Tomorrow is her actual birthday, but it was celebrated today.  Tomorrow will feel anticlimactic.

See you tomorrow.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Post 1819 - Friday! At Last!

It is not a cruel prank pulled on me by an equally cruel teenager or anything.  The weekend really is here.

It's Patricia's birthday weekend.  This means that must treat her with kid gloves.  On Saturday morning we will drive down to the Valley for the day.  We will spend hours in Wolfville, a town we both love.  We will have lunch at Acton's Cafe on Main Street before we both go to the craft show at Acadia University, an event I look forward to not at all.

I have already bought her present.  I think she will like it.  I will let you know her reaction tomorrow.

Anyway, eventually, we will drop by my mother's for a couple of hours.  My mother will have a list of things for me to buy for her because, well, she always has a list of things she wants me to buy for her.

We will return to the city tomorrow night and crash, exhausted.

To be repeated on November 20, 2012.

Did I mention it's the weekend?

I can't remember.

See you tomorrow.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Post 1818 - One Day To Go!

It is about 9:30 here at Casa Bevboy.  I will be up for a little while  yet.

I spent the evening in an interesting fashion.  I had downloaded some CBC podcasts excerpted from Halifax's Information Morning.   Every Thursday, they have a feature in which a woman named Dianne Marshall discusses some aspect of Nova Scotia history, usually something to do with Halifax.

I spent about an hour this evening listening to them all.  They talked about the history of some Halifax streets.  Another one was all about the history of the Morse's Tea building in the downtown (there was originally another house on that site!).  The Acadian sign at the Halifax waterfront overlooking George's Island was the backdrop for a discussion about George's Island.

I love NS history.  I could listen to someone talking about it all the time.  I have dozens of books about NS history in my book collection.

I continue to think about the neigbhourhood destroyed in the 1960's in order to allow for the creation of Scotia Square and the  Cogswell Street Exchange.  I wonder why the people displaced by that process don't have a voice the way that the Africville folks do.  Any theories, folks?

Also, I regret not hearing this more often, but Rick Howe has a feature on News 95.7 after 6:30 that is all about local history.  Rick doesn't have the budget that Info Morning does, but he somehow manages to produce excellent content day in and day out.   The various history features are but one example of this.

This Summer, I found a link on the website pointing to an archive of mp3's of previous editions of Rick's show.  A quick look just now revealed that I can't find this treasure trove.  If I do find them, I will link to them, especially the history stuff.

See you tomorrow.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Post 1817 - It Was Twenty Years Ago

Twenty years ago this week, November 14, 1991, I joined Toastmasters.  I had attended my first meeting only the week before.

I don't often discuss TM here on this blog.  I think it is because, in the early years, I over sold it to anyone who would listen, like I was selling Amway or something.  I am confident, confident  in the way I am sanguine that my fly is up when I leave the men's room, that I alienated and pissed off more people by going on and on about TM than I would have had I remained nearly silent about it.

Instead, people just get the sense that I am in Toastmasters.  I mention it in passing at work from time to time, and word gets around.  I recently brought in about a dozen copies of the official Toastmasters magazine to my work, leaving them in the kitchen for folks to read.  Most of them had my mailing address and name on them.  They have disappeared from the kitchen, so the word is getting around.

Please put them back in the kitchen, by the way, if you don't mind.  I want everyone to be able to read these magazines, not just you.   Thank you.

I joined TM, 20 years ago, because of my extreme shyness.  It was a challenge for me to speak up at any time about anything.  An alpha male, I was not.

A woman at my work was already a member.  She sent out an email to the branch about the club and invited anyone who wanted to go, to come as a guest.  I took her up on the offer.  That was November 7, 1991.  I was so taken by the meeting, so captivated by the content, so wrapped up in what I heard and saw, that I decided to join after that first meeting.

I have had my ups and down with TM over the years.  There have been a few people who tried my nerves and tested my resolve and stretched my patience in ways that I cannot politely explain.  A couple of times I came extremely close to quitting.  But, I'm still there.

More than once, I have wondered why I have spent so many years in this organization.  I have done nearly everything in it that a person can do, unless I turned around and did them all again, which lots of people do.  Most people last perhaps a couple of years in Toastmasters before the pressures of a burgeoning family, or work, or some combination of the things I just listed, conspire to force a person to quit.  I don't have children, and my work doesn't care what I do at night, so I can spend the time every Wednesday night going to my meeting.

People have asked me why I have been a member of TM for so long.  I tell them that, almost without exception, I feel better after a meeting, even a long and grueling one, than I went going in.  I can't tell you the number of times I have had a crappy day at work, or I am feeling poorly, or my lethargy and inertia gang up on me and try to entice me not to attend.  As best as I can, I ignore these entreaties; and nearly every time, after a meeting is over, I feel better, sometimes remarkably better.  TM is a very cheap drug. It's good for you.  And I don't tell it I love it, nearly often enough.

We meet every Wednesday night at 5:45 at the World Trade and Convention Centre in downtown Halifax.  If you are interested in more information, feel free to ask me about it, and I will tell you all about it.

It has the Bevboy Seal of Approval.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Post 1816 - Two Days In

Still not feeling all that well tonight, but at least I didn't sleep the entire  night away  like I did Monday night.

I spent more than an hour this evening washing the dishes.  Great fun as always.  Imagine my delight when I discovered a piece of chicken in the oven, in a pyrex dish, that had been there for far too long.  The chicken was thrown out; the pyrex dish is soaking in the sink.

I finally went downstairs around 8pm.  Before I watched this week's "The Walking Dead", I figured out the password to my wireless router and played around with some of the settings.  Then, I watched The Walking Dead.

Came up here and watched a bit more tv.

Now, Newbie is reclining and looking at me with that cat look of his.  He wants to turn in.

Sounds like a good idea.

