Friday, August 31, 2012

Post 2102 - Welcome to the Long Weekend

It is late Friday night.  I was off work today.  By rights, I should be at the cottage by now.  But here I am at the house, while Patricia is at the cottage.

I had errands to do today.  And, of course, I took a long nap in the afternoon, because that is what I do.

But this morning after I got up and showered I took off to Live 105, there to get some pictures of Christina for an upcoming interview.  Before I went into studio though, I spoke with Floyd and Jeff and Gary Tredwell and met Chris Lawrence, the morning guy at Energy 103.

It was nice to see them all again.  I hadn't seen Gary in several months, and Jeff, in more than a year. Ditto for Floyd.  Marriage really seems to suit her.

Afterward, I got those pictures of Christina, a couple dozen of them, and returned home.  Well, not quite.  A couple of times  a year I have to prove to myself just how nasty donairs are, so I bought one today.  Yes.  Nasty.  I should have had some serious liquor to soak up all that meat and grease.  It will be a long time before I have another one.

I got back here.  Watched two episodes of  "Breaking Bad".  And, then, of course, it was nap time.

Meanwhile, back at the cottage, Patricia told me she was painting and trying to get the stove fixed and, as she likes to put it, "sweating my balls off".  I keep reminding her of the physical impossibility of that, but it is fruitless.

Tomorrow, it is my plan to drive to the cottage where I will sweat my balls off doing the things that she didn't do this week.  Yep.  Sounds like a real plan.  Can hardly wait.  Yippee.

See you tomorrow.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Post 2101 - A Night Out With Dawn Sloane!

You are looking at a picture of me on Dawn Sloane's Ecoped.  She let me ride it despite my complete inability to ride anything with 2 wheels.  When I do spin classes, it is a wonder that I do not fall off the device and break something.

I'm getting ahead of my story.  Let's back up a bit.

I wrote Dawn on Sunday and offered to campaign with her some night this week.  This would entail me walking around with her as she knocked on doors, perhaps carrying her purse while she passed out campaign literature to people who answered the doors.  She agreed.

After work today we met up at Westcliff's on the corner of Bayers and Oxford and had dinner.  I had had breakfast there once before, but never an evening meal.  For six bucks I had a complete roast beef dinner with actual mashed potatoes.  Potatoes that had come from the ground at some point and which had been boiled and mashed, and to which milk and butter and salt had been added, perhaps even with love.  It was an excellent meal, made all the better by Dawn's insistence on paying for it.

We walked her ecoped to a safe parking space and then headed back out to knock on doors.    The folks who answered the door all seemed pretty receptive to Dawn, who is running in a newly-created district.  Her main competition is another councillor.

Prior to amalgamation, there were something like 55 councillors in the former cities of Dartmouth, Halifax, the County of Halifax, and the town of Bedford.  After the shotgun wedding that forced amalgamation in 1996, this was reduced to 23 councillors plus the mayor.  A big reduction already.  But that wasn't enough.  It was decided to reduce this further to 16 councillors plus the mayor.


I don't care what the proponents of this scheme think.  And they don't care what I think.  But, to my thinking, this further reduces, dilutes, and pushes the common folk away from, democracy.  I know who my councillor is right now.  I can pick up the phone and talk to him if I need to.  After the upcoming election, the person who will represent me will all of a sudden be presiding over a much bigger piece of dirt in which quite a few more people live.  What kind of access would I have to my councillor, then?

It also means that councillors are vying for fewer seats.  Dawn is running against 3 other people, with one of them being another councillor.  Dawn could have elected to run in  a similar district representing the downtown, but this district no longer includes where she lives.  She elected to run in this other new district which includes her home and which includes the area where she grew up.  But it means running against this other councillor who happens to be a friend of hers.

This bizarre form of political musical chairs means that a number of good councillors will end up without a seat.  You may not give a crap, but I do.  I am of the opinion that we have a pretty good set of councillors in the HRM, but they are bogged down by trivial matters that they must discuss at great length, and to little effect, which only increases the public perception that these councillors are ineffectual, maybe even incompetent.  I reject these opinions, but part of me doesn't blame people for feeling that way.

Anyway, if I can help out Dawn by running around her new district to help her try to secure a win in the October election, I will do that.  I had a good time tonight knocking on doors with Dawn, and would be willing to do it once or twice again before the October elections if that would be helpful to Dawn.

Several years ago, I attended a meeting in which former premier John Buchanan spoke.  The take away from his talk was that a person seeking election, or re-election, should always have a person to campaign with.  Otherwise, people who answer the door may think that the person doesn't have any friends.  "If he or she doesn't have any friends, why should I vote for her?"  It's a silly perception, but it's out there anyway.  So, tonight, I stood behind Dawn and smiled and said hello when I was spoken to.  I hope I didn't scare any potential voters away.

Dawn, I had a great time tonight.  Let's do this again, and soon!

See you tomorrow, me hearties.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Post 2100 - Life In Review, Part Four

Welcome to the latest and greatest(?) chapter in the Life in Review series.  For those who came in late, or who have been in an alcoholic stupor for a few weeks, this series is an adjunct, a spin off, of the "Year in Review" series that people found strangely captivating.  I present pictures from different parts of my life, in no particular order, and provide commentary on them.  No biggie.

Here is a picture of the garage door at my mother's.  You will recall that Dad built the garage in 1974, pretty much entirely on his own.  I am unaware of any significant assistance that he required.  He could even do his own wiring.

You'll notice that there is a crack in the window.  I created that crack back when I was 10.  The garage door arrived one Saturday morning.  I started crawling around on the door like kids do.  I heard a crack under my knee and knew better than to admit to what had happened.

For years, decades, this has been a mystery in the family.  My younger sister thought she had caused the crack.  Dad thought he had.  Who knows who else was suspected over the years?  Well, it was I, folks.  It was I.  Confession is good for the soul.

This is a picture taken in 1953 of my parents along with my mother's mother.  She was named Myrtle, which became my older sister's middle name.

My parents were married in 1952.  I know this not because I was there, you silly sausage.  When I presented the eulogy at my father's funeral in 2010, I mentioned that my parents had been married for 57 years.  Do the math.  They were married in November of 1952.  My brother was born a scant 3 months later.  Do the math.

Since this picture was taken when the weather was nicer, and it was 1953, this would mean that my brother had been born, an infant, and you can see what certainly would be his baby carriage in the picture.  The note says it was taken in July, so my brother would have been about 5 months old.

What are my parents doing in this picture?  Working with wood?  Building something?  Praying to an elk god?  I just don't know.  Lost in the mists of time, folk.

Here's another picture of my parents.  This one was taken in July of 2000, some 47 years later.  It was on the occasion of their visit to Halifax to see the Tall Ships that had arrived that year.  They were still spry enough to be able to get around without too much difficulty.  Nice to see them fairly hale and hearty.

That is my older sister with them in the picture.  You know.  The one with the middle name of "Myrtle". Hee hee.

The green building behind my dad is the old Lighthouse Tavern, which I'm told was the oldest tavern in the city, even older than the Midtown Tavern.  After many years as a regular tavern, it became a strip club.  My apartment was naught but 2 buildings up the street from there.  Did I ever go there?  Huh?  Ever?  It was too degrading to women, and you know how I feel about that.

