Thursday, February 28, 2013

Post 2273 - Valley Time

These humble words come from my mother's home in the Annapolis Valley. I will be here through Wednesday.

I have plenty to do over the next few days. I need to return a media player I bought Wednesday evening. I haven't even opened it. Someone on kijiji was sellling a media player that had far more features and cost much less. I bought that one after work this evening and brought it here with me. Love it so far. The thought of watching movies and tv shows stored on a thumb drive is very appealing. I should get one for the cottage and keep it there.

I also brought with me the Samsung printer that my friend Ken wants to buy from me. He's tentatively coming over on Friday.

Newbie came down with me. He may forgive me by the time I need to return to the city on Wednesday night. He's good at giving me the cold shoulder.

What else? I acquired a fluorescent light fixture recently. It will be installed in the garage once the weather improves but I will store out there until I get it installed. It's fairly large.

Mom will want to shop, sooner rather than later. She always does. Always. I am happy that I can have a day to get ready for this ordeal.

As the time approaches I will get into what will happen next week. Wednesday will be crazy busy.

Guess that's it for tonight.

See you tomorrow.

Bev Keddy
via his BlackBerry

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Post 2272 - A Radio Rant

It is Wednesday, and I am just hours away from several days away from work.  I have to remember what things to pack with me when I go to my mother's, either Thursday night or Friday morning. 

I have to pack at least one laser printer, which is the one I gave up on and will sell to a friend this weekend.  I have 2 other laser printers that are pretty old and which I will almost certainly never need here, but which may prove useful at my mother's.  Yes, it's silly that I own so many laser printers, especially considering that this time last year I didn't have any of them.   And I seldom print anything personal either at home or at work. 

I got home beastly late this evening.  I had Toastmasters.  After that, I went to pick up Patricia at the thing she was at.  She was still doing that thing, so I had more than an hour to kill.  I wandered over to the local Wal*Mart and purchased a media player that can stream all kinds of stuff through wifi and/or through things like the contents of a thumb drive.  That feature will be very useful at the cottage, where we have no internet connection, and likely won't have one for a while yet.  I don't think the device I bought this evening will cut it, so I will probably decide to return it and get one that does what I want it to.

I picked up the latest Frank Magazine today.  My friend Deb Smith was on the cover.  (So was Mike Duffy, who has been complementary about my blog, and doesn't deserve all the shit he's going through.)  She was laid off at C100 radio in the last week or so.  The station decided that afternoon news was a frill, something they could get rid of, and therefore her position was redundant.  I have been writing her this evening.  She plans to take some time off and then get back to work, probably in the media, and likely in the city.  She's too good, too talented, not to be working in the medium.

I do not understand why Program Directors think that news is something that is unnecessary.  Back in the day, radio stations had to provide a certain amount of spoken word content, be it a hotline-type show, or a program that featured interviews with local newsmakers.  In 1993, after much lobbying by private radio bean counters, the CRTC agreed to relax those spoken word requirements.  About 5 minutes later, the majority of radio reporters were fired across the country, because PD's and GM's at radio stations could.  They were replaced by exceedingly long sets of music, punctuated by commercials.  

Music has a place on radio, a significant place, but for it to be at the expense of other important types of programming is bizarre at best, and perplexing at worst.  At least we still have the CBC, and News 95.7 to provide radio news coverage.  I hope they can continue to do so. 

I work with people who are well aware of my radio fetish.  Many of them, either to get my goat or because they really feel that way, opine that they would be happy not to hear any talking on the radio at all, even during morning drive.  They hear some talking, they push a button and switch to another station where music is playing.

I don't have anything polite to say about that.  I think that if you want to hear just music on the radio in your car, then maybe you're better off ripping your cd collection and playing those thousands of songs on your mp3 player, set on shuffle.  I really mean that.  Stop listening to your damned radios, and let those of us who want interactive content, have it. 

Radio, true radio, is not just a juke box with commercials.  It is playful, and funny, and entertaining in every way.  It is  a mixture of music and spoken word and, yes, commercials.  It rewards listening.  It is not background noise played at work.  It is not white noise. 

Q104 gets it right, especially on their morning show.  For a couple of hours there, they play just a few songs in a given half hour.  The rest of the time, they're talking about what they did last night, or popular news items of the day.  The Rant Line at 6:10 and   7:10 is sublimely entertaining.  We love it.   We still miss Greasy Gary, but the Rant Line is just great. 

I do not know why radio news is perceived as a frill, an extra, or why people yakking about interesting things should be censured for doing so.  I don't know why firing some of the last few radio news people in the city is a good idea, other than it saves some money.  And I do not see a point where this trend will reverse itself and radio stations will start hiring news people again.  They enjoy saving money too much.  It improves their bottom line, and they get addicted to that.

If you are interested in reading my thoughts about how these decisions are justified, let me know, and I will share them with you.  

Oh, look for a Halifax radio station to switch formats soon.  All signs point to this happening.   This may be happening sooner rather than later.

Guess that's it for tonight.  Newbie is nuzzling up against me and purring seductively.   I can't resist his clarion calls any longer.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Post 2271 - Ah! That's Better

I am pleased to report that I got the printer work this evening.  It is now hooked up to my network.

Sort of.

What happened was, I decided it wasn't worth the effort, the heartache, the pain in the tuchus.  I took another tack. I could hook up an existing Samsung printer to an existing desktop, and share that printer with my network.  (If I had had a printer that had an ethernet connection, I could just hook it up directly to my router, but I don't.)  I did that, and am switching over my other machines to notice that network printer and print to it.  Patricia has already printed off some coupons to this printer, and she's happy.  I am just glad I got it working finally, and found that I didn't need the wifi printer I got for 50 bucks in the end.  This means I can sell it to my friend Ken.  It is a very good printer, and prints duplex, and has wifi.  It was a clearance item and I got an excellent deal on it.  But I don't need it, and am happy to see it to go to someone who can make better use of it than I can.