See you tomorrow.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Post 1815 - A Day Later

Felt crappy at work today. Decided to take a nap after work this evening and slept for 5 hours. Think I'm coming down with something.

See you tomorrow.

From Bevboy's BlackBerry to BevBoy's Blog!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Post 1814 - Hal-Con Memories

I am back home from the second day of Hal-Con.  I had a wonderful time.

I attended one of the last Hal-Con's, first series, back around 1996.  It was no fun at all, especially since Wolfcon in the Annapolis Valley earlier that year had been so much more enjoyable.  Hal-Con that year was listless with few guests and crappy panels.  The space set aside for the event was one section of one floor of the Lord Nelson Building in the downtown.

This year, they had 2 floors of the World Trade and Convention Centre.  As sprawling as that space was, there were times this weekend when I could barely move from one section to another.  I am not sure what they will do next year.  If it keeps growing in size, they will have to house the event in yet another location.  Exhibition Park, perhaps?

I was able to meet Robert Maillet and Drakaina Muse and Debbie Rochon, of whom I am rapidly becoming a fan.  She was a great delight to meet, and took the time to speak with me for a few minutes.  It became one of the blog posts for last evening.  I bought one of her dvd's today, and I will probably have to watch it on my own in case Patricia doesn't like that kind of extreme horror film that Debbie does.

I met Mike and the other guys from Where Monsters Dwell, an honest-to-frig radio show that's done out of New Brunswick every Wednesday night.  It's about genre stuff, with a focus on comics.  It becomes a podcast after the broadcast.  I have to check it out!

I sat thisclose to Nicholas Brendon this afternoon, when I went into the media room for a moment to rest my legs.   Remember, I had a media pass, courtesy of my friend Shane Wilson.  One other volunteer told him how much he had enjoyed him in "Buffy", so I said "likewise".  I was told not to ambush the guests for fear of being evicted from the place, or else I would have approached him for an interview.

I saw folks in the SCA, the Society for Creative Anachronism.  They're the ones who participate in medieval jousts and fights and so on.  These guys are pretty passionate about what they do, and how they do it.

I saw lots of pretty girls this weekend, too.  These cons are an excuse for young women to dress in a way that is distracting for many men, although those men know better than to do something about those thoughts.

Let's see here. I met the creative team behind "Kills Shakespeare", a very popular comic that I have to try out.  I heard that I'm not the only one who finds The Walking Dead comic book a gasping, wheezing bore, which is vindicating.

I saw Rhys, the actor who taught the improvisational acting course I took in 2004.  He flattered me by telling me he remembered me.  I got pictures of him dressed as post-apocalyptic druid or something.

I saw my friend Floyd today.  She, of course, is half of the Live 105 morning team, recently voted best morning show by the readers of The Coast newspaper.  Richly deserved, and I had a chance to tell Floyd that today.  She also posed for me, which was kind of her.

And, of course, I attended the Space channel panel.  It was great to see Teddy Wilson, Ajay Fry, and Cynthia Loyst up close and personal.  I managed to sit in the front row and to give a Bevboy's Blog business card to the producer who came here from Toronto.  Monday night's edition of Innerspace will be all about Hal-Con, so you should watch it.  You may even see a certain blogger.  I doubt it, but you never know.

I will wrap this up by stating that Halifax was clearly starved for this type of event.  There are lots of SF, horror, anime, steampunk, comics fans around here, and to see many of them all in one place again, after all these years, was a true delight.  I am already looking forward to next  year's con, and I hope by then to have found a way to get Patricia more interested in this material.  Hope is not lost.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a Debbie Rochon dvd to watch.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Post 1813 – Interview With Actress Debbie Rochon

November 12, 2011



Patricia and I were wondering around Hal-Con Saturday afternoon and I decided to introduce myself to Debbie Rochon, renowned horror actress.   I recorded the following conversation.

Bevboy: Debbie Rochon, welcome to Bevboy’s Blog.

Debbie Rochon: Thank you for having me.

BB: You’ve done over 200 movies.

DR: Yes, I have.

BB: What was your first film?

DR: My very first film, I was an extra in 1981 in Vancouver, in a movie called, “Ladies And Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains”. 

BB: You must DSCF4945-1have been 2 years old.

DR: I was not 2 years old, but very close. 

BB: All right.

DR: In ‘84, I moved to New York City, and spent 25 years there.  By the late ‘80‘s, I was starting to get Extra work, or Under Five work.  Over the years, I worked up to feature roles, leading roles.  And, now, at this point, I’ve done over mostly Indie horror films.  Underground stuff.

BB: What is the lowest budget movie you’ve ever worked on?  The one where you had to cash the check that day, for fear it would bounce?

DR: Oh, please.  Well, those are 2 questions.  I would say the lowest budget was $10 000.  I want to address the other part of your question.  Never mind cash the check.  I didn’t change quick enough to go down and get my cash.  They were paying everybody in cash before they left.  I ran upstairs, got out of my costume, ran downstairs to get my few dollars, in cash.  They were DSCF4953-1gone!  Long gone.  It’s rough out there, folks.  It’s rough. 

BB: Did that movie actually come out? 

DR: Unfortunately. 

BB: Did you see it and say, “Damn!  I never got paid for that.”?

DR: Yes.  Exactly. 

BB: You’re in the Screen Actor’s Guild, are you not?

DR: I’m Fi-Core now.  I used to be SAG; but now I’m Fi-Core, which means I can do both union and non-union.  I just can’t get retirement funds and health care, which I wasn’t getting anyway.  But, I was missing a lot of really cool work.  So, I decided to go Fi-Core.  [Bevboy note: Here’s a link explaining the difference between full SAG membership and Fi-Core.  Here’s another one explaining why Jon Voight, Angelina Jolie’s father, went Fi-Core]. 

BB: You just won an award?  What was that?