This is a poem I liked very much when I was 11 years old.  I liked it so much that I included it in a book of poetry that our Grade 5 class put together.  As I stated before, the content of the poem sailed blissfully over my head at that age.  But I do wonder what became of "Thea Manning" in Truro.  What made him/her so cynical that he would write such a poem about the holidays?  Even at my most bitter and unhappy, I do not approach the level of negativity that you will find in these verses.

Here's the cover of that poetry book.  We were to design our own cover for it, and the interior poems would be the same for all kids to enjoy, including the one about the "rapings and the fights".  As you can see, I chose to call my book "I'm Different".  Kinda symbolic, isn't it?

Here's the second poem I selected for this book, this wonderful book with its delightful doggerel.

I think that the next edition of the "Life in Review" series will be the last one, at least for quite a while.  I get the feeling that this series is not as well received as the previous one.  For one thing, this is the first edition of the series to run in a few weeks, and not one person asked me when it would resume.

Blog post tomorrow will be about something I have never done before.  You will find out about it... tomorrow!


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Post 2099 – The Deal of the Art, Parts 8 and 9

Mark Dooley to the rescue, again.  He promises a major twist is coming up very soon. 

Keep it up, buddy.





Monday, August 27, 2012

Post 2098 – The Deal of the Art, Parts 6 and 7

You will recall that I asked some rhetorical questions here after I ran a couple of Mark Dooley’s latest episodes of his most recent serial.  Turns out that Mark read that blog post and took a moment to answer the questions!

Here they are:

1. What is Destiny trying to do with Mark?

Nothing at all good.

2. Is Mark going to realize she’s up to no good?

Nor for quite a while, I'm afraid.

3. Will he wake up?

Actually, next episode.

4. Will he stop wearing his purple sweater vest?

Not until it rots from my unhygenic carcus. You might as well ask me to stop wearing camouflage cargo shorts to church.

Actually, a lot of people have asked me that. I tend to answer them using the wisdom I have accumilated in my 56 years living on this planet.


You know... like Republicans.

5. Some of these questions will be answered… soon!

If you say so...


Here are the latest parts of Mark’s magnum opus!




Thanks, buddy!


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Post 2097 - I Didn't Want To See Bruce Springsteen!

We got up at a good time.  Patricia left for Moncton around 11am to pick up the woman who had furnished her with a free ticket to see Bruce Springsteen.

There was only the one free ticket.  That's why I didn't go.

To assuage my disappointment, I agreed to cover the Hal-Con barbecue at Giant Robot Comics in Dartmouth.  To do this, I had to go over to... Dartmouth!   That place doesn't get any easier to navigate through.  I mean, would it kill them to put up some damned road signs?   Seriously.  Would their life force drain out of them if they put up signs indicating what road you're on, and which one you're turning on to?  With a font bigger than this, I mean?

I made the wrong turn a couple of times.  I drove past the place where I was supposed to go, a couple of times.  And I nearly screamed with a vexatious, impotent fury and only managed to subdue it for a moment when I finally, at long last, chanced up on the place I was to go.

It's not the store's fault.  It's not Hal-Con's fault.  And I don't think it's my fault.  It's the fault of the people who designed Dartmouth under the assumption that everybody knows where every street is all the time, so labelling the streets is largely unnecessary.  I would like to have a conversation with them.

Anyway.  I got there, finally.  I started taking pictures.  My favourite 14 are up on my Facebook, my blog Facebook fan page, and of course, the main Hal-Con page.  Which you're welcome to "like" to learn all you want to know about Hal-Con, coming up in a mere 60 days.

I returned home around 3:45.  I have been surfing the web and watching movies and episodes of Breaking Bad ever since.  Patricia is probably having a great time at the concert.  I had a great day without her.


I didn't want to go!


Really!  I didn't want to go!

*Sniff!  Sniff!*

See you tomorrow.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

Post 2096 - Tomorrow

Well, I slept in this morning.  By 10:30, we were in Spryfield to pick up a coffee maker from a freecycle user.  We grabbed some lunch at Cora's in Clayton Park and returned to the house.

I'd been up until 2 Saturday morning.  By 2 this afternoon, I needed a nap and cannot account for the next 2 hours.  Kinda like an alien abduction, minus the anal probe.

Patricia commenced packing for the big trip to Moncton in the morning to see Bruce Springsteen.  I will not be going.  Instead, I will be covering my first event for Hal-Con, courtesy of my friend Shane Wilson.

According to Shane, all I have to do is take some pictures at this event and put 'em up on Facebook afterward.   I do this a few times, plus maybe drive some people around, and I will get me a free Hal-Con ticket as payment.  I don't mind driving as a volunteer.  It's not my gas.

It is about 12:30 Sunday morning.  Should get some shut eye.  Newbie is giving me that come hither look.  What are you supposed to do when a cat comes on to you, anyway?

See you tomorrow.


Friday, August 24, 2012

Post 2095 - The Weekend Is Here!

It is past 12:30 Saturday morning.  Because I use a different time zone on Blogger, I have more than 3 hours before a blog post will show up as being published on Saturday.  This one, though written Saturday my time, will have Friday's date on it.

Hmm?  What's that?

Oh, you don't care?


After work this evening, we drove to Bedford and decided to have dinner at the Esquire restaurant along the Bedford Highway.  It is one of those places that have been around for decades, like The Ardmore, like The Chicken Burger, like so many other joints, that I had never been to until recently.  Well, I have been to The Chicken Burger before, but each time seems like the first time, because the place is forgettable.  If there is a  more overrated food place in all of the HRM, I would like to know what it is.

But I digress.

Patricia had been to the Esquire  many times, starting as a little girl when her parents would grab a meal there after a long day trip to the city.  She began to associate the place with good times and nostalgia.  I had no such feelings, though.  It could only live or die by its merits.

I loved the place.

I ordered the turkey dinner.  It was real turkey, folks.  Not that pressed meat crap that is no more turkey than a cat in an oven baked at 350 degrees for half an hour, is a biscuit.  This was real turkey.  Real meat.  Real good.

And the mashed potatoes.  They didn't come from a box.  They came from... potatoes that had been boiled and mashed and had milk and butter added to them.  And garlic.

I ordered a vanilla milkshake for a beverage.  It was perhaps the best shake I have had in my life.  Right up there if not.

I was in such a good mood after we finished our meal that I didn't mind taking Patricia to Home Depot to look at paint sprayers.  I just dropped her off there and went to Staples to buy some school supplies, not because I am going to school, but because I wanted a good deal on looseleaf and pencils and so on.  They are practically giving the stuff away.  Many of those things must be loss leaders.  I swear, the cost of school supplies, at least what I got tonight, is less than what my parents had to pay for my own, all those decades ago.

I got some pencils to keep in my mother's garage.  33 cents for 10 of them.   And a couple of manual pencil sharpeners.   I will need those things for work I will be doing there this Fall.  I probably should buy carpenter's pencils, those big fat ones that produce a thick line so that carpenters can readily see them when they need to cut something.  But I am not sure how to sharpen them, and Dad seemed to have got along fine with regular pencils in his last years.  I think Dad just used one of his pocket knives to do that, but I am not sure.  I am having a hard time finding a carpenter's pencil anywhere on the property.

I have spent quite a bit of time in the garage over the last couple of months.  There was a big work area in the back that I remember Dad using when I was a youngster.  He would work all day, tend to his oxen at his brother's, and return home to putter in the garage until all hours before going to bed for a short time and getting up to do the same thing the next day.