The only thing is that I have to keep the computer on at all times; the monitor can be turned off.   Not what I had wanted to do, but I have no intention of spending the coin getting a printer that has an ethernet connection.   No biggie.

I feel such a sense of accomplishment.  I think I can take on fixing the world economy now.  Maybe devise a workable solution to the Middle East issue.  Or find out how they stick ships in a bottle.

Yeah.  I'm gonna do all that.

After I eat some bon bons.

See you tomorrow.


Monday, February 25, 2013

Post 2270 - Wrassum Frassum

I need a drink.  Maybe two.  Maybe I should have take these drinks intravenously.

I have spent the last 3 hours trying to get the Samsung 2955DW printer working.  I have it working in the sense that I can use this desktop computer to talk to the printer, via a fixed usb connection.  Works very well indeed.  The text quality is very high.

But to get it working on my network?  Yeah.  Sure.

I was supposed to be able to run a utility to set up the IP address for the printer which would in turn allow the "add network printer wizard" to find the printer.  But every time I tried to enter the MAC address, the IP address or whatever, the utility told me that the values were all invalid, even though those were the figures specified in the network configuration report.

The only hint I got was that it took a good 30 seconds to come back with that error message.  I know from work that if it takes that long to produce an error message, that it often points to a firewall issue.  I found out how to disable the firewall so that I could in turn re-enter the above information.  But it still wouldn't let me enter the MAC and IP and blah blah blah.

Because I can't enter the above information, I can't add this printer as a network printer, which means I am pretty much dead in the water.  Unless I am doing something abominably stupid, which I wouldn't put past me, then I am at a complete loss as to what to do next.

I will pore over the manual yet again during my lunch hour tomorrow in the vain hope that there is something I missed this evening.  If not, well, Ken, let's make a deal.  I will sell it to you for the exact amount I paid for it, and throw in a few sheets of paper already installed in the printer.  The starter toner package is already installed and I have produced maybe 12 pages.   Patricia and I will have to get by with "just" using local printers.  Life is too short to spend it trying to hook up one device that just doesn't want to cooperate.

I suspect that this is far easier in Windows.  Linux is not making my life easier in this particular case.

The funny thing is, I have a few other Samsung laser printers.  Three of them will work literally as soon as I hook them up to a printer with no fiddling or farting around.  Two others were up and running within 10 minutes each.   I only got this one because I wanted to have a network-based printer in my home.  The fool me.

Sorry for the rant.  It is just that I hate it when something is supposed to be easy to set up and turns out to be anything but.

Grr!  Rats!  Phooey!

See you tomorrow, after those IV-laced beverages have worked their way through me.


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Post 2269 - My Sunday

Well, I wish I could say I had set the world on fire today, but that was not the case.  We both slept in until quite late, aided and abetted by our cats.  After I fed them early this morning, they left us alone until a time I don't feel prepared to discuss with you.

I had every intention, honestly, to try to get that printer working on my linux machines and on my network, but I didn't.  I am hoping to get to it after work on Monday.  I already have someone who's willing to buy it if I can't get it working. 

Newbie has been a relatively good cat today.  He hasn't picked any fights with Cindy.  He hasn't agitated to be fed, at least as much as normal.   And he has taken to parking himself on the scratching post in the living room and staying there for hours on end.  

Patricia made 2 pizzas for dinner tonight.  I will be taking a piece or two for work tomorrow.  Drop by my desk and I will show it to you.   She also bought quite a bit more fruit last night at the farmer's market whose virtues I extolled last week.  I have tried not to make a pig of myself with it this time.   Of course, the birthday cake took some of the edge off.

Return to work tomorrow.  After the news I heard last week regarding a friend of mine who lost their job in radio, I have to be grateful that I still have work when so many others don't.   I have to try not to lose sight of that. 

I will get to work transcribing the balance of the interview I conducted the other night, tomorrow.  Should be pretty controversial when it does run. 

See you tomorrow.


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Post 2268 - Bevboy's Birthday

Hi.  It is past 9pm.   I have had a busy day.  After all, it was my birthday today.

It was a busy day.  I got up around 10:30.  Patricia prepared breakfast.  After lunch, we headed out to someone's home there to pick up a pc tv tuner card that someone was giving away.   I am not sure if it will work, but I will have some fun finding out.  I figure if it doesn't work, I can just throw it out and not be out any money.

From there, we drove to Dartmouth Crossing.  Patricia had agreed to take me to whatever movie I wanted to see, and I had chosen "Warm Bodies".  It's the one about a zombie named R who falls in love with a human woman.  It was by turns funny, and touching and gross.  I loved it.  I want to read the novel the film is based upon. 

Afterward, we went to Woody's BarBQ, also in Dartmouth Crossing.  I had won a $25 gift certificate from Live 105 a few weeks ago, and decided to save spending it until today. 

Barbecue places sell meat. Lots of meat. More meat than is probably healthy.  But my birthday comes but once a year and I wanted to indulge, so I ordered some chicken, sausage, beef brisket and turkey.  A little of each.  Plus mashed potatoes and mac and cheese.  The leftovers are in my fridge.

We waddled to the car.  Drove to Bayer's Lake to the European Farmer's Market place I mentioned a few days ago to buy some more citrus to replace the tons of it I had eaten over the last few days.  Returned home.  Fed the cats.  And fired up this computer.

