Thursday, October 31, 2013

Post 2498 - Happy Hallowe'en!

Boo! Just sayin'.

Hi.  It is past 10pm.  I have been home nearly all evening.  For reasons some of you will know, I didn't go to a movie tonight after all.

We didn't buy any treats for the kids this year.  I no longer give out comic books to the kids, not for two years now. And if I don't give out comics, I don't give out candy, either. So we got home here shortly after 6pm, scurried up the stairs, and dashed inside, locking the door behind us and having nearly every light off in the house.  I have been down here in my home office for 4 hours now, and I am not sure where the time went.   Patricia has been resting.

Been a quiet evening for me. I watched this week's episode of "Hostages". It becomes more ludicrous every week.  It is no wonder that "The Blacklist" is kicking its patootie every week. Dead air would almost be more entertaining.

I started to watch "Hallowe'en" this evening.  Not the John  Carpenter film from 35 years ago. This is the remake directed by Rob Zombie a few years ago. There is much more detail about how Michael Myers becomes a mass murderer.  There's nearly too much detail.  I will finish watching it Friday night. I like how Zombie pays homage to the original movie in several places. I think I will like it better than the Carpenter movie.

I think I will turn in. Patricia is off tomorrow so I can leave a little earlier than normal. Assuming my car hasn't been soaped, or keyed, or pissed on, I should be good to go.

See you tomorrow.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Post 2497 - A Night Out

It's late. Bed soon. Just wanted to tell you that we had dinner tonight at Two Doors Down in downtown Halifax. We liked it very much. This should tell my readers that I had a positive experience in a restaurant. So there!

Saw "Ender's Game" this evening. Loved it. Go see it. It's nice to see Harrison Ford finally acknowledge he's old and is accepting supporting roles, even though I get the impression he doesn't like doing so.

Turning in. See you tomorrow.

From Bevboy's BlackBerry to Bevboy's Blog!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Post 2496 - Two Days To Go!

Hmm.  Let's see here.  I warned you about the realities of shopping at the glitzy farmers' markets on Sunday.  Monday, I wrote about the issue of homelessness in the Annapolis Valley. What possible social ill can I discuss this evening?  Plantar Wart? The tragic reality of spastic colons? Or the fact that it is 2 days away from Hallowe'en, and I could list a few of my favourite horror movies?

Let's go with that!

While I love me some horror movies, I do not for a moment think that they are the only way to get a good scare. In addition to my monthly bank statement, I am frightened by books as well. There are film directors who opine that only the horror film is a vehicle by which one can get scared. I respectfully disagree.

(I suppose at one time I might have disrespectfully agreed. But I would never have disrespectfully disagreed. And never ask me to agree in a respectful way. One can't have it all, folks. But I digress.)

I love me some horror movies. Some I like more than others. But a few stay with me and won't let go. One I can't get out of my mind is "The Devil's Rejects", directed by death metal maven Rob Zombie. It is the sequel to "The House of 1000 Corpses", which he also directed. I did not like that film very much; but "Rejects" kept me going from beginning to end. The titular characters are serial murderers responsible for the death of dozens of people. Despite all this, the characters were oddly sympathetic, but please don't tell anyone I told you that. Even more odd was the fact that both Roger Ebert and his then partner Richard Roeper, gave it a thumbs up.  They both thought it was disgusting and disturbing, but they both liked it enough to recommend it.  FWIW, so do I.

The original Exorcist movie frightened me as well. But there is something I must point out to you: it drive me crazy when people go on and on about how the director did this, and how he did that. The book is based upon a novel of the same name by William Peter Blatty. All the stuff that people praise about the film, is in the book. See what I mean about how directors like to take credit for everything, but are the first to point fingers when something goes horribly wrong about their films?

The first "Scream" movie remains the best one, by far. Patricia and I first saw it in a crowded movie theatre at a midnight on a Friday in June of 1997. We would shriek with fright one second, and laugh the next. The frat boy sitting next to Patricia all but grabbed Patricia's hand. The remaining films in the series diminished in quality until the inevitable "Scream 4" in 2011.  Let us hope there will not be a fifth film in the series.

There are so many others that I could go on all night, but my cold and the anti-histamines I have taken to combat it are conspiring against me and will soon drag me off to beddy-bye.  So I will finish off tonight's post by telling you about the films called "Hallowe'en". I equally enjoy the John Carpenter film as well as its remake, by the afore-mentioned Rob Zombie. For those of you don't know, the face of "Mike Myers" in the Carpenter film is a painted version of a William Shatner Hallowe'en mask. But you already knew that.

What are your favourite scary movies?

See you tomorrow.


Monday, October 28, 2013

Post 2495 - As Requested

Several of you have been asking me for my thoughts about the death of Harley Lawrence and the plight of homelessness in the Annapolis Valley.  I have been reluctant to do so because I no longer live there. I am only aware of things that happened when I lived there and the odd thing I may have seen or heard about in the decades since.  I am not sure if this anecdotal information, hearsay really, is worth a blog post.  But I will give it a try.

There are huge pockets of poverty in the Annapolis Valley.  The idyllic countryside paints a picture of bucolic splendour; but it covers ugly, festering sores that are all about the very opposite.

There is also old money there: families that have been wealthy for hundreds of years in some cases.  Just study the history of the New England Planters who took over the space "vacated" by the Acadians when they were evicted starting in 1755.  Call it what it was: ethnic cleansing.  But the Planters were granted large tracts of land, and in many cases, this land or parts of it remain in these families to the present day.

There are many poor people in the Valley as well.  We were not rich growing up.  We had it pretty good compared to other people I knew, and other people I heard about. The Goler family is a symbol for not just the incestuous nature of some of its branches, but for the abject poverty in which they lived. I can take you for a drive through parts of the Valley and show you areas where some extremely poor people exist, grinding out very modest livings. One fellow for many years lived in the cab of his truck (and may still do so).  A second fellow lived in a house; when it suffered a major fire, he continued to live there for years despite its condition.  Yet another one of those people is a former family friend who grew up in a tiny house down the road from us, and run by a single mother. One by one, he and his siblings got out and did something with themselves.  This former friend is now a director in the Nova Scotia provincial government making a salary I can only dream about, and I will not go any further to identify him, so don't ask me to.