Over the years, and especially the ones leading up to his death in 2010, that work area became overrun with detritus, things that obscured the work area to the point where there was barely a bare space to put something down on.  I have been clearing that space off this summer, and have nearly finished.  There are still two levels beneath it to look after.  I do not look forward to dealing with the rest of that area, but I am happy to have pretty much cleared off some space at least.

I have found bag after bag after bag of nails and screw nails and those things you screw electric wires together with and fasteners and more nails.  My frig, that man must have been preparing for the great flood.  What will I find next?  The blueprints for an ark and directions for how to march in animals two by two?

The garage, if I don't mind saying so myself, looks significantly better now than before Dad passed.  I have tried to be a good steward to the property and to have respected what my dad built until he became too sick to take care of it himself.

I will be back there in 2 weeks.  I am looking forward to resuming the job I started.

It's the least I can do for my dad.

You know, he would have loved The Esquire.  Must take Mom there sometime.

See you tomorrow.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Post 2094 - Thursday Night

I still have the awful memory, and worse taste, of Tuesday night's dinner in my brain and on my tongue.  Today was pay day, so I resolved to get something better.  Just because I could.  Just because I wanted to.

I picked up a second Samsung ML-1915 laser printer for 30 bucks after work.  I want to keep one at my mother's, and it was cheaper than the one I bought in June.  Like the one that will continue to live here, it will see little use.  But there are certainly times when it is necessary to print, even in 2012, and it's good to be prepared for those eventualities.

Anyway,  after that was over, Patricia wanted to go to Planet Organic and the pet store next door, on Quinpool Road.  (Do you know why it's called Quinpool Road, by the way?  A long time ago, there was a guy named Quinn, and he had a pool.)  I took the opportunity to jump over to the Ardmore Tea Room for a quick dinner.  Lucky me: Thursday nights are corn beef and cabbage nights.

I loved the meal.  Lots of mustard.  Lots of meat.  Lots of veggies.  Lots of cabbage, which I guess is another vegetable.

I wandered back to where Patricia should have been.  I rhapsodized so much about the meal I had just had, that she decided she wanted one as well.  After she was finished shopping, we both went to the Ardmore.  The server looked at me and laughed.  "Back for seconds?", she asked.  "Nope.  Patricia wants some.", I replied.  "Well, you're in luck, because there is exactly one order of it left!"

Patricia got her meal.  She hoed into it and enjoyed it very much.  At least half of it is going to be her lunch on Friday.

We came back home.  Fed the cats.  I played with my new printer for a bit.  And, now, it's time to turn in.

All in all, not a bad night at all!

See you tomorrow.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Post 2093 – The Deal of the Art, Parts 4 and 5


Mark Dooley comes to the rescue.  The two latest parts of The Deal of the Art, the much-loved new series from my friend, are here for your reading pleasure.


You’re welcome. 


And, thanks, Mark!

In the next chapters: What is Destiny trying to do with Mark?  Is Mark going to realize she’s up to no good?  Will he wake up?  Will he stop wearing his purple sweater vest?  Some of these questions will be answered… soon!


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Post 2092 - It's Settled

An FB friend answered my rhetorical question yesterday.  You know, I asked where Bayers Lake ends and Clayton Park begins.  Turns out that Bayers Lake ends at the Bi High overpass, and Clayton Park kicks in right after that.  So, the Home Depot is in Clayton Park.  Costco is in Bayers Lake.

I knew that Les Muise would know!

It is still humid around these parts, the kind of humidity that makes your underwear feel like a part of your body that you have to slough off with a loofah.  It's the kind of humidity that makes you want to jump into a meat locker naked and have unlawful congress with a side of beef.  It's the kind of humidity that makes you want to search Wikipedia for a way to disconnect your sweat glands.  You get my drift.

I have air conditioning in my car.  It feels great driving to work in the morning or going home at night.  But there is no AC in the house.  For that reason, we decided to go out for dinner.  The main criterion: The place had to have air conditioning.  If it didn't, we would walk out and go somewhere else.

We decided on Clay West Bar and Grill, formerly Kokomo's, in Bayers Lake.   For whatever reason, the old restaurant/lounge wasn't working out, so the owners decided to re-jig the menu and rename the place.  It now specializes in burgers.  If you're not in a burger frame of mine, don't go there.

Guess what?  We had burgers.  They were strange burgers.  Mine was called a "Hulfster", with a pile of meat and back bacon and cheese and veggies.  Patricia's was a "Dr. Feelgood", with a barbecue sauce reduced to the point of redundancy if not absurdity.  I didn't like mine very much.  Patricia didn't like hers very much.  So, we switched burgers and were happy.

After dinner, we drove home.  I got the mail, and was pleased to see that my new Kindle cover finally arrived.   It is an actual cover this time, resembling a book.  There is a slot inside where I can put a few Blog business cards.  There is a flap into which I put a couple sheets of paper, should I want to write something down or require some makeshift tp in a hurry.  I can even put a pen in there, but I likely won't bother, as it may compromise the kindle, which is what the cover is supposed to do in the first place.

A couple of hours ago, I retreated down here to my home office.  The ceiling fan is trying to blow air down on me, but I can barely feel it.   Newbie is in the old box that once contained frozen chicken pieces. I don't dare throw it out as it is one of his favourite places to sleep.   If I threw it out, he would sneak out after dark and retrieve it from the green bin.  May as well keep it until it disintegrates.

Well, it's time to go upstairs and try to get some sleep.  Yeah.  Right.  Hee hee.

See you tomorrow.


Monday, August 20, 2012

Post 2091 - Clive's Funeral

I booked off a couple of hours from work this morning to attend Clive Schaefer's funeral at Snow's Funeral Home in... well, is it Clayton Park or Bayer's Lake?  I have never quite figured out where one starts and the other ends.

Krista Cook showed up at the same time I did.  We ended up sitting together.  We were the first ones to arrive. By 9:45, others started arriving.  By 10, when the family was seated, I'd estimate that the chapel was about 40% full, maybe 45%.

The funeral was nice, and very respectful.  It is too damned hot to do anything tonight other than type these words in and go to bed, or I would scan in the bulletin and put it up for you.  But there were some hymns and prayers and a very good eulogy from Clive's step-son, Richard.  The minister was an honest enough man to admit that he didn't know Clive, but he said that he would have liked him had he met him.  Sigh.  They always say stuff like that.

After the funeral, there was a reception in the kitchen.  I had a chance to speak to a couple members of the family and to meet some of the former radio co-workers of Cliver's.  I had actually met Mike Cranston and Wayne Adams before, long ago, and it was nice to see them again.  Duane Lowe was there, and we chatted for a moment.  I met Jim David, Ron Roberts, and Alex J. Walling and Orv Pulsifer.  I met a woman named Patricia who worked at CHNS in the mid 1960's with folks like Clive and Mike Duffy and Bob Oxley.  Her on air name was Sgt. Michelle, apparently, and she had a sultry voice that gave suggestive traffic updates.  I would love to hear what they sounded like.

All too soon, it was time for me to return to work.  I did so, but on the drive thereto, I  reflected on Clive's life, which was rich with incident and well-lived.  There was Clive, the radio titan.  There was Clive, the talented musician.  There was Clive, the tennis player who could kick the ass of people half his age.  There was Clive, the family man.  There were more Clives, I'm sure.  I wish I could have met him 10 years ago, when he was more hale and hearty and when I could have had a good conversation with him about the old days.  By the time I did meet him in '09, he was in no condition to have such conversations.