DR: Yes.  It was best actress in a short film.  It was a 30 minute film based upon Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell Tale Heart”.  It screened at Buffalo Screams American NightmareFilm Festival in Buffalo.  It was very, very exciting.  It won Best Short, Best Director, Best Editor.  It was a real nice sweep.  It says a lot about the entire production of the short.  I was very proud of it. 

[She shows Bevboy a picture from the film, which hasn’t been released yet.  Bevboy forgot to get a picture of it.]

BB: Oh, my God.  Look at you!  You look like Sabrina on Charlie’s Angels. 

DR: [laughs]  I know.  It’s like psychotic and flattering, all at the same time.  But, it’s a very, very interesting take on the Poe story.  I couldn’t be more proud. 

BB: Do you have any input into your make up, or how you present yourself on camera? 

DR: Well, I have a lot to say about what I do as a character.  In a movie like this, I have such an incredible group of people I work with, I don’t need to.  But, sometimes, you must.  Like, sometimes, you’ll find yourself in a situation where it’s just absolutely wrong for the character, not how you could play it.  I’m not talking about the wardrobe or make up artist or the director.  Then you fight for what’s best for the character.  You find yourself Color From the Darkdoing that a lot.  In this particular short, everybody was on the same page. 

BB: Well, I could talk to you all day, but but other people are lined up to talk to you. 

DR: Yeah!  Bring them on!  You’ve got Freddie Krueger behind you.  He knows where to go.  He’s the man. 

BB: OK.  One other question.  What film are you most proud of? 

DR: That’s a tough question.  I’ll try to be succinct.  “Tell Tale Heart” is definitely one of them, without a doubt.  Full-length feature wise, there’s a couple coming out that are probably going to be right up there.  I haven’t seen them yet.  But, “Color From the Dark” I’m extremely proud of.  It’s based on H.P.  Lovecraft’s story.  It was shot in Italy.  Amazing, amazing work by everybody.  It’s a fantastic movie. 

“American Nightmare”... There’s a lot of movies I’m really proud of, but those are right near the top. 

BB: Of the DVD’s I see here, which one would a novice to your acting would be the most beneficial to watch? 

DR: Well, if you like serious horror,The Good Sisters it would be “Color from the Dark”, or “American Nightmare”.  If you wanted to get a quick education on my work with Troma, it would be “Debbie Rochon Confidential: My Years in Tromaville Exposed.”  If you want a Witch Sexy Witchy movie, it would be “The Good Sisters”. 

BB: In other words, all of them. 

DR: Yes.  There’s something for everybody.  We have a super hero movie.

BB: Oh!  The Toxic Avenger! 

DR: That’s part four.  I’m in that.  We got a little bit of camp with Gunnar Hansen: Hellblock 13.  We’re together.  I like to think that I have something for everybody.


Bevboy Note: Thank you for your time, Debbie.  If you want to check out Debbie’s website, here is the link to it.

Post 1812 – Interview With Actor Robert Maillet


November 12, 2011

Robert Maillet, star of 300, and Sherlock Holmes, and The Immortals, and so many other films, was in Hal-Con.  He was signing autographs for folks, but Shane Wilson was so moved by my interview with him that he introduced me to him.  The following was recorded for your reading pleasure.

Bevboy: Robert Maillet, welcome to DSCF4896-1Bevboy’s Blog!

Robert Maillet: Thank you. 

BB: I have one question for you.  It’s something I read about Bruce Lee many years ago.  He was afraid to go out socially with his friends because people always approached him and tried to pick fights.  I wonder, as a big, strapping guy like yourself, if you have ever had that problem?

RM: I never had an issue.  I did work as a doorman, so sometimes.

BB: That’s different.

RM: Yes.  That’s different.  But, normally, no.  They approach me, and buy me beer.  They want to be DSCF4927-1friends with me. 

BB: They never try to pick a fight with you.

RM: No.  Nobody’s tried to pick a fight with me.  I don’t have the attitude of fighting somebody.  I treat people pretty good.  So far, so good.  No fights.

BB: I hope you’re having fun at Hal-Con. 

RM: I am.

BB: Excellent.  Thank you very much!

Post 1811 – Interview With Drakaina Muse


November 12, 2011

Drakaina Muse read my Shane Wilson interview and left a comment on the blog on November 11th.  I had to tell Patricia.  Eventually. 

Shane kindly introduced me to Drakaina, and I recorded the following brief conversation. 

Danke, Shane.


Bevboy: I’m here at Hal-Con with the lovely and talented Drakaina Muse.  How are you doing today?

Drakaina Muse: I’m fine, BB.  How are you doing?

BB: Fine.  Did I say your name DSCF4909-1correctly?

DM: You said it perfectly.  It’s so rare.

BB: How do people usually pronounce it?

DM: DraKEENA.  It’s hard for everybody to say it.  They never know because it’s such a weird name.  But it’s just Drakaina.

BB: What made you decide to Halifax your home, considering your international appeal?

DM: Well, I came here 5 years ago.  Somebody told me, “Your career is doing great.  You rock.  You should come here to Canada, especially Halifax, because the industry is booming.” 

BB: I didn’t know that!

DM: And then she sold it to me, saying, “And, it’s hot all the time.”  I’m coming from the South of France.  To me, hot is hot.  I got here in the middle of Summer.  Everybody’s wearing shorts and little t-shirts.  I’m wearing my Winter jacket.  But, I fell in love with the people.  That’s why I stayed.  I love it here.  I’ve got a quiet life: A nice house with a white picket fence.  I’ve got my busy Drakaina life all around it.  I travel all around.  But, I can come home to a quiet place with friendly neighbors. 

BB: How many of your neighbors know that you have this alter ego? 

DM: Actually, since I did the cover of Frank Magazine in July [2011], pretty much everybody.  [laughs]  We just moved in, in April.  In July, it came out.  I flew to San Diego for the ComicCon.  I came back; and all my neighbors were like, “You created DSCF4914-1such a stir!”  I dodged a bullet.  I flew the day the article came out. 