But as hard as he had it, there were others who had it even worse.  In my father's day, people would take whatever damned job they could to make a few dollars to put food on the table; today, many of these crappy jobs still exist, but very few locals are willing to take them on because they are unattractive jobs that require a great deal of effort to perform and only reward those who are able to do a lot of work in a short period of time; it's called piece work in case you were wondering. But some locals do perform this kind of work.  Most of these folks are poorly educated, unsophisticated people who do not even dare aspire to anything beyond the mundane jobs they do now, so beaten down are they by their life and circumstances.  In a real sense, they are the lucky ones.

However, many poor people are burdened by physical and/or mental issues that preclude them from taking on that kind of work, and can only eke out a meagre existence, living what is called lives of quiet desperation, knowing that their lot can't and won't get better, and do not even try to do so.  They flit from menial job to menial job if they can find anything at all. Some of them end up living with a relative whom they must hope will live forever.

Poverty is nothing new in the Annapolis Valley.  It existed when I was a child.  It existed as  I grew up. It has existed since I left.  I suspect it has even flourished in recent years as more and more of the factory jobs have evaporated, and the people who occupied those positions would be in a poor position to take on any gig that replaced it, such as working in a call centre.

What happened with Harley Lawrence is a tragedy. Nobody should have to live the way he did, and surely nobody should have to die the way he did. The problem of poverty in rural parts of the province is just as acute but more difficult to fix than it is in the city because of the relative abundance of social programs here that don't and can't exist there.  It is a huge problem, with no easy solutions.

I hereby offer this blog as a forum for anybody who wishes to discuss the problems of homelessness and poverty in the Annapolis Valley.  Leave a comment on the blog, or on my Facebook, or as a comment to me on twitter.

Have a good evening.  Keep warm. And I'll see you tomorrow.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Post 2494 - A Word Of Advice


It is getting late.  I have just watched this week's The Walking Dead.  And The Talking Dead is not a show that demands one's undivided attention.  This means that I can give you the advice promised in the title to this post.

I was in the Valley on Saturday as I mentioned yesterday.  I drove past Noggin's Farm a few times, and past Hennigar's Farm Market a few times as well.  Both places were chock-a-block with folks.  Cars jammed into their parking lots hell, west and crooked.  People from the city spending too much money who don't realize that they are doing so.

Here is the bitter truth, folks: For the most part, locals do not shop at these places.  For one thing, the city slickers have taken all the parking spaces.  For another, the prices are mostly not realistic.  Locals can get better prices at road side markets or a store in New Minas called Henny Penny's.  Very close to my mother's place there is a fellow who sells lots of vegetables. Until this week he had plenty of pumpkins, but they were all gone yesterday.  I am guessing there was a run on pumpkin seeds in the last 7 days.

When my father was alive I would occasionally drive him to a farmer's market just outside of  Centreville, whose name escapes me.  The produce was good, and one didn't have the impression that they proprietors were interested in holding people upside down by their ankles and shaking them until every last sou dropped out of their pockets.  There are other farmer's markets that are similarly ethical in the Valley.  Not as many as there should be, but they are there.

If you city people want to drive to these places just off the highway in Greenwich and Wolfville, then go ahead.  It is your money.  I am just saying that you betray yourself to these people when you can instead go somewhere else, support a small farmer, see more lovely countryside, and have more shekels in your pocket when you return to the city and have dinner at the Chickenburger.


The Chickenburger.

Soon, my pet.  Soon.

See you tomorrow.


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Post 2493 - A Busy Day

It is just past midnight Saturday night.  Technically, Sunday.

It was a long day.  Do you want to hear about it?  No?  Well, skip the rest of this post, then.

We left the house late, not until nearly 11:30 Saturday morning.  After a quick Timmies break, we drove to Wolfville where we mosied around a bit.  We visited Mom just in time to participate in the annual Hallowe'en party, in which the residents give out candy to the kids and grandchildren of the residents and staff. Some of those kids barely bothered to put anything on that even remotely resembled Hallowe'en.

We took our leave and picked up the organic chicken that Patricia had ordered.  They had gone out for "ice cream" Friday morning, and their packaged headless and featherless corpses were on display for us to choose from.  Having done that, we dropped them off at Mom's before continuing our shopping in Wolfville, this time for vegetation.

After we had bought as many apples and pumpkins and other things as would possibly fit in my car, we had dinner at the Front Street Diner, so called because it is a simple diner on Front Street in Wolfville.  Please do not over think this.  If it were on Main Street, one would reasonably expect it to be called the Main Street Diner.  But it isn't.  Front Street has its own diner, and it is called the Front Street Diner.  I can't make it any clearer than that.

I had been there before, but it was Patricia's first time.  I had the roast beef dinner, which was a full plate of food for ten bucks.  It was actual roast beef thick enough that the cow would definitely have felt it coming off its arse.  Patricia had the turkey dinner.  I think the turkey would have suffered as well when the meat on her plate was removed from it.  Both meals were excellent.  Good, simple food.  We both had a dessert: I had a orange creamsicle piece of pie; Patricia had a chocolate peanut butter cheesecake.  Everything was made right there in the diner.  We can't wait to go back.  I will take my mother there as soon as I can.  I know she will love it there.

We went back to the house and rested for a little while before returning to Wolfville, for the third time today, to have a coffee at the Just US! on Main Street.  While waiting for our beverages, Patricia noticed someone's bank card on the floor.  She brought it to a barista's attention and together they walked into the main lounge area of the Al Whittle Theatre and found the man whose card it was.  He had not left yet, thank Heaven. He was grateful to get his card back, so grateful in fact that he gave the barista a big tip and bought a gift card for Patricia with sufficient balance on it to pay for a cup of coffee for her.  He was a true gentleman. I gave him one of my blog business cards, and I hope he reads this.  Thank you, sir.

We got back to the house.  I fed the cats. And I have been down here in my home office for  a couple of hours reflecting on my long day.  I have also watched a movie tonight, the 2010 remake of "I Spit On Your Grave".  There is a big discussion online about these films. Are they degrading to women, or empowering to them in the sense that the woman who was brutalized in the film seeks and obtains revenge for what was done to her?  I like revenge movies from time to time.  I don't like to watch them very often as the content is often very disturbing and I am not of that bent.  The film's star, Sarah Butler, doesn't like to watch these kinds of films herself, but accepted the role when she was convinced that the script would allow her character to get back at the men who had hurt her. YMMV, of course, as my own often does.