The offer still stands, by the way.  If anybody reading this, ever, wants to leave a respectful comment about Clive's radio work, I will be happy, delighted even, to post it here, either as an actual blog post, or as a comment on an existing post.

Tomorrow is another day, and the relatives and friends of Clive must pick themselves up and dust themselves off and go on with their lives.  But they will do it with the knowledge that a piece of Clive will always be with them.  Their lives are richer for having known this man, and his was richer for having known and influenced them.  They will never forget him.  He was loved.

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Post 2090 - A Long Day

I woke up at my mother's this morning.  I spent a good hour out in the garage, where I find comfort and a closeness to my father that is hard to describe unless you've lost your dad and end up doing something that he also enjoyed.

I noticed the vise grip on the work table.  I remembered using it as a child, so long ago.  I further noticed that it had been focused on a screw nail, probably for a long time.  I couldn't loosen its grip.  So, I used a very liberal coating of WD-40 and let it creep.  After 10 minutes, I tried again.  After a grunt or two, it came loose.  And the vise works great again, almost like it just came out of the box.

I further noticed that there was no professional level in the house or the garage.  I mentioned to my mother that we should get one.  The only one I had was a tiny one from a dollar store.  Mom mentioned that Dad had left a few things in his closet. I checked it out.  Sure enough, propped up against the wall, was a level.  It is pretty old.  Dad probably used it for many years.  And now, it is hanging up in the garage for when I next need it.  Thanks, Mom.  Thanks, Dad.

After lunch, I washed the dishes and returned to the computer I keep down there to do some transcribing of the Christina Fitzgerald interview.  I should be finished it by later on this week at this rate.  Darn me for taking so long to get to it.

I returned to the city mid-afternoon.  When I got here, I took a shower and headed out to the Clive Schaefer visitation at Snow's Funeral Home on Lacewood Drive.  Of course, I caught every red light there.  Every.  Single.  One.

I arrived around 7:20.  I remained there for about an hour.  I met several members of Clive's extended family.  I heard several stories about him.  And I met more than a few folks who knew Clive from his tennis playing days.  His lovely granddaughter, a recent fan of this blog named Keri, greeted me and we chatted for a few minutes.

The return to the car was eventful.  It was raining pretty hard, but the proprietors of the funeral home lent me an umbrella until I got to the car.  Then, I just dropped it off and returned home.

It is now past 10pm.  I really should turn in.  But Newbie is restless and so am I.  Hard to pinpoint just why.

Have a good night, my lovelies.

See you tomorrow.


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Post 2089 - Another Valley Weekend

It is late Saturday night. I just finished watching the Captain America movie on the computer I keep here at my mother's. It's been a long day.

Got up at 6am. Drove here. After lunch I got Mom's groceries for her. She doesn't want to go out in this heat. Neither do I.

After I got back here, I napped for a while, which has ruined my sleep pattern for the night.

I transcribed some more of the Christina Fitzgerald interview. I've been very slow working on interviews and have to get more productive. Maybe if I hadn't spent all that time watching a really good movie tonight, I could have got much more done.

Newbie is next to me at this computer desk. He's urging me to turn in. So's my mother.

Sunday will be busy as well. Will be attending Clive Schaefer's visitation in the evening. Really should go to the funeral on Monday as well.

See you tomorrow.

From Bevboy's BlackBerry to Bevboy's Blog!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Post 2088 – Yet More About Clive Schaefer


It would seem that my comments last evening about Clive and how people are not being vocal enough and public enough, and effusive enough, in their feelings about Clive. 

Mike Duffy read that post.  He asked me to add the following:

Clive taught me there is always another side to the story, that we should always look at all sides of an issue.  On performance, he taught me to get the words up off the page. understand that you are speaking to your audience, not just r e a d i n g   a  script.  It is a scripted conversation, and like acting works best when it appears to be completely natural. That was always Clive’s credo: understand what you are trying to communicate and get the words up off the page. 


Senator Duffy sent that email to some other ex-CHNS’ers.  They include the following:



The CHNS Broadcasting Team of the Sixties was, beyond doubt, an unbelievably outstanding group of professional communicators. Led , for most of the Sixties, by born leader and communicator, Fred W. Arenburg, that Team was unbeatable for the better part of an entire decade.

As Metro's first radio station, CHNS' proud history was built in the first part of the Twentieth Century by notables such as Major William C. Borrett, J. Frank Willis, Cecil Landry, Anna Dexter, G.J. Redmond, John Funston and latterly, Don Tremaine and many others including Clive Schaeffer, both of whom were unflappable!

In fact, the story is still told of the time Tremaine krept into Schaeffer's studio while he was reading the 8 a.m. news live on the air, and used a cigarette lighter to ignite Schaeffer's newscast!  I'm told  that not one listener was ever aware of the excitement behind the microphone that day.

Personalities of that era of the Sixties...folks like Bob Oxley, Frank Cameron, Brian Sutcliffe, Mike MacNeil, Hal Blackadar, Bob Huggins. Mike Duffy, Clive Schaeffer, Jack Lynch and many others, were first class radio communicators, to be sure. The names still bring goosebumps of delight and respect, long after many radio and television stations'  unfortunate decline in today's convaluted communications world.

We salute your wonderful decades of service to Metro and Nova Scotia, Clive! May God Bless!
[A friend and colleague]

Orville Pulsifer


And this one:

Orv, Mike, thanks for expressing so well, Clive's role at CHNS over the many years he served the listeners of that once great station. Orv, with respect, you failed to mention your leadership role as one of the architects, along with Fred Arenburg, who built the station into a true powerhouse in news, public affairs programming and musically as well. Clive was one of the most gentle individuals anyone could hope to work with and he had a wonderful sense of humor. Always on time, and as mentioned, an unbelievable story teller on the air. Nothing could change the pace at which he read every newscast, including smoke, fire and, other antics.

He'll be not only missed by those of us who worked with him but, the thousands of listeners who were also his "fans" will mourn his loss as well.

With fondest memories,

Hal Blackadar


Tell you what: I will continue to add comments to this very blog post from anyone, any time, anywhere, who wants to write something about Clive Schaefer.  You may leave those comments via a comment to this blog.  As long as it is respectful, I will approve it.

Alternatively, you can send an email this address.  Once again, if it is respectful, I will add it to this post.

Start now.  Write now.  Write often.

See you tomorrow.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Post 2087 - More About Clive Schaefer

I am on a Facebook group called "Halifax Radio Memories".   It is about, well, memories regarding radio in Halifax.  Don't over complicate this.


Since the news broke about Clive Schaefer's death, there have been many stories about Clive.  Each one mentioned how professional he was, how his command of English was second to none (and how he would waste no opportunity to correct your grammar), and what a gentleman he was.

Don Connolly on Information Morning this morning, mentioned Clive.  They worked together at CHNS in the early 1970's.  Don spoke with great respect about Clive, but did say that they often disagreed with one another.

It should not fall to a blogger like me, who only met him the one time, to write about him.  This should be done by people who really did know him and loved him and respected him.  But other than on that Facebook page and a few other Facebook status updates, I don't see much of that.  That's pretty disappointing.

