Saturday, May 31, 2014

Post 2678 - Sigh

‎Very long day that I will tell you about on Sunday. 

Trying to watch a show through Plex. Buffers all the time. Speaks to the low quality bandwidth Canadians have to endure. 

Turning in shortly.  


Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the Bell network.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Post 2677 - Radio Ratings

I can't write too much about the radio ratings this time around. I have only been able to find one page that contains rolled-up results. I don't know anything about demographics, and I don't know anything about dayparts.

But it sure does look like CBC One is kicking serious arse, with some 18 percent of the market. That is far and away better than anyone else's ratings. Once again, I am left wondering why PD's rag so hard on the CBC. Their ratings are excellent, it is done with very little traditional advertising, and I can only think it has to do with jealousy. CBC has lots of news and sports and weather, while the private stations mostly see news as something that gets in the way of playing more sets of music. When will PD's admit that the CBC is doing a lot of things right? Probably never. It would cost money to re-institute all the spoken word content they jettisoned 20 years ago.

Some people interpret some ratings at some stations having gone down. Meanwhile, people at those stations refute those assertions. It is all very hard on my little head. So, when Live 105's ratings seem to have gone down, and this is agreed to by their GM, I guess that does mean the ratings have diminished somewhat.

All NS Dot Com is reporting that Q104 is down a bit. Meanwhile, Bobby Mac is stating they're number one. See what I mean?

I haven't given up. I will keep trying to find out more information about the ratings. And I will report it all here.

See you tomorrow.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Post 2676 - Wednesday

Hello again, my friends.

I am enjoying another record-breaking lunch hour. I ate 2 more fishcakes that Patricia prepared over the weekend. They tasted even better today than they did on Monday and on Sunday. I guess they're like a fine wine until they go bad and stink up the joint.

I have a thing after work this evening, but it is not Toastmasters, and it doesn't start until 7. And it's in Dartmouth. My god. Dartmouth. I was only in that fine, tine town last month. Already I will be back there. I am convinced that Dartmouth exists only to hold up the other side of the Macdonald and MacKay bridges, and to give the ferries some place to go.

BTW, I did not misspell the name of the first bridge in the previous paragraph. There are clans of "MacDonald's" where the initial "d" is not capitalized. I have always wondered if that unusual spelling signified something. And are there "McDonald's" where the initial d is kept in lower case? The things I think about!

So, Patricia and I went to the Live Hive event at Live 105 on Monday. I booked off 2 hours of vacation for that, and she did something similar. We got there in plenty of time. We both had to produce identification to prove we were who we said we were. I am guessing they do that to prevent some woman from walking in off the street and saying she is the Bev who won tickets to the event.

For some reason, the show didn't start until 3:30. But I can now reveal that the Live Hive event featured The Trews. Well, a brace of the Trews. The Twoes, if you will. They did a few songs from their newest album. Between each song, Courtney Amirault would pose questions to the guys pursuant to the upcoming song. She later told me that if "In the Morning" had been on the playlist, she would have allowed me to ask a question about the song. It features Serena Ryder and is only the best song in the history of the world. Check it out.

You're welcome.

I looked but can't find a performance of the song that has Ms. Ryder in it. I will keep looking.

After it was over, I had a chance to meet the guys and my Gary Tredwell got pics of me posing with them. I will put them up here once I download them from my camera.

Patricia and I went to pick up her car. I tried to pick up some magazines given to me to give to my mother, but wires at my end got crossed, so I had to wait until Tuesday after word to do that.

I meant to mention this last week, but for the first time since I have been living in my house, I no longer have the movie channels. The cost kept going up, and the films and tv shows we liked kept going down. Netflix has so much more and is far, far cheaper. We are saving 40 dollars a month now. We will probably drop more channels in the coming months.

No, I still haven't seen "Orphan Black" from this past weekend. Don't tell me what happens.  Deal?

No, I mean it. Deal?

There is not much else to report. You guys have a good day, and I will see thee on the morrow.


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Post 2675 - Tuesday

Developed a migraine at work today. Slept the night away. Newbie has been all over me ‎and still is.  

Where does he begin and end, anyway?

See you tomorrow.  


Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the Bell network.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Post 2674 - Kitchen Stuff


I have worked in an office environment for nearly my entire adult life. This means that I have always had kitchen privileges at my work places. Bathrooms, as well.

I want to talk about workplace kitchens. I want to know if the things I will reveal in this post apply to your own work kitchen, or if I have just had bad luck over the years. Be honest with me because I will know if you are lying.

I get the feeling that microwave oven manufacturers deliberately supply the lowest quality devices to workplace kitchens. In my many years of work, I have never encountered a good quality one. I have experienced microwaves that required a master's degree in mechanical engineering just to operate. Once you did get them working, they warmed up my food so slowly that I usually gave up and ate it half cold.

How do microwaves work again? As I recall from my high school physics, it has something to do with the excitation of electrons. The electrons in the microwave ovens at my work don't seem to be very excited. They just yawn and stretch and come to life like in that Dolly Parton song. Maybe they should have their morning coffee first.