It is now 12:20AM.  Oddly enough, I only got up 13 hours ago, and took an hour's nap at my mother's.  I had a cup of caffeine at Just US!  And yet I am pooped.  That is what having a long day rich with incident will do to a person.

You guys have a pleasant evening.  See you tomorrow.


Friday, October 25, 2013

Post 2492 - Odds And Sods

The weekend is here.  Yay!

A guy on kijiji was selling a cable box for a scant 20 dollars.  After work, we drove to his luxury apartment and bought it.  I got it hooked up to a tv in the house right now.  I am hoping that by morning it will be at the point will it will recognize all the channels I subscribe to.  I know you don't care.

Tomorrow morning we will drive down to the Valley.  Patricia bought a kiln, which I am now told is not the thing they used to burn dead Scottish people on, and she will play with it in my father's old workshop.  There is ample room for her to do whatever the hell she does with that item there.  I get the feeling that Dad would approve.  It's not like his son has any expertise in power tools or anything.

While in the Valley, we will pick up this year's organic chickens.  There is a guy in Port Williams who grows them and sends them out "for ice cream" around this time of year.  Which means they are slaughtered and dressed and prepared for sale to people like us who like chicken.  Dale tells us that the night before the slaughter, the chicken coop is eerily quiet, as if its inhabitants are somehow aware they will meet their demise the following day. Which means that a chicken will come back from the dead and haunt me some day, something that Houdini was unable to do with his wife 87 years ago.

Newbie continues to eat us out of house and home. He demands food on nearly an hourly basis when we are home. I am not sure what he does when we are at work other than forage for food downstairs here, checking out for mice and other rodents. I wish my lawyer would drop by sometime when Newbie is on one of his tears. Rodent.  Get it?  Hee hee.

My mother will command some of my time on Saturday. In her nursing home room right now, I can imagine her sitting there, feverishly writing out a list of things for me to do. Sometime I will show up there drunk and tell her to run her own damn errands. I'll wear my wife beater with a pack of cigarettes rolled up in the sleeve. I'm just not sure if it should be the left or the right one. What is the proper etiquette?

We will return to the city sometime Saturday evening. We will cram as much fresh vegetation in the car as possible. After all, one can never have too many vegetables in the fridge prior to throwing them out in one's green bin.

Saturday promises to be a busy day. Two women ordering me around from the time I get up until I crawl into bed. Is it time to die yet?

See you tomorrow.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Post 2491 - I've Created A Monster

Wednesday night, after my Toastmasters meeting, Patricia and I drove to Beechville so that I could look at a messenger bag suitable for carrying a laptop.  The brand name is Crumpler.  They arguably make the best such totes and bags and so on, anywhere.

The woman and I agreed to a price, and I took my purchase back to the car.  Patricia was so impressed by it that this morning she checked out similar items.  There was a very high quality crumpler camera bag for a very good price.  We drove there this evening, and she got it.  She's very happy.

We got home and fed the cats.  They always seem to be hungry.  Newbie in particular could not get enough victuals.  It is as if he had a hollow front paw.  He and I went downstairs for a spell.  I ended up watching an episode of "The IT Crowd", the one where buddy takes the IT staff to a play rife with gay references.  Pretty funny stuff.

Reminds me of the time a man I once worked with made an interesting mistake.

Ted and his wife were out driving one day.  They failed to notice a police officer who was directing traffic; the officer had his back to them as he was dealing with another matter.  They sailed on through. Before long, as they reached the downtown, they had to stop suddenly to avoid hitting a series of vehicles ahead of them.

And floats.


They ended up in a parade.   Rather than sheepishly slink off and die, they went along with it and began waving to the crowd.  And that's how they ended up in that year's Gay Pride Parade.

Have you ever made a colossal mistake and tried to cover it up?  Tell me about it by replying to this post directly, or via a reply to the Facebook update, or even the tweet that advertises the blog post.  I want to hear from you!

Newbie is nestling up to me.  It is a cooler evening so he will want to get as much of my body heat as possible.  Sounds like a good idea.

See you tomorrow.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Post 2490 - Of Course It Matters!

There is a pub/watering hole in downtown Halifax called Your Father's Moustache.  It has been there for many years.  I run hot and cold on the place, not quite like that Katy Perry song, but close.  I have had good meals there, and I have had not so good meals there.  You can probably say the same thing about establishments where you are.

Imagine my great surprise and delight, then, when I was there 2 years ago to use the facilities.  Above the urinals were these women who ... well, take a look for yourself:

The above tells me a few things.

Of course size matters.  These young women being representative samples of pulchritude at its best, I do not know what else to conclude.  One lady is holding a measuring tape for goodness' sake.

I am told that the picture of the urinals has been changed and is even more explicit now.  I must conduct some field research at the earliest opportunity and find out what it is.   I do this, make this extreme sacrifice, so that you won't have to.  You're welcome.  I do this because I love you,  you know.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Post 2489 - Tuesday


It is once again fairly late at night.  I realize this is a relative term.  I know people who get so little sleep on a regular basis that the current time of nearly 10:30 is when they're just clearing their throat to keep working for several more hours.  Not me.  Unless I'm hopped up on caffeine, my body and brain start shutting down right about now and point me to bed and a night's slumber.

Not tonight.

Patricia bought a kiln after work today.  She will use it to make things that come out of a kiln.  I associate kilns with Scottish things, but I am not sure why.  Isn't that where they burn dead people?  I'm not sure.  Just in case, I will make sure my life insurance is paid up.

We got home and so far we haven't found any puke that Cindy Clawford coughed up.  We don't think she has taken a dump anywhere, either.  Of course, I haven't been in every room in the house yet.  She likes to leave little presents around for us from time to time.  Lots of fun to clean up.

I worked through lunch today, so I didn't get a chance to resume transcribing a long-overdue interview for your reading pleasure.  I deeply regret taking so long to finish this.  I know my 4.7 readers expect this interview to be done, and I apologize.  Soon.  I will work on it soon.