Wednesday evening, a comment was left on the blog regarding the first  Clive post.  It turned out to be from Senator Mike Duffy, who worked with Clive in the mid  1960's.  Senator Duffy and I have exchanged some private emails since then.  He once again stated how much he respected Clive.  That's great.  But why don't people write and speak this stuff in public?

Clive's visitation will be Sunday evening from 7-9 at Snow's Funeral Home on Lacewood.  His funeral will be 10 the next morning in the same place.  If I can get the time off work (hi, Kevin!) I would like to go to both.  I anticipate that there will be plenty of people there, and maybe then, we will hear some public pronouncements on how people felt about him.

Clive deserves it.

And somewhere, he will be commenting on everyone's grammar.

See you tomorrow.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Post 2086 – Mark Dooley’s Tales of the Rover


Yep.  Mark Dooley’s on a roll.  At the same time that he is producing “The Deal of the Art”, he starts a second serial, “Tales of the Mars Rover”.

Enjoy!  And, thanks, Mark!



Post 2085 – Mark Dooley’s The Deal of the Art


Mark has been sending me these chapters of his latest serial, and I haven’t had the chance to run them.  That’s ok.  I will run the first 3 parts right now.

Thanks, buddy! 




More, shortly!


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Post 2084 - Rest In Peace, Clive Schaefer

In the last hour, I learned of the death of retired Halifax radio broadcaster Clive Schaefer.

Clive's career began in the 1930's when he was a participant in one of CHNS' quiz shows.  He eventually worked his way into a full-time radio job, most notably at CHNS, but for a time at CJCH, where he worked with folks like Norm Riley.   Norm's grandchild sent me a picture, below, which has Norm and Clive together sometime in the late 1940's.

I met  Clive once, in 2009.  Krista Cook, a friend of his, introduced us.  It was a pleasure to sit in his apartment and speak with the man.  He was still able to regale us with his stories, and I remain grateful for having had the chance to meet him, if only the one time.  He wasn't feeling well that day, and I did not do anything with the interview.


I was playing back one of the audio files just now.  First time I'd played it since 2009.  It doesn't sound that bad.  Clive took some breaks and needed a little verbal prodding to keep focused on the question at hand, but it isn't that bad at all.  I guess I should transcribe the interview, huh?  I don't think he had many opportunities to tell his stories.

There aren't many of the really veteran broadcasters left.  Don Tremaine.  Pat Connolly.  I am having a hard time thinking of any more from all those years ago.  Now, there is one less, as Clive Schaefer moves on to a better place.

Funeral plans are still incomplete as of this writing.  I will let you know as soon as I know.

I extend my sincere condolences to Clive's family during this difficult time.

Rest in peace, Clive Schaefer!


Monday, August 13, 2012

Post 2083 - No! It's The Heat!

We have had, comparatively speaking, very little rain in Nova Scotia this summer.  The farmers are crying for more rain.  So are the cottagers.  My mother would love more rain, please.

I would love some more rain.  It might break the oppressive heat and humidity around here.  It is becoming increasingly hard to sleep at night.  Newbie's fur is drooping precipitously.   I sit around the house in my foundation garments as much as possible.   Before I go to bed, I wring them out.  Sleep is becoming a four letter word around here, and is obtained in brief, non-contiguous chunks punctuated by bouts of staring at the ceiling and praying to go back to the land of Nod.

I end up going to work half asleep and sitting in a relatively air-conditioned office.  After marinating in my own sweat all night, and then the AC at work, I feel freeze-dried by the end of a typical work day.  Then, I go home and marinate some more.  At least I'm not a cat.

Patricia is feeling much the same way, except that she looks much better in her foundation garments than I do in mine.  Same for Cindy Clawford.

I will sacrifice a goat.  I will pray to Odin.  I will buy stock in RIM.  Anything to get some rain around here.

What would you be willing to do to get some precipitation?

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, August 12, 2012

Post 2082 - Getting Rid of Stuff

So, I have a lot of stuff.  I don't exactly hide that fact.  But I have things that I no longer want and am trying to give them away.

I began sifting through my commercial vhs tape collection this afternoon.  I had movies I'd bought on vhs a long time ago that I never got around to watching.  Some of these movies are so cheesy, so bad, so devoid of any redeeming social value that I wonder what I was thinking when I bought them.

Never mind what I paid for them.  Just... never mind.  Deal?  Let's say I paid... $100 for all of them.  Yeah.  A hundred bucks.  Works for me.

Anyway, I was worried that nobody would want this shit.  I meekly put an ad on the local freecycle in the vain hope that someone might want them.

Turns out there are a lot of closet vhs people out there.

Three people have written me so far.  Once people get to work in the morning, I expect that more folks will write me asking for some.

VHS, I thought, was an  all-but dead entertainment source, but it was once pre-eminent, and was for 25 years or more.  Only dvd's put the kibosh on them.  And who watches dvd's any more?  It's all about net streaming and downloading, folks!  But VHS was king for a long time, and I daresay that there are still plenty of people out there who still own vcr's and record tv shows on them.  Lots of people, including us, have cottages with no internet coverage, no satellite tv, no cable.  You watch stuff you taped or have dvd's of.  Or read.  Or, god forbid, talk to one another.

I will give some of these cheesy VHS movies to one person, and the rest to another person.  If others want some, then they can have some of the tapes I have recorded crap on that I no longer want as well.

I wonder what else I will divest myself of next?  A cat?  Some old clothes?  DVD's?  Shampoo?  Food?

The sky's the limit.

See you tomorrow.


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Post 2081 - Rumours Have No Place on Bevboy's Blog!

Bevboy's Blog is the place where you can read my silly comments about things like what I did that day.  It also has had periods in which I discussed a year in my life.  There is a present miniseries regarding my life in review.  I will one day resurrect the things in Halifax that don't make sense series as well as the Early Bevboy (information pretty much mined by the year in review stuff).  There is something here for everybody.

Of course, I am best known for my interviews with radio folks.  I have worked hard, damned hard, to earn the trust of the jocks and I make sure that my interviews treat them with respect.  I make mistakes, but I learn from them and try to make sure they don't happen again.  I do my best.  And considering how forthright the jocks have been with me, I feel I can state that I have had some degree of success.  I hope you agree.

One thing I don't want to truck in is rumours.  They are the first cousins of lies.  They are the slack-jawed, red-headed stepchildren of damned lies.   They are nearly as bad as statistics.

Earlier today, I received a comment on an interview for someone in which she states something about the jock that might be embarrassing to him.   Never mind what it is or who the jock is.  Just... never mind.

I am not going to approve that comment.  It is from an anonymous source.  If she had the courage of her convictions she would identify herself.  She doesn't mind embarrassing the jock, but wouldn't dream of embarrassing herself.  Shame.   Shame on her.

I don't mind controversy here.  Anything to goose the readership numbers.  But I am not going to deal in rumours and innuendo and hearsay, particularly from an anonymous source too chickenshit to say who she is or why she wrote what she did.


See you tomorrow.


Friday, August 10, 2012

Post 2080 - The Weekend Is Here

It is past 10pm.  I am listening to CBC radio in my media room, sitting at my second computer desk, the one given me by my sister last year, and which I had to assemble (there is a blog post about it from January of 2011, if you want to read it.)