(Why do microwave ovens have clocks, anyway? Is it too remind you that you are pissing away your lunch hour staring at them, waiting for your food to heat up? That's my theory.)

Refrigerators are another problem. I get the feeling that they are purchased from some dude on the side of the road who gave up on getting his to function properly, so my work place took advantage of a cheap sale and lugged it here. This was done in the vain hope that we wouldn't notice that it keeps food in the fridge, frozen; and food in the freezer can melt away. People should just reverse where they put their food.

Paper towel is a very important commodity in any work place kitchen. We use it to cover food in microwaves because those plastic plate covers we take for granted at home, are seemingly illegal outside of it. But have you ever noticed that the paper towel dispensers are located in the most difficult-to-reach part of the kitchen? Usually over the head of someone standing by it, who needs to be there. It means you end up fondling their hair in order to get at the paper towel. Is that sexual harassment?

Have you ever noticed that if there is any dish detergent in a work place kitchen at all, it is watered down because nobody bothers to replace the bottle when it runs out? Why can't it be somebody's job to replace dish detergent in workplace kitchens, in the same way that it is the job of some people to water plants? A company could be created whose function is to replenish fundamental supplies in workplace kitchens in any given city. This company would do very well and be in high demand.

Kitchen tables? If they exist, they have at least one short leg, so good luck if you are eating any liquids. And the chairs were manufactured by the spawn of Satan, so it is impossible to sit comfortably in one.

I guess that's about it. I feel so much better now.

What are you workplace kitchen pet peeves? You know how to contact me. Reply to this post, or to the FB post, or reply to my tweet. I can't wait to hear from you.

Have a good one. Remember: tomorrow I will tell you about my Live 105 Live Hive experience!!


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Post 2673 - Sunday

Hello, folks.

I am back in the city after having left the Valley early this afternoon.

Newbie somehow senses when I am preparing to leave. I tried to shake things up this morning, but he saw through my careful ruse. I began washing the dishes right after breakfast, around 10:30. I walked into the living room, past him, to get something from the bedroom. He took that as a threat, and slunk away from me.

I went about my business. I finished the dishes. I went downstairs for a spell to do some stuff in the basement. I went outside to remove brush from the lawn, and then went to the garage to mow that section of the lawn. I put the lawn tractor away. Locked the garage. Went back into the house. Newbie was still nowhere to be seen. I sighed. I closed every door in the house to make sure he either couldn't slink to another room, or leave the room he was in. I pulled the couch away from the wall, and there he was, looking up at me in a sheepish manner. I grabbed him and stuffed him into his carrier. I loaded the car and locked up the house and left.

I visited my mother for a few minutes. She had read the book I had lent her about Halifax during World War II. There have been a few books about Halifax during WWII in the last few years, and I own a couple of them. Stephen Kimber's book. The one by... I forget his name, but Patricia bought it for me for Christmas a few years ago. And there is the one by the Chronicle Herald that I do not own. What is unique about this little book, a glorified pamphlet really, is that it was published during the War. I have written about this book before, but I am still having a hard time getting over my good fortune at encountering it at such a good price. The Robert  Chambers line art is beautiful and depicts a somewhat romanticized view of what Hali must have been like during that period.

I have written about this before. I do so again, now. If anybody has any interesting anecdotes about either Halifax or the Annapolis Valley that he or she wants to share in a semi-public forum like this, then by all means do so. I am fascinated not just by the radio medium in this and that market, but by how people lived back in the day. CJCH radio used to have an occasional feature on the Hotline where they discussed the "good old days". I recorded as many of those as I could, and I have to get off me arse and digitize them, because they are very interesting. Al Hollingsworth would be the guest on many of these talks.

A few more questions about this fine city.

Where was "The Bucket of Blood", anyway? It was some kind of tavern back in the day.

And, why is it that Spring Garden Road becomes  Coburg Road at Robie?

Why was there a giant safe in the Roy Building, the very building that will be torn down shortly to become a high-rise condo space featuring places that nobody can afford? Was the safe for a bank, a jeweller, or something nefarious?

And, on the Granville Street side, why did/does the Roy Building have a dirt floor in a particular storage room? I guess it would be the left-most door, while it is still there. Open it up, and you will see a dirt floor? Why?

Why is the Tramway Building, called that? I know that there were once tramway cars in Halifax. Was that the headquarters for them or something?

Why was the Green Lantern building, called that? Well, stupid question to some degree. It was informally called that because of the Green Lantern restaurant. I think that the old actual green lantern is still above the main door to the building, ravaged by Hurricane Juan far too long ago. But why did they name the restaurant that? Did the name exist prior to... 1941 or so, prior to the creation of the original Green Lantern superhero? If that is the case, then did the superhero's name come from the restaurant? It is possible. Halifax was a major, major thoroughfare during the war.

Last question for tonight. Why did Ada McCallum, the notorious Halifax madam, move around so much? She had a place on  Tobin Street, Windsor Street, Russell Street, her original brothel at 51 Hollis Street, and even a place in  Dartmouth. What was up with that?