I received a second media player in the mail today, from an ebay vendor.  It is an Asus O! Play, model # whatever.  It plays nearly every damn file format you throw at it.  Also, it is much more flexible and versatile in accessing the external network drives I keep media stuff on.  Within minutes I was able to play any tv show or movie I had here.  I can pause and fast forward and rewind.  If I stop playing, it does not remember where it left off.  I think that is just a simple preference toggle that I have to set.  I'm happy. The one thing it can't do, give me netflix, is the one thing my other media player can do reasonably well.  It's all good.

I return to Toastmasters Wednesday night.  It will be my first meeting in 3 weeks.  I miss the little buggers.  They probably haven't even noticed I wasn't there.  Maybe I should just take a life-size picture of myself, stick some of my hair on it, and leave it at the meeting place tomorrow night.  See if they notice anything.  Yeah.  I'll do that.

You guys have a good night.

See you tomorrow.


Monday, October 21, 2013

Post 2488 - Aaaaggghh!

I can never remember if the title to this post has two h's or three.

How was your day?  Mine was just spiffy.  Thank you for asking.  It was so spiffy, and I was in such a grand mood, that I spent some time during my lunch hour today re-designing the official Bevboy avatar image.

You will recall from last night's post that I am rather fond of The Walking Dead.  So are many millions of other people.  While I can never be a zombie extra on the show because of my issue with contact lenses, I can at least take a photograph of myself and "zombify" it.

There are numerous websites out there that will let you do this.  Most of them charge a fee to perform this surgery upon an image. I am averse to paying for something when I can get it for free, which says a lot about why I have never been married.  But I digress.

Remember the 2009 film "Zombieland"?  Me neither. Ha ha.  It is allegedly the highest-grossing zombie movie ever, with the possible exception of World War Z.  It's made more cash than Shaun of the Dead, or any of the Romero flicks, or Resident Evil, or whatever.  As part of its advertising campaign a few years ago, they designed a cool website.  It turns out that portions of the  website are still up and running, advertising that the film will come out on October 2nd.

The piece where you can zombify a pic still works.  I decided to upload a smaller version of the Bevboy avatar and play around with it.  I added some scars and wounds and frigged up both eyes and applied a suitably dead skin on my face.  This is what I came up with.

The resulting image is only about 18kb.  I think I will play around with it a bit more and end up with a bigger file size.  It doesn't blow up very well.

Last year, you may recall, there was another horror film out whose title escapes me.  It was a very poor film, but the ability to integrate a picture of your choice in to the official image for the movie was pretty cool.  Here are those pics, in case you have forgotten:

Good times. Good times.

The second one is the one with my avatar cleverly replacing the ghost or whatever the hell it was from the original picture.  I wonder if I can convince my physician to give me a lobotomy so that I can have the memory of that awful film removed from my brain?  Worth a try.

I guess that is it for tonight, my friends. Why not try to zombify your own picture and see what it looks like.  We can have a contest or something.  Yeah.  That would be neat.

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Post 2487 - Sunday

It is nearly 7pm.  I have done not very much today.

We went to lunch at Jungle Jim's in Bayer's Lake.   It is a theme restaurant with not bad food and the busiest menu in the history of menus.   It takes an hour to read the thing and another hour to decide what to have.  It was worth it in the end, but it is not a place one goes to when one is starving and wants to eat sooner rather than later.

We got back to the house and I tackled the litterboxes.  They needed to be cleaned out, and they have been.  I just have to re-supply the cat litter to the boxes before the cats decide to... "improvise".  I keep wondering who is the pet and who is the ostensible owner.

Tonight is The Walking Dead night.  I am curious to know how many of my 4.7 readers enjoy the program. It is certainly popular, and with good reason. The season opener last week was a little slow, but by no means creaky. It was clearly an episode that would set the stage for future ones, and I am along for the ride.  I keep wondering what they will do with the upcoming (2 years from now) spinoff series.

I have long entertained the notion of being a zombie extra on the series. The show is filmed in Georgia, so that is unlikely; but I nonetheless think it would be neat.  The only problem would be the fact that there is no way they would succeed in putting those zombie contact lenses in my eyes.  I fiercely protect my vision to the point where optometrists  charge a special rate when I walk through the door.  I have to be held down by brutish misanthropes when an eye doctor wants to check my orbs.  In order to pry an eye open, they have to hire a third brute whose only job is to do just that. Bottom line: No way can I, will I, or should I, wear contact lenses of any type.  Therefore, Bevboy can never be a zombie extra on The Walking Dead. Sniff.

The last time I checked, litterboxes do not fill themselves.  I guess I should get back to work.

See you tomorrow.


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Post 2486 - Short And Sweet

I am back in the city after a long day.

I left the Valley around 11am and arrived at the house around 12:30.  After a shower that will send my water bill through the roof, Patricia and I decided to go out to dinner and then a movie.

The movie was "Escape Plan" starring Stallone and Schwarzeneggar.  It was ok for what it was, but these guys are getting so old that it defies credulity that they are able to pull off the stunts that they do.  I find it hard to believe that Stallone's character, who's probably not much younger than Stallone himself is, could fight and jump and take the abuse he does, without at least throwing out a hip.  Ah-nold is nearly as tough.  I'm all for senior citizens to be contributing to society and all that stuff, but they should both be in a rocking chair by now.  Just saying.

Tomorrow, when I decide to get up, I will do some cleaning up around here.  No.  Really.  I mean it this time.


See you tomorrow.


Friday, October 18, 2013

Post 2485 - Friday

I remain in the Valley. As things stand, I plan to return to the city Saturday morning.

I've stayed longer than I'd planned because I needed to get my car's oil changed on Thursday. While up on the hoist, Sheldon at Under the Hood Auto reported there was quite a bit of surface rust on the car. He referred me to a place called Eye on Detail.

I called that place this morning. Unbeknownst to me, a gentleman whose car was scheduled for work became ill and had to cancel his appointment, creating an opportunity for me. Right place, right time. My car would be under coated at 1:30.

I spent some time with my mother at her nursing home, playing Lexicon with other women. Lots of these very elderly women are sharp as tacks. I didn't take her to lunch today as we'd gone to the Port Pub in Port Williams on Thursday.

I still had time to kill before my appointment, so I went to Reid's Jewelers in Kentville to have my watch looked at. Turns out that it needs a good cleaning. It was my father's watch so I will get that work done.