“You made the cover of Frank Magazine!”

“So, you’re amused?”


“Are you going to throw me away?”

“No.  Welcome!  We love what you do.” 

BB: So, they’ve been accepting of you, rather than be, “Oh, my  God!  Get her out of here!” 

DM: No. Not at all.  Not one of them. 

BB: Is there a particular artist you have not worked with, with whom you would like to work?

DM: I’d love to work with Boris Vallejo. 

BB: I’ve seen some of his work.  That would be a good move for you.

DM: Other than that, your muse doesn’t really work that way.  They come to me.  I don’t really seek them out.  I’ve been fortunate enough to have had 400 artists come to me.  I’m ok.  I welcome all the artists that want to come work with me.  I’ve been here for 10 years.  I’m happy with everything I’ve got.  I’m happy with all the people I’ve met, whether they’re painters, photographers, movie directors.  I’m happy.  I don’t have any special wish.  I welcome them all. 

BB: Excellent.  Thank you!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Post 1810 - A Productive Day

I type these humble, pathetic, sub-par words, on the HP Desktop computer I bought new in 2009.  Until last evening, this was the computer that was running Windows Vista, and which was driving me crazy.  As recently as last evening, it was trying to do yet another update and backout.  No more!

I installed a fork of Ubuntu called Easy Peasy.  I like it a lot.  After the install on Thursday night, it began to download the hundreds of megabytes of updates that had come into being since the software first came out.  Unfortunately, the download speeds around these here parts are so poor that it took quite some time to download them all.  After that, they would automatically install themselves.

So I went to bed.

We got a near-record amount of rain here over the last 24 hours.  It was so intense that the power went off.

Before the updates could be fully installed.

I was in a situation where the computer could not fully install the updates.  It would not let me do a partial install.  This forced me to decide to re-install Easy Peasy and download and install the updates, a second time.

So, I did.

Works much better now, except that Picasa disappeared from the list of software I could use.  I re-installed it from the picasa website only to discover that the it was already installed.  This prodding on my part made Picasa re-appear, as mysteriously as it had gone.  Thanks to Kevin, I instructed Picasa to ignore updates to certain folders on my computer.

The computer runs so much better now.  It is hard to describe.  I will give one example, though.  I have a fairly old flatbed scanner here.  I don't use it much and don't need to spend the money to get a new scanner.  Getting it to work under Vista was an adventure.  This Canon scanner did not have the necessary drivers to work under that wonderful operating system.  I found that another set of drivers for another brand of scanner was compatible with the ones native to this scanner, so I downloaded them and it worked.

After I installed Easy Peasy, I wanted to scan something in, so I decided to run the scanning software that comes with it.  I did not have high hopes, but much to my surprise, Easy Peasy/Ubuntu knew the exact model of scanner I have and dutifully scanned in the 2 things I asked it to.  It was a simple matter to crop the image.  This was before where I saw the option to specify the size of the image to scan in the first place.  Easy Peasy!

I am including an image I scanned in this afternoon using that cool scanning tool.

I downloaded a new photo management app called F-Spot earlier; and one of the things it's doing is importing all the images I have, copying all the images in my "Pictures" photo to a new "Photos" folder. Don't know why it needs its own folder.  I probably don't need it since Picasa is working again.   It's a puzzler.

Tomorrow will be a busy day.  Hal-Con is here.  I have selected the panels I want to attend and sent a short list of people I want to meet to the media co-ordinator, my friend Shane Wilson.  Looking forward to tomorrow and the next day.

Don't worry.  I will live tweet it.

See you tomorrow.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Post 1809 - A Good Meal

You're looking at a picture of the menu for the coolest sushi place I have ever been to.

"Fresh Happy Healthy Sushi" is in Bayers Lake, I think.  I am not all together sure where Bayers Lake ends.  It is definitely on Lacewood.  It's in Lacewood Square, the same complex that houses a Smitty's and a Pizza Hut and other places. On the same side of the road as Home Depot.

It is an all-you-can-eat sushi place.  You go in. They give you a sheet of paper that has the names of all the items on the agenda. You use a supplied pen to indicate which items you want, and in what quantity. They provide the victuals, and you eat them.

Like I said, it is all-you-can-eat, but if have to be careful about that.  If you do not eat all the food you order, they add the cost of that item to your food bill.  Otherwise, there is one price that you pay per adult.

They have appetizers.  They have sashimi.  They have sushi.  They have sushi rolls.  They have hand rolls.  They have desserts.  We had some of each.

The appies consisted of the only item we didn't like: grilled egg plant.  It was slimy, and my chop sticks had a hard time picking up the pieces.  The effort wasn't worth it, as we didn't like it very much.  Salty and slimy and tasteless. Everything else was marvelous.  We loved the chicken terayaki.  The hand rolls (cucumber and crab) were so good I had to order a couple extra ones and wouldn't let Patricia have any.  The sushi rolls were sublime, warm and moist.  The rice held everything together just long enough for the chopsticks to carry the sushi to my mouth.  I was disappointed when my 6 pieces were gone.  The fried dumplings were so good that I wish we had ordered more.

We didn't go for the soup.  Miso soup doesn't do much for me.  Other soups didn't appeal to us, so we opted for the chicken fried uden instead.  Patricia doesn't like those fat noodles, but I did see her go for seconds.  Hypocrite.

Before long, we had eaten our fill, but we both wished we had a hollow appendage into which to stuff more sushi.  We finished off with a small bowl each of green tea ice cream.  We looked up and noticed that the joint had become very full, very fast.  There was a line up to get in.  This is not an obscure place after all.  It is apparently trendy.

The final bill, with tax and gratuity, was about $55. A very good deal considering how good the food was.

If you like sushi, if you want to eat as much of it as your gut can process, then get your rear end to this sushi place.   You will love it.