We plan to get up early tomorrow morning, or early-ish, to get ourselves over to Dartmouth.  I know.  Dartmouth.  My favourite place in the entire world.  The place I look forward to going to the way I look forward to going to a craft show, which is to say, not at all.

A couple or three times a year, the provincial government sells off surplus goods.  They can run from office equipment to ATV's, to chairs to dvd's of seasons of M*A*S*H* (probably seized under proceeds of crime.)  Everyone is allowed to go to put in bids on these items.  They're not restricted to just civil servants.  I have never been to any of these auctions.  I'm told that there are some good deals if you're careful about it and don't buy something for the sake of buying it.  We already have enough whipper snippers and lawn mowers.  But I would like to have a decent shelving unit for my mother's garage, where I have been spending quite a bit of time cleaning and classifying the items I have found therein.  There should be some there tomorrow.  I just hope I don't have to buy a pallet of them.  Two would be plenty.

After we finish there, Patricia will show me the meat market in Dartmouth where you can get some great deals on animal flesh.  There is still 5% space available in one of the 3 freezers we have here, so we may as well cram some more stuff in.  I shudder to think what's at the bottom of the chest freezer behind me.  Stuff that gets to the bottom is stuff that's forgotten about, sometimes for  years.  It also holds this year's Hallowe'en candy.  Next year's, too, probably, if I only give each little bastard one piece of candy each.

We will probably check out some Buskers in the afternoon.  I used to volunteer for that organization until I got the impression that they didn't care if I worked for them or not and made no effort to book me for any shifts as a driver.  Drivers are like gold to most volunteer organizations, and when these volunteers are treated poorly (as I was), then the best thing you can do is walk and let out a big fart just as you reach the doorway,  It's a little sad because I enjoyed meeting the buskers for the years I worked for them.  Remind me to tell you of the time my dad and I went to the airport in the middle of the night to pick up one lady and her stuff.

Anyway, since I stopped volunteering for the Buskers, I lost much of my interest in watching them perform.  In the last couple years, I have not gone at all.  Perhaps, just perhaps, tomorrow will re-kindle my interest in them.  Maybe, just maybe, I will reconsider my position on volunteering for them and give them another chance.

Saturday night we will eat some of the animal flesh we will have purchased in Dartmouth.  Sunday we will probably do some cleaning up around here.  You know there's some clutter when the cats beat their tails against the wall and glare at you while they're standing next to a pile of stuff that shouldn't be there.

Yep.  The weekend's here.

Bring it on!


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Post 2079 - Short and Sweet

After work tonight, I picked up Patricia and asked if she was hungry.  She replied that she was peckish.  We decided to go to the buffet at the casino.  Turns out that they only have the buffet on weekends now.

We wandered over to the Trapese restaurant at the casino and decided to eat there.  They had lobster on special.  On a whim, I decided to have that.  So did Patricia.

What a meal!  We loved it.  I am normally not that passionate about lobster, but this was incredible.  After I ripped the little bastard apart and ate its innards (minus its stomach contents, because that's just wrong on every level), I looked up and over the pieces of the lobster's exoskeleton and wanted more.  Patrica loved hers, as well.

We had blueberry desserts afterward.  I had a blueberry grunt; she had the blueberry cheesecake.

For beverages, she had a Long Island Iced Tea.  I had a mere cranberry juice.

The meal came to about $75. I left a good gratuity as the service was amazing.

I can't wait to go back there and get something else.

Get your arse to the Trapese restaurant at the casino and eat something.  Pronto.

See you tomorrow.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Post 2078 - Life In Review, Part Three

Welcome once again to the Life in Review series.  It consists of a bunch of photographs along with my colour commentary.  The secret for me is not to repeat pictures from one post to the next.

This first "picture" lists the typical duties of the janitor for the Canard United Church.  You will remember I was that person from 1983-1986.

I learned last month that this church has all but closed.  It may be sold off.  It's all because of some foolish, near-sighted vote by the parishioners at that church and neighbouring ones to save costs.  One church was suffering, so it decided to try to build a new church and get people from miles away to attend it.  Stupid, stupid, stupid idea.  My old church was upwards of 200 years old.  I would hate for it to be deconsecrated and sold to become a swingin' hot spot for some a-holes who want to say that they bought an old church and fixed it up.

Re-think this decision, folks.  Don't make me angry.

This is Ernest Avery sometime during World War II.  He would be my maternal grandfather.  I had heard that he was teased mercilessly for his lack of education and never made it beyond a private.  I do not know if this is the case.  I recently asked my mother about it, and she did not remember that having happened.

Cleans up nice, doesn't he?

And this is my grandfather with my grandmother, shot sometime in the early 1970's.  They were living in Beaver Harbour, New Brunswick, at the time.  They had moved there in the late 1950's, taking all but one child (my mother) with them.  These children, my uncles, all remain in that fine province, along with their children, my cousins.

We would visit them most every summer.  After Gayle got too big to go with us and had her own thing to do, it would be Mom and Glenda and me.  Holy frig, the 2 weeks we spent there felt like 2 years.  The cousins were a bit older than we were.  Or, they were our age and didn't have their license yet.  And my mother has never been a driver.  This meant that we could only go out at the whim of our uncle who lived with his parents, and that wasn't very often.  We would sit around their small rented flat and watch the Merv Griffin Show and read books and go for walks and wonder if this was the day we could go back home.  That day never came soon enough.

I loved my grandparents, but there was nothing for us to do there.  Nothing.

Anyway, to the left of my grandparents you can see part of the ship that my grandfather kept for many years.   It was his pride and joy.  The ash trays to his right also ring a friendly bell.  They both smoked, but he smoked even more.  I remember very well watching him roll his cigarettes and smoking them, one after another.

Late in life, they returned to Nova Scotia.  My grandmother got cancer and died in 1989.  My grandfather returned to New Brunswick with my uncle and his wife (the same ones who visited Mom and me Sunday evening.)  My grandfather was not long after diagnosed with dementia and deemed incompetent.  They were his primary caregiver.  Pretty much his sole caregiver as his brothers didn't want the responsibility of dealing with him in that state.  He died in 1996.  He is buried with his wife at the Baxter's Harbour cemetery, by the church.  I do not visit their graves nearly often enough.

There is a little bit left to tell about these trips.  In 1977, we did the annual pilgrimage on the Princess of Acadia, which took us from Digby to Saint John.  We got to our grandparents' place without incident.  But just a few days later, we read in the paper how members of an outlaw motorcycle group decided to take the boat across the waters and harass the passengers.  I am surprised by this given how these people typically keep a low profile, not bothering innocent people.

And, there is one other story that comes to mind.  In 1976 we did the same trek across the waters for our return to Nova Scotia.  I think Gayle was with us that year.  There was a girl on the boat who looked pretty cute.  I think I said hello to her.  Our paths crossed several times on the journey, to the point where she may have got the wrong impression.  I know this because, as we were in Gayle's car leaving the parking lot on the Digby side, I saw her there with her mother.  As we drove past, she pointed at our car and said, "There!  That's the guy!", meaning little old me.

Did something go missing and she suspected me?  Did I behave in so slovenly a manner as to invite this action on her part?  Or was there some terrible misunderstanding?  I will never know.  It is a mystery for the ages.  But every few years I flash back to that day and wonder what the hell she thought I did wrong that summer's day, so long ago.