While there, I renewed my acquaintance with Bev Steele, who's worked there for many years. Bev is part of a small club, which is to say Bev is a boy like me.

We went to the same high school, graduating two years ahead of me. We know many of the same people. He filled me in on some other guys in the area, living and dead, named Bev. I knew, or knew of, most of them. One was Bev Wade, a very long time fire chief in the area. I remember reading about his exploits as a child. He was well known and admired enough to have the corner stone at the New Minas fire hall named in his honour. Of course, it is still there for anybody to see. Too bad it only states his initials and not "Bev".

I got my picture taken with Bev Steele. Enjoy it, will you?

Anyway, I won't have Dad's watch for a few weeks. I pulled my former watch out of its secret hiding place and had a new battery installed. I will wear it until I get my main watch back.

I drove to my car appointment. Had lunch at the Old Gummer's restaurant because it is in front of the car place. By the time I was finished, so was my car.

Returned to the house. Spent some time in the garage and then in Dad's workshop before taking a nap.

Tonight I watched the first Predator movie for the first time in many years. I will turn in shortly. It's been a long day.

See you tomorrow.

From Bevboy's BlackBerry to Bevboy's Blog!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Post 2484 - Wednesday

Long day.

I arrived here late Tuesday. In addition to finding stuff to toss out for the semi annual Fall clean up here tomorrow, I was running the roads with my mother.

She uses a walker to get around these days, but there is something about the prospect of shopping that invigorates her in the same way the 2011 federal election energized the late Jack Layton. We went to the drug store, to the Giant Tiger, and then to have lunch.

She has a way of asking people to do things without really saying the words, to make the decision seem to be your idea. Before I knew it, I heard myself say, "Would you like to have lunch at the Big Stop?". She allowed as that would be an acceptable choice.

Long-time readers will perhaps dimly recall that I refer to the Irving Big Stop in New Minas as The Old Gummers Restaurant. I do that because it is not a very good restaurant. They serve large portions, but they're not designed to be eaten, just weighed and admired for their value. Also, an awful lot of older people flock to the place, perhaps because it has an extensive senior's menu and the food is not spicy or demanding or innovative to any degree whatsoever.

Anyway, we ended up there. I had a passable meal. I also had a vanilla milk shake, mostly because I hoped that my lactose issues would punish me for having darkened the doorways of the joint.

I got our server to take the picture that accompanies this post. It is a nice one of me and my mother. I'm told we have the same smile.

After lunch, we came to the house. Mom uses this place to store things that won't fit in her room, so she wanted to swap her summer things for her Winter things. I dragged out an ancient mattress and box spring. We decided I would toss out an old reclining chair whose springs are toast. I will also get rid of the world's crappiest vacuum cleaner. You may think you have the world's crappiest vacuum cleaner. You don't. We do, at least until it is picked up on Thursday.

We returned to New Minas for more shopping before I took her back to her room. She had been looking forward to the new magazines I had lined up for her. A woman in Halifax, a voracious reader, unloads a few shopping bags of magazines on me every three or four months. They would just be recycled otherwise or take up room in her place, so she happily gives them to my mother, through me. This lot mostly consists of recent issues of The New Yorker.

Mom was excited to get them. She's become a prodigious reader since she moved to her nursing home. She quizzed me this summer about fair trade coffee! She has a lot of mags to get through. Nearly all of them came to me at no or extremely little cost. I'm delighted to pass them along to Mom. And she's thrilled to get them.

After returning to the house, I napped. After I got up, I disconnected the bed frame the mattress and box frame had been connected to and then started filling a couple blue bags and a clear bag of stuff that are going out in the morning. I found a couple of rusted fold up summer chairs that are going bye-bye. It is now pushing midnight and I think I will turn in.

After all, my mother wants to go shopping tomorrow.

See you tomorrow, assuming I survive the day.

From Bevboy's BlackBerry to Bevboy's Blog!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Post 2483 - Valley Time

Hi. These words come to you from my mother's house. I will be here until Thursday, possibly Friday. Depends.

Newbie didn't come with me this trip. I have no idea, but he somehow senses when I am about to leave for a place other than work and makes himself scarce. I'll miss the little bugger.

I am here to take care of some business involving my mother and the house. It required me and only me. Which is fine because I love this house. Be it ever so humble, as you know.

Patricia's back is still not working well. She went to the doctor today and was prescribed some stuff. We also both got our annual flu shots today. Which means I'll get the flu.

Dad's watch, which I've been wearing since shortly after his death, has been acting up. It stopped working around 3pm Monday. Before I met up with Patricia today I went to the Halifax Watch Company in the Halifax Shopping Centre to get a new battery. The staff member checked and the battery was fine. I asked her to check the little pins that hold the strap in place, and they were fine. She just scraped a little bit of crud on the mechanism that may have compromised the battery contact. She set the correct time on the watch. I'm pleased to report that it's been working perfectly ever since. And, the best part was that she wouldn't take any money! I gave her some Blog cards and told her that I would write something nice about the business this evening. Which I just did.

If you need a new battery or watch strap or something then get that work done at the Halifax Watch Company in the Halifax Shopping Centre. They provide excellent service and even better prices. Just do it, even if you live out of town.

Anyway, I drove up here this evening. I just spent 3 hours watching an excellent 3 hour documentary on PBS about superheroes. It's been a good day but a very long one. Wednesday promises to be the same, so I'm turning in.

See you tomorrow.

From Bevboy's BlackBerry to Bevboy's Blog!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Post 2482 - This And That

It is Monday evening, around 6:30.  It has not been  a pleasant long weekend.

Patricia continues not to feel well.  For some reason, probably laziness, I slept away most of Sunday but got up in time to watch the season opener for The Walking Dead and the companion series, The Talking Dead.

I did the dishes this afternoon and tackled laundry.  I prepared dinner.  And I am downstairs here in my home office just enjoying a bit of time before I have to prepare for reality.

I will still take my 3 days of vacation this week.  Patricia will return to work in the morning and rescind her vacation days she had requested for this week.  She will take those days off when she is feeling better, probably next week.  When that happens she will be down at the cottage to close it up for the year, and I will rendezvous with her down there, once again in a week's time.  At least, that is the plan for now.   Things have a habit of changing in my world.