See you tomorrow.  Will discuss kicking Windows Vista to the curb.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Post 1808 - A Decision

I have been telling you, complaining to you, railing to you, about the desktop computer in my home office, the one that "runs" Vista.  It doesn't actually run.  It crawls.  It wheezes.  It takes its sweet time.  It goes into near-daily updates that get backed out.

The computer is not fun to use.

The problem is, I have 1000's of files on it, pictures and videos and songs, that must be backed up.

When I got home from Toastmasters this evening, I sat down to back up those files.  The songs were already mostly backed up, so I went on to the pictures.  8 of the nearly 13000 had too-long filenames (including the path), so I skipped over those.  I will try to find those few tomorrow and export them.

The Bevboy's blog stuff?  The pictures and videos and the precious audio files?  I backed those up a few minutes ago.

Still to back up: some odds and sods.  Probably 30 minutes of work.

I stopped for the evening a short time ago.  I am turning in shortly.  But as I tried to power down the computer, it went into  one of those bloody update routines that are driving me crazy.

Possibly as early as Thursday night, I will install ubuntu on that machine.  I cannot wait to get Vista off that computer.  Can't.  Wait.

I will enjoy this.  I may pop some popcorn, drink a small beer, and sit there with my pants down, while the old OS goes away and something more efficient goes in its place.

Tomorrow night.  My place.  Bye-bye, Vista!

See you there?


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Post 1807 - Zzz

Been sleeping all night. Woke up a short while ago. It's past midnight.

Spent my lunch time on Tuesday transcribing pieces of the Jax interview. May finish within a week. Hope to.

After work we went to Costco. I got Stephen King's newest novel there. It is called "11/22/63", and it's about a guy who finds a portal to the past and tries to prevent the assassination of JFK.

Time was, I'd automatically buy everything King put out, as soon as it came out. Over the years, his books became more of a chore to read, and I began not to read them, but still bought them. Eventually. I became content to buy just a used paperback. The last couple of years, I have been buying new King paperbacks.

I found a used hard cover of "Under the Dome" this year. It came out 2 years ago and, afaik, there has never been a mmpb of it. I don't know why, but since I got the HC for 9 bucks, I don't care much.

I have nearly everything King has written, going back many years. This new one intrigued me enough that I wanted it right away, hence my purchase of it this evening.

I'll let you know what I think of it, because I know how much you care.
See you tomorrow.

From Bevboy's BlackBerry to BevBoy's Blog!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Post 1806 – Interview With Hal-Con’s Shane Wilson


November 3, 2011

Shane Wilson and I met for lunch on November 3rd at the Timberlea Beverage Room. It was the first time Shane had been there. He ordered the clubhouse sandwich, noting that it is very difficult to mess up a clubhouse sandwich. Obviously, he hasn't been to some of the dives I've been to.

This section of our conversation is about Shane's interest in Science Fiction and Fantasy and Hal-Con. The remainder of our discussion, about his career in radio and television, will be published at a later date.

Please tell me about your interest in science fiction/fantasy, and how that dovetailed into being so heavily involved in this iteration of Hal-Con. Hal-Con goes back probably about 20 years.

Shane Wilson: It does. I don't know much about the original crew. I can't really comment on that. But, personally, I've been a Science Fiction fan since I remember being a fan of anything.

It started out with the original Star Trek, Captain Kirk and crew. It just morphed from there into reading a lot of Isaac Asimov, a lot of just pulp science fiction.

Bevboy: Throw out some other names of authors whom you like.

SW: Arthur Clarke. Spider Robinson.

BB: I have a whole bunch of Spider Robinson books. DSCF4844

SW: A lot of younger people won't know that name. You and I are of the same vintage.

BB: He lived in Nova Scotia for years and years.

SW: He did. Who else? Let's see.

BB: Harlan Ellison?

SW: Harlan Ellison. Douglas Adams. I'm a huge, massive, Douglas Adams fan. It started with "Hitchhiker's Guide", like everybody else. I worked my way through everything he ever did. It even reached the point where I was searching through "Doctor Who" episodes that he'd written just to stay with Douglas Adams.

Those are the greats. And, then, there are a lot of smaller authors that I can't remember right now.

That started there. It went to Star Trek: The Next Generation. I was working for MITV, which is now Global. I was doing sports under A.J. Walling. One of the most exciting parts of my job was that Saturday, after all the sporting events were over, and my tape was cut, I could go into the Production Room, take the Beta tape of Star Trek: The Next Generation that hadn't run yet, and sit in the studio and watch it.

People say, "Oh, you were on tv. That's really exciting." It was great. But, my big memory was sitting in the studio watching Star Trek: The Next Generation before anyone else in the Maritimes.

BB: How far back does your love for Science Fiction/Fantasy go? You mentioned you got your first radio when you were a little kid. Were you reading by the radio back then?

SW: [Chuckles] Well, I do remember listening to "War of the Worlds". That was part of that Science Fiction love. I don't really remember. It's like it's almost been a part of me forever. Which is very strange, because my brother is not a Science Fiction person; my parents aren't Science Fiction people at all. It was just something that grabbed DSCF4859me for some reason. I needed more.

BB: What authors do you read today?

SW: Not much, sadly. You could probably have a look at the Hal-Con site and see the authors. I've read most of them because I'm trying to sell the con. I need to keep up with them. But, really, I have so little time to sit and read. I did just get an e-reader.

BB: Which one?

SW: I got a Coby.

BB: How is it so far?

SW: I love it. I've been using it to learn Android, to learn the system, to learn the OS, so that I know what's going on within my machine. Some management e-books. Some health and safety e-books right now. I'm going to move into what I love. It's just a matter of time; I find it very convenient. It's not 5 books to carry around. What I'm in the mood for, I can get my e-reader and read it. But, right now, it's work-related stuff, generally.

BB: What made you choose a Kobo over a Kindle?