My dad was a real card before he got so sick.  When he was a bit younger and still pretty spry, he would be asked on occasion to appear in the local Apple Blossom parade, showing off his blacksmithing skills or whatever.  Here here is one of those parades, probably the early 1990's.

Another year, my mother got to be in the parade with him.  How I got Mom to that parade float is an adventure.  My younger sister refused to take her.  Don't get me started.  I took Mom to the highway where the floats were lining up.  I explained the situation to the cop who was directing traffic, and he let me get through to where Dad was, which was really good of the officer to let me do.  I dropped Mom off and went downtown to see them in the parade.  Mom was in all her glory, waving to the crowd.  I don't think she's been back to a parade ever since.  I barely have been.

Here's a vintage picture of my father, taken around 1958 or 1959.  I am not sure where it was taken, as the family dwelling hadn't been built yet.  He his holding my older brother and sister, Ernest and Gayle.  Glenda and I were naught but gleams in his eye.

And, this is my great-uncle Matthew Arenburg.  Remember Dad's maternal grandparents in the first part of this series?  Of course you do.  This would have been one of their sons.  One of their daughters, by definition, would have been my father's mother.

Matthew died of emphysema in 1939.

And, you know something?   I don't know if Dad's maternal grandparents had any more kids, who would have been uncles and/or aunts to Dad.  I am not sure who would know that.  Maybe one of Dad's few living siblings would know.  Possibly my mother would be able to help out as well.   Want me to find out?

There are still a couple or three more instalments in this series.  Please continue to share your thoughts with me about this series.  Too much information?  Not enough?  Just right, like Goldilocks?

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Post 2077 - Back To Reality

It was my first day back to work today, after two and a half weeks away from the place.

Work went ok today.  However, being my first day back, of course I was tired this evening and took a "short" nap. I woke up in time to have a late supper and to watch "History Detectives" on PBS before having a quick shower and retiring back to my bedroom for the evening.

Gee, when can I have more vacation?  The last couple of weeks tastes like more.

I hope to have more energy on Wednesday, and to get back to the "Life in Review" series, as I know you all like it so much.

See you tomorrow.


Monday, August 6, 2012

Post 2076 - Life In Review, Part Two

Hey, folks.  How's things?

I am back in the city, after having decided to stay one more night at my mother's.  She was grateful for the company.  I was grateful for the sleep.

Welcome to the second chapter in the "Life in Review" series.  I will run a handful of pictures in each edition and comment thereon.  These pictures, and therefore my comments, will be in no particular order.

You are looking at the last reminder of the old Ernest Keddy bursary award.  After my brother died in 1970, my parents and a few other people instituted a bursary in his name.  It was $200 or so.  It was given out to a "deserving student" each year.  Bursaries, by definition, are for students who have promise but don't have a lot of cash.  That is, at least, the traditional definition.  The lines have blurred over the years.

The award was given out until my younger sister graduated and was quietly retired after that.  Of course, the actual school is no more.  I remain grateful that the family was able to reacquire the plaque after the final awarding of the bursary.  If not, it might have ended up in a landfill the way a lot of mementoes from that school did (such was the zeal with which the staff left the place).  The plaque will remain in the family for as long as there is a family.  Maybe by the time they throw me in a landfill, they'll toss it on top of me.

Ah, yes.  This is the little plaque I got in 1985 after I finished my tour of duty at CFB Greenwood, the Aurora Software Development Unit, or ASDU for short.  This was my first job in IT, and one doesn't forget one's first love.  I continue to have warm memories of the place.  I still play "what if" from time to time.  What if I had decided to try military service?  We will never know, of course.

Here's a picture of my father's truck on June 3rd, 1989.  I can pinpoint the exact date because it was the day I moved into my apartment in the South end of Halifax.  Dad had helped me move my stuff.  Upon the drive back home to the Valley, he fell asleep behind the wheel and rolled the truck.  He was driving with his arm hanging out the window like a lot of guys do.  He had the presence of mind to haul his arm in just in time, or he probably would have lost it, and likely his life as well.  The next day was his 57th birthday.   Of course, he would live for another 20 years.

I didn't write about this book in that chapter of the "Year in Review" series, but I remember buying it in 1988, maybe 6 weeks after I moved to the city of Dartmouth.  I didn't know my way around at all.  I would go for drives on the weekends and try to establish my bearings.  One Sunday morning I ended up at Penhorn Mall where they had a fleamarket every week.  This was years before Sunday shopping all but crippled the fleamarket business in the city.

I don't think I had been to Penhorn Mall since I had dropped my friend Robin off there in 1986 following our having worked together at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography.  It was nice to be there again and remember him and that job.  On my way out to my car, I noticed this book and bought it for 50 cents.  Obviously, I still have it.  It is on the bookcase to my left as I type these words.

It was not a good idea to buy this book.  I would read it chapter after chapter about Canadians who had gone missing under mysterious circumstances.  I would be alone in my tiny apartment at 55 Dahlia Street (Apt 208), with the door locked, scared crapless at every sudden noise and creak the building made.  This book affected me in a way that is hard to describe.  It was a right time, right place kind of thing.  I was living in a new city where I knew very few people.  I was alone and felt that way in a profound way.  My salary was such that I could only afford a small, crappy apartment.  And I chanced upon this book that scared me in a fundamental way.

This book and its author ended up winning some awards.  The author Derrick Murdoch is long dead himself (not under mysterious circumstances).  There is a Derrick Murdoch award given out every year for outstanding contributions to the crime writing genre in Canada.  Here's a link about it.

Let's finish off this chapter of this fine series with two vintage pictures of the family dwelling.  My father built this house pretty much by himself.  It was and is surrounded by farm land.  He arranged to buy a piece of land from the man who owned it, for $200.  A princely sum back then.  I do not know why the man sold that particular lot.  He sold no other lots of land to anybody else.  I really must ask my mother about it.

The family, which did not include me or my younger sister back then, moved into the place around December of 1960.  Back then, there was no porch.  What we would call the back door (or side door as you see in the second picture) would take you directly into the kitchen.  I am not sure just when Dad added the porch, but I do not remember a time when there wasn't one.  And you know what my memory is like, folks!

This tells me that these are pictures of the house from the very early 1960's.  In the first picture, there are no shrubs on either side of the front door.  They were planted by my brother several years before he died in 1970.  We cut down those shrubs a month or so after Dad died.  They weren't shrubs any more.   They were small trees that could threaten the foundation of the house.

If it helps, the picture of my grandmother visiting us in the late 1960's has the porch; it is part of the first post in this series   Sometime between 1960 and when I have my first memories, the porch was added.  I will try to find out for you, just when it was.  I know you care deeply about such things.

This was also before the house had a chimney.  What was the heat source back then, and how did heat escape?  

In the second picture, in the foreground, you see a fence.  It abutted the property because the owner had a farm.  Over the years, he grew potatoes and tobacco and had livestock running around.  This was followed up by other  owners of the property over the years.  One night many years ago, we got home, and the headlights from Dad's truck alighted on some neighbour kids who were out in the field stealing potatoes under cover of darkness.  

In the year 2000, one so-and-so had free range chickens.  They were so free range that she would let them run all over the neighbourhood.  Many of them ended up on my parents' lawn where they would scratch and crap all over it.  We sicced Animal Control on her, and she sold the place not long after.  Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Here endeth part two of this fun series.  At least, it's fun to me.  I hope you like it.  Once again, I look forward to your feedback.