As I mentioned, this is my birthday.  More than even New Year's, I see my b'day as an opportunity to take stock of my life and think about my future. 

I think it is safe to say that I am well into the second half of my life.   People in my family do not often live to be over the age of 80; my dad didn't even make it to 79.  I may have another 30 years left.  Not trying to be negative, just realistic.  If I am ever to read "War and Peace", I had best get started.

I have regrets in my life, but most of them are not worth talking about.  What is done is done.   Dwelling on that stuff doesn't accomplish anything.  What I am most grateful for now is having achieved another year of life, and having done so in such a way that I can still look at the face I have to shave on a regular basis.  Life could be better, but it sure could be worse.

I will continue to enjoy my birthday weekend tomorrow.  I will get that damned printer working with my linux machines.  I will do laundry.  I may finish watching season seven of Dexter. 

Just let the old man do what he wants.

See you tomorrow.


Friday, February 22, 2013

Post 2267 - The Weekend Is Here! W00t!

It is 11:45 Friday night.  I will be turning in shortly.

After work this evening, Patricia and I had dinner with Julia Kirkey, late of K-Rock in New Minas, late of MBS in Halifax.  I hadn't seen her in some time, and it was fun to catch up.

Mel Sampson's last day at K-Rock was today.  I just regret that I did not hear much of the show at all.  Julia says she can get me a copy of the logger tape, and I hope she can.  She apparently had a lot of special guests in studio with her today. 

After dinner with Julia, I went to the local Staples and treated myself to a 32gb thumb drive, on sale for $15.  Good price.  Not as good a price as the 64gb thumb drive they were selling there for 20 bucks several months ago. 

I got home around 9.  Patricia had chosen to get some victuals at the Sobeys in Clayton Park, and arrived home around half way through the episode of Dexter I was watching at the time.   This past season has been a tough slog for me.  I still have 3 episodes to go.  Patricia doesn't like the show, so I have to watch it on my own. 

Thursday night, I watched my final episode of "Zero Hour".  This is because I think the show sucks scissors, and donkey spit, and armpit hair, and any other disgusting thing you can think of.   The ratings were very poor for the first episode a week ago.  They were even lower last evening.  I don't think I have to worry too much about missing an episode, because I doubt if it will be on the air by next week. 

Heading in to a weekend.  Those of you who follow me on Facebook will see what the big deal is for me, come Saturday.   I will leave it to your imagination.

Long day.  Guess I'll turn in.  Will be a busy day for me tomorrow!

See you then.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Post 2266 - Samson A Cat's Tale, Part Eleven

The latest chapter in Mark Dooley's excellent series about their late cat.  Sniff.

I am loving this series.  Mark, I know you'll make me cry.

See you later.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Post 2265 - Ask Me A Question

I was conscripted to do a speech at Toastmasters this evening.  I decided it would be a W5 speech, in which I invited each member to ask me a single question. 

It worked out very well.  I was asked some pretty interesting questions, many from out of left field.

It has inspired me.

Anyone reading this blog post may ask me any question he or she wants.  You may post a comment to this blog post, respond to the tweet that heralds this post, reply the Facebook post that points to this post, or email me here

This post will likely never be deleted.  This means that if someone reads this post in 2018, or 2022, and wants to ask me a question, I will be very happy to answer it.

Write away.  I look forward to what you want to ask me.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Post 2264 - Bevboy's In Love!

Patricia's still sick.  I  ended up taking her to the doctor this morning.  She will be off for the rest of this week.

I think you'll be pleased to learn that the cement area under the stairs leading  into the rec room is now pretty much dry.  It has taken the replacement of the hot water tank followed by 4 days of a dehumidifier doing its thing, along with a shop vac doing its thing for most of that time as well.  There is still some moisture in the laundry room, but that should be gone by week's end.  Yay.

On the way home from the doctor's this morning, I decided to take a few minutes and go to the European Farmer's Market in Bayer's Lake.  It is off the beaten path a bit.  You should take the park entrance with the Tim Horton's and Wendy's, follow along to the first intersection, and hang a right, driving past the XS Cargo store.  A little bit further down that road, on the left, is a strip mall, and the Farmer's Market is there. 

It is just swell.  Wonderful place.  The owner is Greek, and the main staff person is, too.  They get many of their products from Greece.  If you are used to eating oranges that come here from Florida or whatever, and wonder what the fuss is all about, and perhaps even find the damned things tasteless, then get ur arse to that farmer's market and get some oranges.  I don't typically care for that kind of citrus because I'd thought it was inedible.  But I quickly became addicted to the oranges and the Mandarin oranges they had.  Juicy.  Delicious.  And I want some more.  A lot more.  I may even get one before I turn in this evening, and it's nearly 11pm.

The staff person, Helen, was so happy with our enthusiasm for the place that she gave me a bag of these oranges to take into my work.  I have resisted temptation not to eat any of them and will take them in tomorrow.  Hey, folks at my work: If you want to eat the best damned orange in your life, bar none, go to the kitchen first thing Wednesday morning and get from the main table.  You will probably want a second one, but save them for other folks who will be seduced by this amazing fruit. 

We bought a bunch of them today.  Our private stash.  I will take a few of them for myself tomorrow.  No, you can't  have any of mine.  If the freebies are gone from the kitchen, too bad.  Buy your own.  And if you don't work where I do, then you will either have to go get the specialized training that I possess and apply for and  obtain a job at my work and then grab a free orange; or go to that farmer's market and buy some for yourself.  You'll thank me.  I know you will. 

Oh, I don't earn anything from this recommendation.  Unless Helen has plans for me. I hope she does.  I'd love to work there.  They wouldn't even have to pay me.  Just give me all the oranges I can eat and we're square.