SW: A Coby was on kijiji for 80 dollars. It's a used one. I wanted to start used because I just wanted to get a feel for it. It's my first Android device. It's my first introduction to the Android tablet, so I wanted to start cheap and see if I liked it. My next one will be a 10 inch Acer, 3.2.

BB: Is it colour?

SW: Yes. It's capacitive screen. It's a high end Android device. Hopefully for Christmas, nudge! nudge! wink! wink! to anybody that loves me.

BB: All right. Let's talk about Hal-Con. Hal-Con goes back.. it's got to be 20 years. Did you have any involvement with them, back in the day?

SW: No. I went to Hal-Con once, back in the day. But, that was about it.

BB: They were at the Lord Nelson.

SW: That was one of their venues.

BB: We went to Hal-Con in 1996 or something, quite a while ago, and we were not very impressed because we had been to Wolf Con in the Annapolis Valley, which was a lot more fun. I was a little surprised to see Hal-Con come back, but delighted to see it happen.

SW: And hugely successful. I think the reason for that, and I don't know a whole lot about the history but just an overview, is that the original Hal-Con lost its community base. It lost its community feel. Whereas, if you walked through the doors at Wolf Con, you were with your people. It didn't matter if you were an Anime fan or a Star Trek fan or a Fantasy fan or a Horror fan, you were with your people in this very welcoming, open environment.

I think the original Hal-Con turned into a business. Which is fine. There's is nothing wrong with monetizing anything. But, when the business of it creeps into the atmosphere, I think it becomes less attractive, especially to the geek community that was there then. There wasn't "Big Bang Theory". There wasn't a popularization of being a geek or a nerd or a Sci Fi fan, an Anime freak or a Steampunk. There wasn't that general acceptance of that. And, I think people like Steve Jobs have made geek into something that's cool and mainstream. Parsons on "Big Bang Theory" is a huge star. How much more of an antisocial, typical geek and nerd is that character? And, the character is huge.

I think Hal-Con has come in at a point where there's a huge demand and a wider audience. I think what the board was able to do last year was really have that welcoming community. Everybody comes here and we know who they are. If you're a Doctor Who fan, you can come and talk to other Doctor Who fans in real life, DSCF4874not online. You can break down episodes, Tom Baker episodes to your heart's content. I think that community and that welcoming got lost on the old Hal-Con. I think that's why interest dried up.

It was the time period, too. Geek wasn't cool.

BB: Geek wasn't chic

SW: Geek was not chic.

BB: Is that why you think Hal-Con came back? Geek became chic?

SW: No. Not originally. I think the original board members (we call them the Original Six) had a passion. They said, "You know what? We're the biggest city in Atlantic Canada. We don't have a convention. Newfoundland's got a convention. New Brunswick's had a small one. PEI's had a small one. But, here we are, the centre of it, and we have nothing. I think, really, honestly, they did it for themselves, and hoped that some people would show up.

Well, people showed up. They were expecting 800 people; 1400 people crammed into the Lord Nelson Hotel. And, the Lord Nelson was an amazing venue for it, but it's just too small. There were line ups for the zombie talks.

BB: I want to go this year.

SW: Alex Hall is awesome. We have 2 this year. We have one with the incomparable Alex Hall, which will be the Zombie Survival Guide. Then we have one with Joni Crocker, which will have a more scientific and thoughtful approach to zombies. It will be really interesting. It will really appeal to the people who are going, "Apocalypse! Guns!", and to the folks that are like, "Hmm. This is interesting on a more intellectual level."

"Zombies"? "Intellectual"? Can you put those words together?

BB: Well, we just did.

SW: So, I think the Original Six of this incarnation did it for themselves in hopes that people would show up so that they could pay for it. I think that's what made it a success, and made it that community atmosphere.

BB: What are the expectations this year, in terms of attendance?

SW: We're expecting to double last year's, at least. We've got 24000 plus square feet right now, as opposed to 1200 last year. We have 2 floors of the World Trade and Convention Centre. We had pretty much all of the Lord Nelson last year. They were awesome. I really want to that to get in, because they were incredible, and we'd stay there. The only complaint we got last year was, "I couldn't get to anything." Nobody could get to anything because it was so crowded.

We're actually hoping to double the 1400 from last year. We've tripled our vendor space. We have more guests. We've brought in more authors this year. The Klingons are doing their annual KAG event, at Hal-Con this year. That's why J.G. Hertzler's in town. He was Martok from Deep Space Nine. He's in town for that, and it's all come together really well. They're having their annual convention, and we're having Hal-Con.

We've got a huge Warhammer tournament. Steve Jackson's coming in.

BB: The Steve Jackson.

SW: The Steve Jackson. In the gaming world, he is the man. He's been at it for 30 years. He's been at the top of the pile for 30 years. He knows his stuff. He's introducing some new products with us. That's really exciting.

Nicholas Brendon, Xander from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

BB: I want to meet him.

SW: It's really exciting to have him. We've got Erin Gray from Buck Rogers. The story about Erin Gray is fascinating. She runs Heroes for Hire, which is a casting agency for people that do cons. We asked her to come for 2 reasons. First, because we're trying to appeal to an older demographic. We want as wide an audience as possible. Our generation, we remember Colonel Deering. Also, she has insights into Hollywood and into building a business out of this niche that we wanted people to hear that we know people are interested [in hearing].

We've got the Steampunks in this year. We had a great Steampunks costume contest last year.

BB: My understanding of Steampunk is that it is Science Fiction but from an Old West perspective. I think of the Wild, Wild West [or Cowboys and Aliens]

SW: That was Steampunk, yes, but it’s so much more.

BB: It's quite a thriving subgenre of Science Fiction, isn't it?

SW: It's very thriving. They had their Time Travellers' Ball last weekend. It was sold out within days. The place was packed. We had media there. It was great. That group approached us, and we approached them. It was a real match made in Heaven.

Of course, we have Drakaina Muse. She really is a Muse for fantasy artists.