As you can see from the photo I just took with my webcam, my hair remains beautiful, though rough hewn, the way a man's man's hair should be.  (I just checked and this is the first time the phrase "man's man's" has ever been used n the English language.  Do I get a prize?)

In other news, I am told that the Pat Connolly book is selling very well and may be sold out in certain stores.  Of course, I take credit for this as I asked all 4.7 of you to go out and purchase said tome.  Implicit in this request was for all of you to buy multiple copies and give them to your friends, radiating sales outward like ripples in a pool.  Thank you for that.   Now, all of you, please go forth and withdraw $139.62 from your savings account and deliver it to me at the main Spring Garden Road  entrance to the Public Gardens, this coming Friday morning at 8.  I need new shoes and hair product.  Only the best for Bevboy.

I think I will have my semi-annual shower.  The neighbours have been complaining.

See you tomorrow.


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Post 2481 - A Change In Plans

I am NOT writing this from the cottage.  I remain in Halifax along with Patricia.

She hurt her back on Friday, and the pain manifested itself over night in such a way that any thought of travelling was out of the question.  She hasn't come downstairs all day long.

This afternoon, I drove to Bayers Lake, there to see seek provisions and to see if the Pat Connolly book was out.  To my great delight, it was.  I found exactly one copy of it at the Chapters store.  There are supposed to be a couple dozen copies, but they are extremely well hidden.  Here is the cover, by the way:

Pretty good looking guy, huh?  That picture was taken around 1952 when he was first starting at CJCH radio.  Danny Gallivan had just left the station, and Pat got Gallivan's old job.

I wasn't prepared to discuss it before, but I can now.  Pat, and Joel Jacobson, saw fit to give me a credit in the acknowledgements section.  There is a list of folks who provided transcripts and photographs.  My name is at the first of that list.  It's nice to see that I made at least a small impression.

I perused the book this afternoon.  Some of the material looked a bit familiar as Pat discusses how he got into radio, and how he became friends with Foster Hewitt.  The book deals much more with his sports career than I did, but there are still lots of radio anecdotes.

If he were still around and in a position to speak with me, I'd ask Pat more about his 1970's radio career, things I have found out in the years since our interview.  He had a mid-day show on CFDR for a time in the late 1970's.  It was a music program but also had lots of spoken word content.  You see, radio stations did that type of thing back then.  It wasn't just all wall-to-wall music.  There was a time when radio talk shows proliferated in Halifax.  I don't think the world ended or anything, but you wouldn't know it from the way today's PD's disavow that period.

I am looking forward to reading the book.  And I am especially grateful to Pat and Joel for choosing to acknowledge me in his book.  Thank you.

Please, everyone reading this, go out and buy this book about Pat Connolly.  If it sells well enough, then it can lead to other books about local radio broadcasters.  You just know that I would buy them.  We need books about Don Tremaine and Frank Cameron and Brian Phillips and so many others.  Get out there and buy this book!

That's it for tonight, folks.  See you tomorrow, either from Halifax or the cottage.  Not sure yet.


Friday, October 11, 2013

Post 2480 - Friday

It is past 10pm on Friday.  I will be turning in soon.

In the morning we will drive to the cottage.  I will be returning on Tuesday sometime before going to my mother's for a few days.  Then I will return to the city by Saturday afternoon of the 19th so that we can go out that evening for the annual Nocturne event.  We both missed it last year, and will not miss it this year.

Long day at work.  I was on call over night and got a phone call around 4:15 this morning that reminded me for all the world of the British sitcom The IT Crowd.   It is very funny, because it is so damned true.  Here it is, IT support boiled down to 2 minutes.  Watch it, and then I'll tell you more about my call.

When the caller told me at 4:15 this morning that he had lost all network connections, but they had been working before he'd gone on break, my spidey sense started tingling.  As we were talking, a woman on the other side of the office reported to him that her connections were up and running.   I just repeated the questions posed in the above film clip.  He seemed a little offended by a couple of them, but I asked him to humour me.  He rebooted the computer, and all was well.   I asked him if I could take credit for it working again, and he said sure.  He probably thought I was a genius, but all I did was parrot some questions from a British tv show that I like.  Questions I have been asking for many years before I saw the show, to tell the truth.

(Yes, I'm that good.  Please double my salary.)

After work, we went to dinner at Brewdebaker's in Bayer's Lake.  I had the seafood fettuccine.  Patricia had fish and chips.  She didn't like her meal at all.  Mine was kinda meh.  I have had much better meals at that place in recent months and hope that tonight was an aberration, an isolated anomaly that will skew our perception of the place until other meals we have there down the road restore the perception to a positive one again.

We went to Chapters in Bayer's Lake for the second night in a row, in search of the new book about the life of legendary broadcaster Pat Connolly.  I told you about the book the other day and can't wait to get my mitts on one.  While they had their book release on Wednesday, it will not be out in book stores until the 15th.

I have a pretty cool reason to get this book.  I don't want to tell you what it is until I get the book and see it for myself.  Once I have, fear not, effendi.  I will crow about it.  I will shout it from the highest rooftops.  I will tweet it and ask all my followers to retweet it until even the Pope knows about it.  If it is what I think it is, it will be pretty dang neat.

Tomorrow promises to be another long day.  I think I will turn in.

See you tomorrow, my lovelies.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Post 2479 - A New Cable Show Of Interest

First of all, I'm sorry there was no blog post on Wednesday.  I wasn't feeling well last night.  Much better today.  My 4.7 readers can send me their get well wishes.

My friend Darrin Harvey is the host of an upcoming cable show on Eastlink Television.  It begins on October 20, 2013 and runs through January 19, 2014.  It is called East Coast Music Unplugged.  It was recorded in Halifax during East Coast Music week in March of 2013 and promises to be excellent.

Each week in this 13 part series, Darrin interviews Atlantic Candian singers, songwriters and bands.  The list of acts is as follows:  Christina Martin, Charlie A’Court, Cam Smith, Alan Jeffries, Heather Green, Quake Matthews, Ian MacDougall, Gloryhound, Jenn Grant, Ben Caplan, David Myles, Justin Mahoney and Tim Chaisson.

These acts are also going to be playing unplugged, hence the title of the show.  I am especially intrigued to learn that Gloryhound is going to be playing unplugged.  I wonder if they will do this song in that format:

Yeah, there's a song you ain't gonna hear on Radio 956 or Lite 92.9.  And, does Buddy give the finger in the unplugged version of the song?  I have to know!