Is it Wednesday yet?  Time to get up and go to work and eat some more oranges?  No?  Crap!

See you tomorrow.  It can't get here soon enough!


Monday, February 18, 2013

Post 2263 - Grr!

I took a sick day today.  My migraines kicked in.  By lunch time, after sleeping all morning, it was gone.  Which is good.

I can't remember if I mentioned this before, but I bought a new Samsung printer the other week.  It was a clearance item for $50.  Brand new, in the box.  I already had a few printers, but this guy was wireless.  I could add it to my home network.    It is a Samsung ML-2955DW.  I figured out on my own that "ML" must stand for "monochrome laser".  The "W" probably stands for "wireless".   Can't help  you with the "D".

I have spent the last 2.5 hours trying to get my linux computers to talk to this printer, to no avail.  The cd that came with the printer simply is not recognizable by these machines.  I will have to look at the cd's contents on a windows computer at my work.  Maybe there is a user's manual that can help me.  Perhaps there is a .deb file or something that I can move to a memory stick or whatever so that I can install it on one of my home computers.  After that, I may be able to add it to my network.  If not, I will return the damned thing.

I have come to like linux a lot over the last couple of years.  I find that when something works, it just works.  If it doesn't just work, you can download a package from the net somewhere, install it, and reboot the machine.   Usually then it works.  I did that with a couple samsung ml-1915's last year.  Ten minutes per machine.

A couple other samsung printers just worked when I hooked them up to a linux computer.  The computer in question would just know what the exact model of the printer was, and therefore print with no effort whatsoever.

One of those printers was something I got from a guy off kijiji last summer.  He had tried for a long time to get it working on his Mac, but the newest version of Snowleopard would not talk to that printer no way, no how.   He was therefore reluctantly selling it.   He wasn't happy about it.

It had been on the market for a few months.  He had reduced the price considerably.  It was finally going for all of 20 dollars.  To sweeten the pot, he was including a usb printer cable, which was not included with the original purchase.  He was also throwing in an unopened box of toner.  Like I said, it was 20 bucks for all that stuff.   When I got it home and plugged it in and attached it to one of my linux machines, it worked right from the get go.  Months later, it still works perfectly, and I haven't even needed to use the new box of toner yet.  I keep that printer at my mother's.  Remember the pictures of Newbie sitting on top of a printer at my mother's?  That printer.

Despite all the above, if something just doesn't work in linux, and you can't download a damn package to get it working, then it seems that there is very little you can do to get the blankety-blank thing to work.  Downloading this, installing that, trying ndiswrapper, nothing works.  Of course, the same thing can be said for Windows, which has orphaned untold numbers of peripherals over the years as new versions of the OS came out.  And it is just a myth that Mac's can just make any device work, as I mentioned above.

I will try to get this working for another evening.  If not, then back to Staples it goes.

Yeah, computers are fun.  Lots of fun.

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Post 2262 - My Sunday

It is just past 11pm.  This week's "The Walking Dead" is over.   Newbie was next to me on the bed, until he jumped off and hacked up a fur ball.   I cleaned it up.  It was a huge one this time.  Nice and juicy.  Yum yum. 

I didn't get up until noon again this morning.  I don't know what it is about me and weekends.  My body just shuts down Friday night and doesn't really re-animate until Monday morning, and only then fitfully.  Is it time to retire yet?  No?  Crap!

Uh, oh.  Newbie is licking himself again.  I can see another fur ball in my future. 

Tomorrow I get up, in just over 6 hours, and confront another week at work.  At least I can go to work knowing that the issue in my basement has been resolved.  The dehumidifier and shop vac are both doing their jobs.  Already, the area that was once soaked, an actual puddle, is nearly dry as a bone.  By the time I get home from work tomorrow, it should be fully dry.  Then I can move the units into the laundry room and have them do their thing.  Lastly, we will have to look at the jute carpeting in the recroom and see what areas requirement some remediation.  It's not all good yet, but getting better.

Newbie is next to me on the bed.  He is giving me that looking that said he enjoyed hacking up the fur ball and was looking forward to producing lots more in the near future.  Bastard.  Maybe I will hack up a fur ball of my own and leave it for him to clean up. 

Looking forward to Friday.  A long-delayed interview conducted more than a year ago will resume that evening with fresh material.  It will only be awesome. 

Guess I'll turn in. 

See you tomorrow.


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Post 2261 - My Saturday

Well, I wish I could state that I got up early on Saturday and took on the world.  Instead, I slept in until 11:45. 

The toilet we had installed on Friday developed a leak (no jokes, please!) around the wax seal.  Within an hour of our calling the plumber from Friday, his assistant was at the house. I remain very impressed by their work ethic and attitude.  I get that stuff happens; it is just how people deal when stuff happens that shows  the mark of good character.

Let's see here.  Patricia and I watched episode six of "Banshee" today.  It has become one of our fave shows.  I still haven't watched every episode of season seven of Dexter.  I will try to watch a few episodes tomorrow while I am downstairs doing laundry.   There are many pairs of foundation garments to wash, both mine and Patricia's.  Come to think of it, why do I refer to my underwear as "foundation garments"?  Is that a little weird or something? 

Newbie is next to me on the bed.  He spent several hours tonight on the cat post behind where I sat.  As soon as I came upstairs, he followed.  Maybe he likes me or something?

Guess I'll call it a night.

It's a... oh, never mind!

See you tomorrow.


Friday, February 15, 2013

Post 2260 - Much Better

It is some 11 hours since the plumber left.  It was a very productive day.