BB: Can I meet her?

SW: Yes, you can.

BB: Sweet.

SW: She was with us last year. She lives in Halifax now. She's internationally famous. If you're a Fantasy fan, you have seen drawings of her. Period.

BB: Can she walk around downtown Halifax in anonymity?

SW: If she wasn't a six foot beautiful blonde woman, she could walk around without being noticed. But, no, she has anonymity for sure here in Halifax.

Wow. Who else? Fat Apollo. He's a guy, Mike McClusky, a local guy involved in Geeks VS Nerds, who showed up at Hal-Con last year as Fat Apollo, taken from Battlestar: Galactica. He was such a hit that we brought him back as a guest this year.

There's so much going on. It's hard to remember everything that's going on. If you're a fan, there's something here for you. There's Anime art. It's an incredible thing. And, for me, it's been such an honour to have been invited to join the board.

BB: I don't want to get too much into the cost factor. It's none of my business. But, how do you devise a budget that says, "We can afford to pay X dollars to bring this person from their home in California?" Pay them a stipdend for coming?

SW: A stipend?

BB: An appearance fee?

SW: Somebody like Patrick Stewart (I'm just pulling a number out, but it's close) is about $28000 for a weekend. Plus expenses. But, when you have the budget to bring Patrick Stewart in, that will bring vast quantities of people in to buy tickets.

We don't have thatDSCF4885 kind of budget, which I think is good, because it forced us to pick and choose not just the big names, but the people that we know others are interested in. Maybe they're not the Patrick Stewart's or Brent Spiner's, or the new incarnation of Doctor Who.

BB: Not David Tennant.

SW: No. Although, he's expensive, too. So, it's forced us to really think about it and really pick and choose whom we bring in and try to appeal to the widest audience we can.

If you take a look at the website, there's everything from local comic book artists to Steve Jackson. It's a wide range of people, and that's what having a little budget forced us to do.

BB: I've always wondered about that. How do you raise the funds? It must be expensive to float these costs and hope you get reimbursed on the ticket side.

SW: It is. The Original Six spent 3 years, fundraising. Bagging groceries. Doing films for whatever people wanted to pay. They worked really hard to get the nest egg to get the first con going. We came out of the first con with $10000 left to invest in this year. That's great. It allowed us to put deposits down on all these folks, and on the venue, which is incredibly expensive. The World Trade Centre is not cheap. It's an amazing venue. We're not complaining. They earn the money, but it's not cheap. So, it allowed us to make those plans to make it all happen this year.

And then, this year, we’re skin-of-the-teeth, and hoping that everybody who is even vaguely interested, or who just wants to see a modern day... freakshow? I don’t want to use that word because of the connotations of the past. But the people who go to Hal-Con, want to be seen. The man who spent the last year building an Iron Man costume, with moving parts, metal and plastic and rubber, wanted to be seen. It’s a freakshow, but the people who are on display, want to be on display.

BB: I look at these people who dress up like that, and people ridicule them; but on the other side, you have these sports fans who paint their faces and go to the games. I don’t think there’s a whole lot of difference. It’s a different passion.

SW: Go to a CFL game in November with no shirt on because you want to paint your team’s logo on your chest.

BB: That’s just as extreme and passionate, just a different channel.

SW: Exactly.

BB: OK. What is your role with Hal-Con?

SW: I am the Director of Media Relations. It seems to make sense, from my background.

BB: What does a Director of Media Relations do?

SW: I try to get people interested in covering us, coming down to see us. This year, I can’t really talk about it, but we’ve got a couple of big Canadian television shows coming in to shoot spots at Hal-Con. This year, Space is coming. Ajay Fry is coming. Their crew is coming. They’re going to be doing hits from Hal-Con. They were there last year. Loved us. Loved what we did. They’re actually coming as Space, but also as guests and fans. It’s great to have them and their support. That station is the gel that holds a lot of the geek communities together, if you ignore DSCF4839the online world of forums and that kind of thing.

BB: I’ve been watching Space since they went on the air.

SW: Me too. Did I answer your question?

BB: Anything else you want to add about Hal-Con?

SW: I’m so excited to be awake for 72 hours. Last year, I was able to leave. This year, I’m a member of the Board of Directors. I’ll be there, and the Board, the committees, the volunteers, are all involved to make this happen. I’m proud of us. It’s great.

If you have any interest at all in Science Fiction, Fantasy, Anime, Horror, come down and pop in. Get your tickets now. They are going fast.

BB: There is a finite number of tickets?

SW: Just because of fire laws. We could only fit so many people in the World Trade and Convention Centre.

Thank you. I appreciate that.

BB: My pleasure.

Check out Hal-Con on November 12th and 13th, 2011 at the World Trade and Convention Centre, in Halifax.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Post 1805 - Done

I just sent 3000 words about Hal-Con to Shane Wilson.  There's a good chance that you will see this discussion here Monday evening.

After this I will resume transcribing the Jax interview, and then go back to Shane's interview and try not to forget about Katey Day.  Julia Kirkey is booked for later on this month.  Jordi Morgan has received my proposed interview questions.

My dance card is full.  Very full.

Selling off my father's tools was postponed today.  It will happen later on this month.

I enjoyed my weekend in the Valley.  As usual, it was hard to return to the city this afternoon.  But my life is here, and while that is hard to accept sometimes, denying reality is never a good idea.

I wish I could stay up late enough to see The Walking Dead.  I'm a little jealous of people who are able to stay up all hours and function on little sleep.   Some of these people may appear exhausted, but look fresh and awake.  I have no idea how they do it.  When I was in university, I could get by with little rest, but I was quite a bit younger then.  Today, I can't keep those long hours day in and day out.  I guess I'm getting... more mature.

See you tomorrow.


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Post 1804 - Improvise

Woke up just past 6 this morning in total darkness. There was a brown out or something happening which made the few lights on at my mother's quite dim. A few minutes later, the power went out completely.