(And remind me to tell you about the time I referred to them as "Gloryhole" in a tweet.  I gather that is something else totally unrelated to music.)

Darrin used to be a part of a radio program called "File 97" on the now-sorta-defunct Magic 97 (known as "File 168" across the hall from the other radio station) in which he would interview folks who were in the Annapolis Valley on a book tour or speaking tour or something.  I remember he was a good interviewer then, and I look forward to seeing how his passion for music and performers will lend itself to this program.

I do not know if the program will be available online.  Let us hope it will be.

Good luck, my brother.  Me and my 4.7 readers will be watching with great interest!


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Post 2469 - Radio News

At the end of a supremely long day, I learn that there will be a biography of the late and great Pat Connolly published on October 9th, Wednesday, tomorrow.

It is written by Joel Jacobson, late of the Chronicle Herald newspaper, and clearly a long-time friend of Pat's. 

I have every confidence that the book will be excellent.  When I interviewed Pat in 2009, I just scratched the surface of the man's career.  I am happy that before he died, that he sat down with Mr. Jacobson and that a book will come from it.  I look forward to buying a copy and getting the author to sign it. 

I hope that this book sells a zillion copies as it will lead to the publication of more books featuring radio icons.  That would not mean I would retire from doing interviews, at least in theory.  Time will tell.

As I stated, this has been a very long day, but not as long as it was for the provincial NDP.  We will have a change in government with a Liberal majority.  I do not get very political on this blog because lots of other people can do it better than I can.  But I do look forward to seeing what do with the province over the next 4 years. 

You guys have a good evening. 

See you tomorrow.


Monday, October 7, 2013

Post 2468 - Lazy Monday

Long day. And everybody's tired.

Another long day tomorrow so I'd better turn in.

See you tomorrow.

From Bevboy's BlackBerry to Bevboy's Blog!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Post 2467 - Sunday

I am back in the city after a few days in the Valley.

It was an unexpected trip.  There was an urgent pressing matter at the family house that required my attention.  That was dealt with on Friday afternoon, so I spent the next nearly two days running errands, spending time with my mommy, and resting.

One thing you may not know about me is that I enjoy cheap ass horror movies.  Back in the day, I had a fairly large collection of vhs movies, and I gave most of them away a couple of years ago.  But at the last minute I decided to keep the horror films.  You may also not know that more than a few of these ultra-low budget movies have never been released on dvd, probably because there is no compelling financial reason to do so.  If people don't know that a particular movie exists, and therefore demand it be released in a digital format, then it probably won't be.

I decided to leaf through those horror films this weekend.  My fingers alighted on something called "Forever Evil".  It came out in 1987.  Don't ask me how I got this movie; I have no idea.

When my mother moved out, I acquired a free standard definition television here in Halifax from someone who was either giving it away or taking it to a recycling depot.  I got the tv and transported it to my mother's and hooked it up in such a way that the one set of inputs can be used to play a tape, a dvd, or even a thumb drive containing videos through a media player.  When I did that I discovered that  the tv had a built-in vcr as well.  I haven't made the full jump to an HD life because of the existence of these rare, shitty, vhs movies, by the way.

I proceeded to watch the film, which turned out to be just as trashy and low quality as one might possibly imagine.  I know that high budget movies in the 1980's could look pretty good; but these guys had virtually no budget, and it showed.

People who don't know what they're talking about, often discuss acting as if they did.  I have taken an acting course or two, so I can at least state that acting is not an easy thing to do, and that it can be an extremely subtle thing, or broad and showcasey.   I have a lot of respect for actors and what they do; I am a cheap date in that sense because as long as I can accept the actor in the role, then I am probably not in a position to gauge how well the actor is essaying the role beyond the fact that I am not saying "oh, come on!" too often.  You're probably not in that position either.  Be honest.

There are scenes where the actors are reacting to what others are saying and doing, which is the professional thing to do.  There are interesting dollops of dialogue and exposition here and there, as when the older cop is talking about meeting a fellow war veteran and each knowing that the other was a veteran without saying a word to each other.  But there are all kinds of scenes when I'd swear that the actors were reading cue cards, and others where the special effects were so cheap that they would insult Edward Wood, Jr.

I finished watching the movie this morning.  Upon my return to the city, I read the imdb page about the film, which in turn pointed me to this website that discussed in great detail the production of the film.  I read it through this evening and suggest you check it out as well, as it gives you a good idea how a low budget can often be a challenge as much as a hindrance.  The director is passionate about this film, without losing sight that it is not a good one.

There is an honesty about these crappy movies.  I don't want to watch them every day or even that often; but I often enjoy myself when I do.  I view them for what they are, an honest attempt to entertain.  Even when/if they fall short, I can at least appreciate the attempt.

Just don't get me started on these earnest Hollywood films that are all about the same thing.  Like this one.  These are the truly shitty movies you don't need to see.

Time for bed.  Since it isn't December 1st, 2018, I have to work tomorrow.

See you Monday!!


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Post 2466 - Saturday

Another long day. Late. Newbie wants to go to bed.

So do I.


From Bevboy's BlackBerry to Bevboy's Blog!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Post 2465 - Friday

Friday night. The end of the long day I mentioned yesterday.

Newbie is on my lap, chilling out.

I will be turning in shortly.


From Bevboy's BlackBerry to Bevboy's Blog!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Post 2464 - Valley Time

Hi. I am writing these sub-par words at my mother's. I drove up here this evening.

I have some important business to take care of on Friday, something that only I could or would take care of.

I plan to stay here until Sunday morning or very early afternoon. I brought Newbie with me as well. He sits on my lap, vying for my attention. When he does this, I can really tell how much weight he's gained. At this rate, he will soon be bench pressing me.

Tomorrow promises to be a busy day. Better get some shut eye.

See you tomorrow.

From Bevboy's BlackBerry to Bevboy's Blog!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Post 2463 - Interesting Facebook Groups


I was on Facebook during my lunch hour today and realized that, A) I have a lot of friends, some of whom I have never met; and B) I am in a lot of FB groups.