They arrived here around 9 this morning.  We ushered them downstairs to where the hot water tank was.  After a few minutes of poking around, the plumber pronounced that there was a leak in the tank.

This is good news in that we could just replace the tank with another one.  There was no structural problem with the house that had caused the problem. 

They happened to have brought a hot water tank with them.   Bernie and his assistant, Luke, removed the old tank and installed the new one.  They used the shop vac to suck up as much of the puddle of water as possible.  The water that had crept into the sub floor was  making its way onto the cement where the tank was.  Leaving the shop vac on and turning on the dehumidifier has, just 11 hours later, resulted in a much improved area.  We are hoping that by the end of the weekend that the area will be pretty much dry again.  Maybe a little bit of bleach would kill any mould that comes along.

The guys weren't done yet.  We got them to replace the kitchen faucet with a new one that my father had given us a few years ago.  Meanwhile, Luke was upstairs replacing the toilet we no longer wanted with a brand new one. 

Patricia had left the house 90 minutes or so earlier to go buy some new taps for the bathroom sink.  I called her and got her to come back as soon as possible, as they would need the new taps sooner rather than later.  She literally arrived just as Luke was transporting the old faucet outside to their truck.  She handed him the bag containing the new faucet; 15 minutes later it was installed as well.

So, now, we have a brand new hot water tank.  The moisture should be gone within a few days.  We have a new faucet in the kitchen.  We have a new toilet upstairs.  And we have a new faucet in the upstairs bathroom.  We also have a pretty significant bill bill to pay.  As much as it is, it was all worth it.

We started the day with a pretty major flood in a portion of my rec room.  We end the day with that problem solved and a few other irritations fixed as well.  I would call this a good day.

It is the beginning of the weekend.  Tomorrow we will start cleaning up the mess that the boys created today in the execution of their duties.   We will take longer showers again.  We will  not have to worry about 2 sets of faucets that were on their way out.  And the new throne upstairs should be able to handle the after effects of a baked bean supper. 


A good day.

Looking forward to tomorrow.

See you then.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Post 2259 - Tomorrow Can't Get Here Soon Enough!

It is just past 9pm.  I am trying to watch the first episode of "Zero Hour" while I compose this post.  And I am excited.

Maybe too strong a word.

I mentioned last evening how the plumber had to reschedule very suddenly.  That meant that rather than get the basement situation repaired today, Thursday, he would be unable to come over until Monday.  Meanwhile, a Winter storm is scheduled for Sunday, making a visit to my home unlikely on Monday.  Sigh.

Patricia asked around and got the name of a local plumber.  Turns out he is available on Friday.  Yay!  I quickly rescinded my vacation day for today and requested the 15th off instead.

Patricia has lots of plans for this man.  In addition to fixing the flooding, she wants new taps installed in the bathroom and in the kitchen.  She wants a new toilet installed.  We both want to replace the hot water tank, even if this is not the problem downstairs.  The tank is at least 12 years old, already in the house when I moved in in January of 2001. 

Tomorrow will be a busy day here at Casa Bevboy.  I will fill you in on what happens here, tomorrow night, after the mess is all over. 

He will be here in just under 12 hours.   I can't wait. 


I am excited.

See you tomorrow.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Post 2258 - Not So Fast

Well, we booked a vacation day for Thursday, in anticipation of the plumber dropping by and fixing the little problem we are having with water in the basement

Got home around 5:30.  Ten minutes later, the phone rang.   It was the plumber letting me know that his truck was in the shop and he would be unable to come here tomorrow.  Sigh.

I will go to work tomorrow after all.  I will work Friday.  Monday, the 18th, the plumber has been re-scheduled to drop by and fix our little water problem. 

I don't know what to say.  Crap happens, and sometimes this crap is such that you have to re-schedule something.  I'd like to meet the person who had been booked to do something and had to re-schedule suddenly.  That person doesn't have much of a life, I'd wager. 

Monday will be here soon enough.  We will keep the house from floating away in the meantime.   Yeah, it sucks that he can't be here tomorrow; but that's life. 

Is it Monday yet? 

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Post 2257 - No More Procrastination!

People who know me well, know that I like to put things off.  If you get a Christmas card from me in March, it's not because I am getting a head start on the upcoming holidays.  It's because I put off sending the thing out in December like I should have.  Maybe you know people like that.  Maybe you are one, yourself.

An issue I deemed to be minor in my house for several years has recently, in the last week or so, become anything  but.  Underneath the stairs leading to my rec room, where Harry Potter might have once lived for all I know, there is my hot water tank, and some concrete floor.  From time to time, when it rained and the wind blew a certain way, water would get in somehow.  Not much, most of the time.  I didn't really think about it to any great extent.

But in the last week, the water issues have become much worse.  There is practically a pond underneath those stairs.  I am surprised fishermen don't walk across my property and into my house demanding to search for their next meal.  It may yet happen.

This has been terribly stressful for me.  I did spend several days at my mother's place to deal with some issues at her place, and returned to the water situation.  Patricia had dealt with it during my absence. 

The water is not dirty.  It likely doesn't come from outside.  It is not hot or steamy.  It probably doesn't come from the hot water tank.  It is cool but not cold.  It perhaps is coming from a pipe that is feeding the hot water tank, but we can't see any direct evidence of that. 

Thursday we are both taking the day off work (Kevin, you will get the vacation request in the morning!) and inviting a plumber and his assistant into the house to get to the bottom of this issue.  He will also fix some other smaller problems in the house.  We are hiring him for the entire day.  Yeah.  It will cost a lot.  After all, he is a plumber.