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Post 2075 - Sunday

Well, I had every intention of returning to the city today. But my body became weak during this extreme heat and I slept much of the afternoon away. I will return to Halifax early tomorrow morning.

My uncle and his wife visited this evening. I hadn't seen them in a while. They showed up as I was setting up the computer desk in a spare bedroom here at my mother's. Dad had his old hospital bed in here. A couple of months ago, when I got this desk, my mother told me she'd be very happy if the bed were gone as it reminded her too much of him and was taking up space and was useless to her and me. We ended up giving it away. That was more than a month ago.

Finally, this evening, I took the time to carry the 4 pieces of the desk to this room and assemble them. Once I'd done that, I carried the constituent parts of an older desktop computer in here and hooked that up. I sit here at the computer now, listening to CBC radio on a radio I'm now keeping in here. I got this radio 10 years ago at a Port Williams yard sale for a whopping 50 cents. Still works great.

Back to the city tomorrow. Back to work on Tuesday. Another vacation over!

I mustn't tell Newbie that he's coming back with me tomorrow. He'll just hide again. Little so-and-so.

See you tomorrow.

From Bevboy's BlackBerry to Bevboy's Blog!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Post 2074 - 30 Years Later

I am back to my mother's after a wonderful time at my 30 year high school reunion party at Medford, outside of Kingsport. It was the site of the high school graduation parties back in the day. Let's not discuss them here.

This affair was in the works for several months. I'd not have missed it for the world. I saw folks today and tonight whom I hadn't seen literally since the summer of 1982. Some of them live not far from my mother's here and others do not live terribly far from my own home. Our paths didn't cross over the intervening years.

Let's face it. When you go to these things, part of the experience is to see who's bald, who's fat, who's gray, who's gay. Some of the guys have lost quite a bit of hair. Some of us, me included, have put on a few pounds. But after a few minutes, the ravages of time seemed to fade away and we could harken back to those long-ago times and remember the good and overlook the bad.

None of the old teachers was invited. Given how we still feel about some of them, it's just as well.

There was one disturbing story. I share it with you to creep you out. In the "Year in Review" for 1982, the first part, I mentioned how the school librarian wanted to sue us for how we mocked her at the school winter carnival.


It turns out that she is alive and well. She was old back then. She must be crazy old now. Old as in, "Here. Sit down. Can I get you some Geritol?" old. Anyway, we learned today that she and her now-dead husband were nudists. Their house was designed in such a way that the windows were on the second floor only, and were half height so that passersby would not see them as they'd traipse around the house in their birthday suits. It is a creepy, weird, and possibly evil image which is now etched into my brain. Only a frontal lobotomy could remove it. Maybe not even that.

More than a few people told me today and this evening that they read this blog. I do hope that they check it out again and soon. I need all the readers I can get. I gave out so many blog business cards today that I may have to order a new batch before much longer.

Linda Scott and Heather Rand organized this reunion. Ladies. Thank you very much for doing this. It was much appreciated. I hope it's not another 30 years before I see you again.

Because, you know, by then, in addition to who's bald, fat and gray and gay, we'd have to add another category.

Who's dead.

See you tomorrow.

From Bevboy's BlackBerry to Bevboy's Blog!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Post 2073 - Hot In Hali and the Valley

These humble words come from my mother's home in the Annapolis Valley. I drove up here this morning.

It has been insanely hot today, with humidity levels near 100%. This means for me that my energy levels are very low. After we returned from shopping this afternoon, it was all I could do to make it to my bed and sleep and cool off. Sweat was trickling off me in embarrassing places best shared only with Patricia and my physician.

We had thunder and lightning storms this afternoon, but they did little to alleviate the oppressive heat. Is it Winter yet?

Tomorrow is the really neat thing I've been teasing for more than week. I will reveal what is, tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to it!

Time to go jump in a lake.

See you tomorrow.

From Bevboy's BlackBerry to Bevboy's Blog!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Post 2072 - Life In Review Part One

Hi, folks!

I am back in the city, having left the cottage around 9:45 this morning.  Newbie and I arrived home to a stuffy house.  Patricia and Cindy remain at the cottage for a few more days.

The reason I returned early, rather than stay a few more days, will be revealed either tomorrow or Saturday.  As a hint, it takes place in the Valley, and I will be driving there in the morning.

Anyway, welcome to the first part of a multi-part series about my life in review.  Unlike the year in review series, this series will highlight random pictures along with my commentary on same.  I have been combing through my mother's and father's photo albums and found some very interesting pictures.

Let's get started.

This is the earliest picture of me that I know of.  There may be some baby pictures somewhere, but don't ask me where they are. It was taken in November of 1965.  That's my mother holding me.

This picture was taken in 1969, probably the summer before I began school.  I vaguely remember the picture being taken.  I think that it was a travelling photographer thing, because back then you had travelling salesmen who would randomly knock on people's doors and try to sell them stuff.  This guy knocked on our door and my mother agreed to let me and my younger sister pose for the camera.  I clean up nice, don't I?

And Glenda's wearing a dress.  I don't think she wore one again until she got married in 1987!

This is a really unusual one.  These are my father's maternal grandparents!  I had no idea this picture existed until earlier this evening.  The note on the back states that he was named George Amos Arenburg and he lived between November 3, 1858 and September 20, 1958.  He very nearly lived to be 100.

His wife was named Annie Mauria.   She lived between April 21, 1866 and October 21, 1949.  I know nothing about them.  My mother may be able to say something about George as she was married with 2 children when he passed in 1958.  I doubt very much whether she ever met Annie.

There are very few pictures of my father's mother, my paternal grandmother.  My paternal grandfather, Dad's dad, died in the 1950's in a farming accident, and I am unaware of any pictures of him.

My paternal grandmother was visiting us sometime in the late 1960's.  I would have been a little kid, perhaps the one in the backseat, and I can see that the steps are on the side of the house, meaning the porch had been added; and the clothes line is visible by my father's head.

She died in April of 1977.  I was 13 years old, and I attended the very large funeral in Kentville.

Another rare picture.  This is "Grammy Avery", my mother's paternal grandmother.  She lived in Baxter's Harbour, Nova Scotia, which is where my mother spent much of her childhood.

Grammy Avery ran a store.  She cooked food which was sold in that store.  I had relatives who ran a store in Baxter's Harbour through to the early 1980's, and this was not that store.  I do not know exactly where it was.  Perhaps someone reading this, will.

Anyway, a few years after this photo was taken, her house caught on fire, and she died in the conflagration.

I want to address something about the fire.  There have been persistent rumours over the years that the fire was deliberately set and that she was, in essence, murdered.  Another relative of mine who lived in Baxter's Harbour, and who is also long dead, was the one who was thought to have done it.   I will not name him.

In speaking with my mother about this a few weeks ago, I think I can rule out that story.  My great-grandmother was exceptionally hard of hearing, and very old.  I don't know how the fire started, but assuming it was an accident, she would have been at an extreme disadvantage when it came to getting out.  I don't think it was anything more than that.

And, lastly for today, here is a picture of my parents back when they were dating, probably around 1952.  Would you like to know the story of how they met?  After all, she lived on the North Mountain, and he lived quite some distance away on the  South Mountain.

Please tell me what you think of this new series.  I am very curious to know your thoughts regarding my comments about these pictures.

This series will resume on Sunday.  I will produce other blog posts over the next few days.

See you soon.