You are probably in quite a few groups as well.  I thought it might be interesting to tell you about some of the groups I have joined in the last couple of years.  I don't always participate in what these groups offer, but at least I can see what they're up to.

These are in no particular order.

This is the saddest one of the bunch.  The group "In Loving Memory of Jaclyn Hennessey" is in honour of a young woman killed in downtown Halifax in 2009, or 2010.  For reasons I have never discussed until this moment on this blog, I decided to join the group.  You see, Ms. Hennessey was hit by a truck at the corner of Barrington and Sackville Streets.  That same corner had a Tim Horton's (which is now a Starbucks), and it was our habit to have coffee there once or twice a day.  We were sitting in the corner of that Tim's as she crossed the street, not noticing the truck that was turning left on to Sackville at that moment.  I will never, can never, forget the sight of seeing her body hit the pavement, which happened in my direct line of sight.  There is one glimmer of good in this in that she was killed instantly.  I decided to join the group because I wanted to know something about her rather than just how she died.   People continue to post messages to that group on a weekly basis.  She must have been a lovely person in every sense of the word.  Nearly her very last act in this world was to smile at a homeless person panhandling at that corner, just before she stepped out into oblivion.

The List of Unsolved Deaths page is just about that.  Unsolved deaths are discussed, some of them going back a couple hundred years.

The Banana Man FB page is about the curious man named "A. Robins" who performed an act involving fruit that would jump out of his pocket, an oversized magnet, a unique trill that made him sound unhuman, and an act that must be seen to be believed.  He designed and created all the props himself in his small workshop in his home in New York; I like to imagine that his workshop is similar to the one my father had in the family home, and which is still there.  At some time in the late '40's or early '50's, he retired from the act and it was purchased by someone else who became more famous for having appeared on children's television shows.  Legend has it that the costume and the props could not be washed and cleaned; over the years they acquired a stench that made it uncomfortable for people to be downwind from him.  Since the act never really changed, whenever they decided to have the "Banana Man" on, they would just send him another cheque.  Sounds like a good deal to me.  Here is an embed of a Banana Man performance from a 1939 Red Skelton short film.  This would be the original Banana Man.

Let's do a couple more.

I've requested to join "Halifax and Nova Scotia's Growing List of Unsolved Murders".  For a province of less than a million souls, we have quite a few of them.  I believe there are a few not mentioned here.  One would be the mysterious death of someone during the VE Day riots in Halifax.  I need to research that a bit more, but I believe an enlisted man was killed somewhere around Citadel Hill, and that death was never solved.  As well, I recall the death of a man around Citadel Hill around 20 years ago.  For those not in town, that area has been and likely still is a place where gay men go cruising.  This gentleman apparently met someone that evening who did not like his lifestyle enough to kill him.  I do not believe that crime has been solved.  I also recall the death of a man who lived  a couple streets over from me, about 20 years ago as well.  He was in the habit of bringing men home with him, and blackmailing them over something to be imagined.  One of these men apparently took a dim view to it. If that murder was solved I never heard about it, and I try to keep up on these things.  These deaths are not listed anywhere on the Halifax Police website.  But they and this FB page do mention the mysterious gangland-style death of Michael Resk, which happened all the way back in 1955, at a street corner that today has a church near it.  Rumours continue to swirl around this case, but I am not a person kept up-to-date on these things (but I would like to be.)  In March of 1996, on the old Hotline show hosted by Brian Phillips. they discussed unsolved murders in the area. There was quite a bit of talk about Mr. Resk's death, which 40 years later continued to provoke discussion.

"Griff and Caroline's Fan Club" is a page devoted to Griff Henderson and Caroline Parker, the long-time morning show hosts on the former Kool FM.  When the powers that be decided to change the format to "Radio 965", they decided that Griff and Caroline were not going with, despite the fact that they had a very loyal fan base and were delivering solid ratings.  What have you done for me lately?  They are both talented folks and will find something soon, but probably not in Halifax.

The last one for this evening is "Halifax Radio Memories".  It is a page all about Halifax radio from back in the day.  These folks wallow in nostalgia, and I enjoy it a lot.  Scott Snailham is a charter member.  He worked for CHNS radio for years.  When that station was moving out of its long-time Tobin Street digs, he was mandated with cleaning out the attic and tossing stuff into a dumpster.  He discovered long-forgotten acetate tapes of old radio shows from that heritage station.  Old game shows, and variety hours, talk shows hosted by Clive Schaefer and Bob Oxley; a unique  "infomercial" by Hank Snow, who had a show on CHNS in the 1930's.  So much other stuff that he elected to take home, and not throw out.  Bless him for that.  In the last couple of years he has taken to digitizing these old acetate tapes and putting them up in the cloud for folks to download.  I wish there had been Scott Snailhams for CJCH and CFDR, but one can't have everything.

Those are but a few groups I am a member of on Facebook.  If you like, I will do a another post listing other groups I am a member of.  Some of them might surprise you.  In the mean time, tell me about some FB groups you're a member of.  I'd love to hear about them.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Post 2462 - Want To Play A Game?

First of all, I must apologize for not producing a post on Sunday.  I had written most of it, but my internet connection dried up so I could not publish the post.  I was not even able to save the full draft of what I wrote, so I finished it Monday morning and published the full thing then.

I have been considering a contest that I have held here a couple of times before.  It was great fun for me, so I thought I'd try it again.  I have picked up quite a few new readers since the last time I ran it. 

It is the alphabet game.  You supply a letter of the alphabet and a general subject or theme.  I write a blog post about the subject which consists of 26 sentences.  The first word of the first sentence starts with the supplied letter of the alphabet.  The second sentence begins with a word that starts with the next letter of the alphabet.  This process continues until I have cycled through the entire alphabet. 

To enter the contest, you can reply to the tweet that announces this blog post, or you can enter a comment to the Facebook status update to either my personal FB account, or the Bevboy's Blog FB account; or, finally, you can send an email to this address

I will sift through the entries and select the one I feel is the most interesting and most challenging.

Please don't be a smart ass about this.  Think about a subject you will really want to read about.  Don't send me something like "I -- Nicaraguan Pig  Testicles", and expect me to write a post about that subject.  Be creative.  Don't be a bugger.

The contest opens now and ends on October 8, 2013, at 11:59PM ET.

Get going.  Send me lots of suggestions. 

See you tomorrow.