I am not sure, in retrospect, if the issue with the water is one grown worse over the years, or if it is a second one that only started in the last week or so.  The amount of water is usually about the same day in and day out.  Whatever it is, it cannot be delayed any longer.  Thursday will be a busy and tumultuous day at Casa Bevboy!

I really must improve in the area of procrastination.  I will make this a retroactive New Year's resolution.  I have to.

Just in case you're wondering, if you get a Christmas card from me in March this year, I will be getting a head start on Christmas 2013. 

As soon as I get around to it.

See you tomorrow.


Monday, February 11, 2013

Post 2256 - A Neat Deal

So, I am back in the city this evening.  I would have left earlier had I not misplaced something.  I went through my car, Mom's house, my computer desk, every piece of luggage I had taken with me, to no avail.   I still can't find the dvd set I borrowed from the library.  Grr!

Anyway, the neat deal I promised you at the top of this post was pretty neat.

Mom needed to have the house water tank fixed.  It was water logged.  Ironically enough, this meant that the water in the tank could not be accessed.  Literally, if you turned on the tap to pour yourself  a drink of water, the piston pump downstairs would come on.  We had to fix this problem.

Please note that we grew up, and my mother still uses, a dug well.  It has been tapped into for over 50 years now.  Knock on wood, it has never gone dry.  In order to extract water from the well, a piston pump is employed to do so, which in turn transfers water to a cold water tank, which in turn feeds the hot water tank.  Clear as mud?

The plumber Mom uses explained to me over the phone on Sunday how to fix it.  But I wasn't catching on, so he agreed to drop by the house Monday morning.  He arrived around 9:30.

We went downstairs and over to the water pump and the associated tank.  He unscrewed a cap below the gauge, revealing a nozzle pretty much the same as what you would see on a car tire that you have to fill up with air at a service station.

We needed an air compressor.  Buddy had one in his truck, but Dad had a huge, honking one in  his old workshop.  We had not sold that compressor as part of the estate, so it remains there.  For the first time in a few years, it was called into service.

We unwrapped the hose from where Dad had kept it, and found it was just long enough to reach from the workshop to where the pump was.  Good news. 

We shut off the pump.  Opened up the valve.   Unscrewed the water drain pipe, which a piece of garden hose attached to it.  Turned off the water mains.   He applied the end of the air compressor hose (with a fitting that was just like the thing you use to pump air in your tires) to the nozzle I just mentioned, and the magic took place.

Within 10 minutes or so, because of the strength of the compressor, the water was drained from the tank.  The hose fed the water to the nearby sump pump. 

We reversed the procedure to get the pump to refill the cold water tank.  That took 10 or 12 minutes.

We started to talk.  He pointed out a couple of really old water pumps a short distance away and asked what I might want for them.  I asked him what he would charge for his trip to Mom's and for his labour.  He indicated a certain sum.  I offered to trade one of the pumps instead of paying him.  He preferred to have both pumps.  I agreed.  He found a piston pump repair kit, pretty much unused, in the workshop and I threw that in to the deal.  Maybe I should have charged a few bucks. 

We agreed on the trade, the barter.  We got the pumps upstairs, and he took them to his truck.  Much to Mom's delight, we told her we had reached an understanding whereby he would accept the pumps in lieu of payment.  She was very happy to learn that. 

I think this was a win for everybody.  He got pumps he wanted to play with and get working.  Mom wasn't out of pocked for the work.  I got rid of pumps that were incompatible with the working pump and which were just cluttering up the basement.  Plus, I learned how to perform this task so that I will know how to do it going forward.  It really is easy once you see how it's done. 

As the economy falters, I wonder how much barter will take the place of traditional cash in return for goods and services.  I say, bring it on.  The plumber expressed some interest in other things in the basement. Maybe we can do additional trades in the future.

I love a good deal.  Don't you?

Been a very long day.  Time to turn in.

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Post 2255 - Last Night

I ended up staying at Mom's an extra day. The highways were still dicey and icey.

I will return to the city Monday after lunch. There are some things to take care before I can go to work on Tuesday.

And, as you can see, Newbie doesn't want to return at all.

See you tomorrow.

From Bevboy's BlackBerry to Bevboy's Blog!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Post 2254 - Valley Blizzard Time

I still think the storm could have been worse, but it was bad enough.

Slept in. Cooked steel cut oats for Mom and me. Prepared lunch. Ate it. I was 5 minutes away from doing the dishes when the power went off.

The power was out for 6 hours. I watched a tv show on my laptop. I lay down and slept most of the rest of the afternoon. I guess it was a form of hibernation. Meanwhile, "Momma Bear" slept a lot as well.

At around 5:50, almost exactly 6 hours after we lost power, it came back on. Just in time, too, because the house was so cold we could almost see our breath.

6 hours later, we're feeling much better. It may be expensive, but electricity is so important to things working smoothly that your life virtually falls apart when you don't have it. If you've ever wondered why I've never gone camping, this paragraph should go a long way toward explaining it.

It has been a cold, snowy, windy day. Sunday promises more of the same. Just lovely. Storm stayed much?

How have you coped today?

See you tomorrow.


Friday, February 8, 2013

Post 2253 - Library Blogging

This post comes from the Port Williams library.  I got here a little while ago after running some errands for my mother. 

I would normally be writing this from a laptop, but for some reason it could not and would not connect.  I could establish an internet connection, but no combination of username and pin# would let me do anything.  The librarian hadn't a clue why it wouldn't work, and I can't be bothered looking into it.  There was an available pc, so I grabbed it.  The problem is that I can't stay here indefinitely.  I will have to log off within 30 minutes or so.  Should be enough time.