I went back to bed for a couple of hours. Got up and saw my mother resting in her chair all covered up. The power was still out

I convinced my mother to get up and get dressed. I offered to take her to breakfast. We ended up at Cora's.

She'd never been there and loved it. Cora's is a nice place, but not a place you go to on a regular basis. It's pretty pricey and the food would kill you if you ate it every day.

We did some shopping and returned to the house. The power was back on. Yay!

I returned to town and got her groceries. She doesn't consistently get to town when I'm not here so we're sure to stock up when I am.

This evening my mother and I had an important discussion whose content I will not discuss here. It went well.

After that, I transcribed all but the last few minutes of the portion of the Shane Wilson interview that will be published here early next week. I think you will like it.

It's getting late and tomorrow will be busy. We say goodbye to most of my father's power tools. Someone's agreed to buy them. The ones we're keeping are the ones necessary to keep the house up and running. We don't need a drill press to do that. But it'll still be hard to let these pieces of my dad's treasures go. We know he loved these tools and wore many of them down to a nub.

See you tomorrow.

From Bevboy's BlackBerry to BevBoy's Blog!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Post 1803 - A Busy Day

(Yeah. I forgot to number yesterday's post. Sue me.)

Got up very early this morning and got my car to the shop for its biannual inspection. It passed fine but I am getting some work done to in 3 weeks anyway. Will need new tires in the new year.

I drove to Staples afterward and saw what I'd gone there for. The current version of Dragon Naturally Speaking was on sale for a mere 50 bucks. I snapped it up toot sweet. Got a 32gb sd card for a really good price as well. I got a card reader for less than 7 bucks at the Wal*Mart next door.

Drove around a bit more and landed at Books Galore in Coldbrook. They had many Max Allan Collins novels I didn't have already, so I got them. They also had some out of print Nolan books by MAC that I already had but was happy to see them anyway.

This afternoon I began transcribing the Hal-Con portion of my talk with Shane Wilson. This evening I have about 12 minutes left. May finish on Saturday.

This evening I hit another used book store.

There's something about bookstores, and in particular used ones, that I find greatly appealing. While new bookstores are struggling, used ones still seem to be doing well. They are great fun for me to prowl through.

Tomorrow, I take Mom shopping. We will be gone for hours and hours and I will return here exhausted and crying for rest, not that she will let me get any.

You guys have a good evening. See you tomorrow.

From Bevboy's BlackBerry to BevBoy's Blog!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Another Valley Weekend

I'm in the Valley at my mother's through Sunday. Yay! Of course, she's already planning my every waking moment here.

Earlier today, I took a half vacation day and interviewed Shane Wilson at the Timberlea Beverage Room. We were there for over 3 hours! As promised I will transcribe the first portion over the weekend, vet it, and publish it here next week. Shane and I talked about many things this afternoon and I look forward to sharing that with you.

I have to get up early Friday morning to take my car in for its inspection. I'm hoping it won't cost too much. I always get nervous in the event that any repairs will take all my money, not leaving any for Patricia to fritter away.

Long day today. Another one tomorrow. Guess I'll go greet it.

See you tomorrow.

From Bevboy's BlackBerry to BevBoy's Blog!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Post 1801 - My Weekend Is Nearly Here!

It is Wednesday night.  Getting late.  Just burned a couple cd's to archive the contents of a recent interview.  It's my policy to make a copy of the interview and give it to my client, while I store the other one elsewhere for my own nefarious needs.  It's too bad that the lightscribe  application and the actual lightscribe-enabled drive, often don't work.  The discs cost quite a bit more, and there is a high failure rate on them.

Speaking of interviews, I sit down with Shane Wilson tomorrow for an extensive interview. He was part of the morning team on Z103 until January of 2011.  You would have seen the bus ads with "Jeff, Nikki and Shane".  That Shane.

The Shane interview will be conducted in 2 parts  Part one will be his thoughts about science fiction and fantasy and how that got him involved into Hal-Con, the upcoming SF convention here in Hali.  I will move Heaven and earth to  transcribe that piece over the weekend and it will run here sometime next week, just in time for the convention.  It will be linked to the official Hal-Con website, which should give me a nice bump in readers.

The second part of the interview will be about his radio career.  That will run at a later date, probably during the holidays.

In other interview news, I got the special celebrity question this evening for the upcoming Julia Kirkey interview.  I don't tell the client who the jock is who supplied the question, or what the question is, until the actual sit down in a couple of weeks.

I am still transcribing the Jax interview.  Shane is tomorrow.  Need to reconvene with Katey Day.  Julia Kirkey is coming up.  And there is a major, super long unpublished interview conducted more than a year ago.  It's fully transcribed and waiting for the vetting.

Which leads me to the next thought and perhaps a small rant.  I allow the clients to read over the interview before publication.  I have taken some heat for this from others who think I should not do this, how this brings into doubt my journalistic integrity.  I have resisted these criticisms because I want the interviews to reflect, as much as possible, the words and the intent of the jock, not those words as refracted through my own foibles and failings and bias.  How better to do that than to allow the jock, the client, to read the stuff over to make sure that I didn't frig up something somewhere?


This interview was conducted 15 months ago.  I submitted it to the person back in... June, I think.  Took me a long time to type in 4 hours worth of material.  And... nothing.  Just vague promises to have it to me "soon".

Going forward, I will give people maybe 2 weeks to vet it, and then I run the sucker.  Exceptions will be made if people are sick or on vacation or extremely busy or something.  Otherwise, 2 weeks to scan my text should be sufficient time.  If it isn't, too bad.  Life is too short.  I'll run the interview as I transcribed it.  I'm sure you will agree that I am being more than fair.

I work a half day on Thursday and am then off until Monday.  Looking forward to a few days away from work.  I have much to do at my mother's.

See you tomorrow.