You have heard all about the impending storm.  Not since White Juan in 2004 have we been warned more about a snow storm.  Part of me hopes that it is even worse than what they predict.  We will just hire some local kids to shovel us out.

You wouldn't know there was a storm coming.  It is calm and peaceful outside, if a little cold.  The air is fresh, and my boots squeak on the snow and floor as if they were crying out for oil.  I would not be confused with a ninja today.

I remain at my mother's until at least Sunday.  I say "at  least", because it appears as though Sunday will consist of white out conditions as well.  If it does, I will stay one more night.  Works for me.  My mother's cable includes AMC, and "The Walking Dead" returns Sunday night.  Can't miss that.  It's a man's soap opera. 

Newbie mewls a lot.  Especially since I came up here yesterday.  He hangs around me like a love sick puppy dog.  Come to think of it, he also plays fetch and begs for kitchen scraps, the way a dog would.  Maybe he has identity issues.  Perhaps I should contact an animal psychologist and get her to put Newbie on the couch.  Maybe she could get to the bottom of his obvious problems and put him on the road to a happy and healthy life. 

Or maybe I'm over analyzing this. 

What do you think?  Are there even animal psychologists in Nova Scotia?  Does anybody reading this know?  Sounds like a pretty specialized field to get into.  Maybe I missed my calling. 

Guess that's it for tonight.  My half hour is running out rapidly.

See you tomorrow.  I will let you know how the storm is working out for us. 


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Post 2252 - Valley Time

To frig with the impending snow storm. I drove up to Mom's this morning anyway. As you can see, Newbie came along and has taken over the couch for himself.

Spent hours and hours shopping of course. Also needed a nap after we got back here.

Tomorrow will consist of more errands and a couple of chores around the house. Yay!

See you tomorrow!

Bev Keddy
via his BlackBerry

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Post 2251 - A Mini Vacation

I will be taking the rest of the week off work to visit my mother for a few days.  This entails driving her around and taking her shopping and to a doctor's appointment.

It promises to be a very lousy weekend, weatherwise.  I haven't heard an update in several hours, but it sure looks as though the part of Nova Scotia where I'll be is gonna get nailed and impaled and railed by pretty much a ton of snow.  I don't think it will be quite White Juan volumes, but it will be a lot of snow.  That's why Mom wants to do her shopping on Thursday.  Works for me.

I had a good Toastmasters meeting tonight.  I chaired the meeting.  I evaluated one of the two speeches tonight.  And I tried to be Grammarian as well.  I was a little busy.

Afterward I drove to where I thought Patricia would be, only not to find her car there; I guess it must have been parked elsewhere, because she got home around 8:30.  She has prepared herself for the weekend by purchasing lots of groceries, because she doesn't want to go out in that crap, and I don't blame her. She will be here, with Cindy Clawford, and digital cable, complete with a bunch of movie channels.  She won't emerge until Spring.

Let's see here.  What else is going on in my little corner of the world?  Newbie is on top of the computer desk, in a cardboard box that once held chicken breasts.  I cut the flaps off it a couple of years ago.  For whatever reason, Newbie has claimed this spot for his own.  He is a much bigger cat now than when he first came home; he's got a lot of Maine Coon in him.  But he still somehow manages to fit in this box, curling up in a way that no human contortionist could ever hope to achieve.  He often sleeps in there for hours while I tap away just below him.  I am confident that if I did go out and buy him an actual cat bed and stuck it up there, he would ignore it and just find the old cardboard box.  Works for me.  Saves me money.

I guess I should get going.  It's going to be a very long day tomorrow.

See you sometime Thursday evening.


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Post 2250 - Phew!

Today was one of those work days where I started working at 8, and began a big task at 9.  That task took me until about 1:30.  Other than 15 minutes to eat some stew, I worked straight through until it was done.

In between and afterward, there were other tasks that demanded my attention.

It was a very long day.

Patricia had a migraine headache today and stayed home.  After work, I opted to go to a pretty good Chinese restaurant place in Fairview.  My friend Franki/Hong worked there several years ago, and I started to like the place a lot.  I got Patricia hooked in 2012.

I got chicken fried rice, lemon chicken, and 2 egg rolls.  A huge portion.  I ate about a third of it, and the rest will be my lunch on Wednesday.  Patricia's was chicken balls (they were so big, they were more like bull balls) with chicken fried rice and honey garlic spare ribs and an egg roll.  She reported that the ribs were excellent.  I don't care for ribs, so I will take her word for it.   They are probably the second best egg rolls I have ever had.  The first best are the egg rolls at King's Palace on Quinpool Road.  They look like little cigar butts, but taste wonderful.  Get some.   Tell them Bevboy sent you.

After dinner we watched a bit of television.  She went to bed before 8.  I have been down here in my home office ever since, doing laundry and trying to understand how a relatively small video file barely plays on some pretty spiffy computers.  Other files are larger and play just fine.  Very confusing.

Newbie is next to me on a bookcase, looking for all the world like a bookend: Tall, majestic, and totally cool.  I wish I had his life.

Tomorrow is my Friday.  I am off work for Thursday and Friday to tend to some matters in the Annapolis Valley.  But fear not, effendi.  I will continue to write blog posts.  I won't let you down.

If you haven't already, please read the comments associated with post 2249.  My friend Ken wrote that he lost his cat on the very day I published that post.  I hope he found a measure of comfort in it.  Like I said last night, folks, hug your pets while you have them.  In fact, you shouldn't even call them pets.  They're your buddies.  If you love them, they will love you back.

Except Newbie, of course.  He pretends otherwise.

See you tomorrow.


Monday, February 4, 2013

Post 2249 – Samson the Cat, Parts Eight - Ten

It’s been a little while since Mark Dooley’s last chapter to this saga, but he has made up for it by posting 3 chapters at once.


Thank you, as always, my friend.  This latest storyline, about a special cat, has been especially compelling for me.


Our cats, our dogs, do not live forever.  Hug them and hold them while you have them.  I mean, Newbie tries my patience when he wants to be fed at 3 in the morning, but he’s still my buddy.   Demon kinda looks a bit like Newbie, now that you mention it.


See you guys tomorrow.


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Post 2248 - My Sunday

I should write this quickly in case the power goes out, like it has at the Superdome.  I only know this because I tuned into CNN and Don Lemon is talking about it.  Trust me: I am not watching the Super Bowl.

I spent quite some time today washing the dishes that needed to be cleaned.  It took quite some time, as you might imagine.  And tonight, I cleaned off my car and removed the snow from the driveway and front steps.  The major snowstorm that we were supposed to get today turned out to be much less than that. 

Patricia made a wonderful dinner tonight.  It was a Manhatten clam chowder.  I had three bowls of it.  There might be enough left for lunch tomorrow, but I am not guaranteeing it.

This past weekend was very restful.  Patricia will return to work on Monday, just in time to meet the freezing rain.  And I still put two spaces after each sentence.  And you can't stop me, because, after all, it's Bevboy's Blog and not your blog.  If you start your own blog, you can have as many spaces after a sentence as you want.  Three spaces.  Four.  Whatever.

Have you watched "Tucker and Dale Versus Evil" yet?  Why not?

I guess that's it for tonight.

See you tomorrow.


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Post 2247 - My Saturday

I got up around 10:15 on Saturday, which lately is pretty darned early for a that day of the week.  Patricia remained in bed for a few more hours.  Still recovering from her pneumonia.  On the mend, though.

I made my world-famous French toast on Saturday.  It occurs to me that I have only made it for Patricia, so my claim that it is world-famous is a boast that maybe I can't justify.  All I know is, Patricia eats every scrap on her plate and would lick the plate if Cindy or Newbie didn't beat her to it. 

We watched a couple of movies today.  The best by far, by a country mile, a city kilometer, was "Tucker and Dale Versus Evil".  It is a twist on the whole "inbred hillbilly" horror movie.  Some college preppies go to the country and encounter a couple of mountain boys.  Through a series of mishaps and misunderstandings, the guys are assumed to be inbred killers, when nothing could be further from the truth.   We laughed out loud many times, but the scene involving the chainsaw was the one that nearly made me spit out my Friskies. 

You have to see this movie.  It co-stars a guy from "Firefly", if that helps you make a decision. 

We also watched "Scream 4", which wasn't as bad as I expected it to be.  I will probably have forgotten it by Monday morning. 

Have you seen "Tucker and Dale Versus Evil" yet?  What are you waiting for?

Sunday will involve lots of laundry.  Lots of dish washing.  And lot of avoiding... the big game.   Have you noticed that people on tv refer to it as "the big game"?  Is it because "Superbowl" is a word you can't use unless your network has broadcast rights that year?  Does saying it sort of advertise the competition?  Is it a royalties thing?  Does anybody know?  Does anybody care?

Seriously, have you seen "Tucker and Dale Versus Evil" yet?  Get out there.

I will let you go out and see "Tucker and Dale Versus Evil" now.  It is only 1:38 in the morning.  Lots of time to see it before you go to church.

See you tomorrow.


Friday, February 1, 2013

Post 2246 - Farewell To Nova Scotia

I have been withholding this information for about a week now.  It finally happened this afternoon.

My friend Katey Day invited me to visit her in studio today as she did her final show at Lite 92.9 in Halifax.  Pretty cool.

I arrived there around 3pm.  I was ushered into studio where I got a ton of pictures. 

Katey was getting a little emotional while I was there.  She had had a wonderful experience at Lite 92.9 for more than two years.  She was only leaving to concentrate on her upcoming rock opera, which she has been working on for a few years now.  I'm sure she had mixed feelings about leaving.

At one point, she began to clean out her drawer.  She showed me a set of headphones given to her by Mike Cranston, who was instrumental for getting her back on the air after some 20 years.  She had very kind things to say about him.  And, yes, Mike Cranston has consented to an interview with me.  I must contact him soon and do this.  It will likely take a month to talk about his career.

Around 3:45, she announced her farewell to her listeners.  By 5pm, she was out the door, having voice tracked the last two hours of her final show.  She will remain on the air, via voice track, for at least part of this weekend.  She doesn't know who will be there come Monday afternoon; no announcement has been made yet as to who her successor will be.

Katey has always been kind to me, and her special kindness today, when I was able to document part of her final show, and get a piece of her farewell cake, and meet some of the folks at News 95.7, will not be forgotten.

In the following pictures you will see Brynn Langille and Scott Simpson.  Scott is an original staffer from News 95.7, which went on the air in October of 2005.  Brynn has been there for a matter of months.  Scott is the weekend host of Maritime Mornings.   When I asked him if he would be the permanent host for the program, he was a little evasive.  I guess they haven't made a final decision yet.   He succeeded Erin Trafford on the program; Erin is now a reporter for Global TV here in Halifax. 

I shot some video this afternoon.  It may be a little rough in places, but I decided to run it anyway.  If you have ever wondered what radio folks do in studio during those long music sets, wonder no longer.

 Katey, my very best to you as you work on your rock opera.  I can't wait to see it.  And I can't wait to hear you back on the radio again.  I am glad you said adieu to radio today, and not au revoir.   I hope our paths cross again, and very soon.

See you tomorrow.