Yeah. Let's end with that for the evening.

Back to work tomorrow. There will be a really cool event in the afternoon. We have won tickets to the Monday afternoon Live Hive at Live 105. We have never been. It has been a big mystery as to who will be performing there. I can hardly wait to find out. Don't worry. I will cover this event for Bevboy's Blog.

BTW, the Live Hive used to be the social club for the local constabulary. I sold a bunch of magic props and books there several years ago when the magic club I was once a member of, held meetings there.

See you tomorrow, me lovelies.


Saturday, May 24, 2014

Post 2672 - Saturday Night

‎Saturday evening. And I have a Newbie on my lap.

Mom still calls him "Newfie". I know I should correct her but it's  just too funny. 

You guys have a great evening. See you tomorrow. 


Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the Bell network.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Post 2671 - Friday

Hi. I'm at my mother's for another weekend. I will return to the city Sunday afternoon.  

Rats! I have to watch "Orphan Black " in standard definition tomorrow night. What kind of sacrifice am I making?

Oh, Newbie says hello.  

See you tomorrow.  


Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the Bell network.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Post 2670 - Radio News

I found out this news on Tuesday, but didn't have a chance to report it here last night because I was too busy enjoying the "Safety Last!" blu-ray.

Curtis Bray, the Program Director at 89.3 K-Rock in New Minas, informed me yesterday that the new K-Rock morning show, to begin mid-June, will consist of Becky Tucker and ... Mr. Bray, who will remain PD at that fine station in addition to being the morning show co-host.

I do not know much about Ms. Tucker. I just know that she does the evening shift 6-10pm at the Hot 92.3 in Fredericton. She looks young enough to be my, um, step sister, so I would gather that she doesn't have as many years of experience in the industry as, say, Brian Phillips or Don Connolly.

I have to wonder, though: by hiring such a young co-host, does that signify anything regarding a format change at K-Rock? The K-Rock station in Charlottetown went bye-bye a couple, three years ago, and became a station much like the Hot 92.3. I don't want to start rumours or make my friends at K-Rock feel vulnerable, but once again, I am left wondering about these things because I feel that is part of my role: to report and comment on developments in the Halifax and Valley radio markets. I shouldn't do one, without doing the other.

Anyway, my very best to Becky Tucker as she takes on this new radio challenge.

In other news, I see that Sheldon MacLeod is the new afternoon news anchor at News 95.7. I had heard about this a few weeks ago, but sat on the news because I wasn't sure if he had told his bosses at Newcap Halifax about it. Mr. MacLeod has big shoes to fill, as he follows Scott Simpson in that role.

Do I have to state it? Really? Okay. My very best to Sheldon MacLeod in his new role.

Also, Jonathan Muma has left News 95.7. I blush to admit that I have heard the name of his replacement on that fine station, but it is not coming to me at the moment. I will follow up and report here because I know you care, and I also know it is a thrill for these folks to see their names mentioned on my blog.

With all the hiring that News 95.7 has been doing lately, I am going to conclude that they won't be switching formats any time soon. They will not be "refreshing their schedule" any time soon, either. It's funny because their idea of "refreshing" something is my idea of "firing a bunch of people and cancelling local programming in favour of bringing in crap from Toronto". YMMV, of course.

And, finally, my thanks to Andrew Douglas at Frank Magazine for quoting pieces of my  Gordon Lightfoot concert review from a few weeks ago. It was a horrid concert that would have been improved if the sound had been cut off. Lightfoot did not sing so much as mutter. And if a woman in stilettos jumped up and down on my balls for 5 minutes, then I could hit some of the notes he could not. As I wrote before, I am glad that the tickets were free.

You guys have a good day.  See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Post 2669 - Tuesday

‎Newbie and I, watching my Blu-Ray copy of Harold Lloyd's "Safety Last!"

Took an unexpected vacation day today. Back to work tomorrow for sure this time.   

See you tomorrow.  


Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the Bell network.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Post 2668 - Monday

Hello, my friends.

It is past 10:30. I will turn in after 24 is over.

I return to work in the morning. Another 4 day weekend is behind me. I did some housework this weekend but not enough. There is always work to be done around here. Sigh.

You will recall that on Thursday night after work that I purchased a couple external hard drives from a fellow on Kijiji. The 250GB one was installed in the Probox 4 bay external hard drive enclosure, and it works very well. The unit presently houses 2, TB drives, a 500GB drive, and the afore-mentioned 250.

The 500GB drive I bought from Buddy was physically smaller and did not fit in the enclosure. So, this evening I took the hard drive I got for free from a former neighbour and opened it up. I took out the existing memory and replaced it with some ram a guy at work gave me last year. Then, I figured out how to add the second hard drive. To do that, I had to unplug the multidrive because there were only 2 power cords in the unit. Can you buy those little red cables somewhere?

Anyway, the second hard drive is in there and works fine. The memory has been doubled. And the computer has a new lease on life, what with 820GB of storage in it now. Even today, new desktop machines seldom come with more than a 1TB hard drive. And the total cost was 30 bucks. I'm happy. And the 250GB drive was a mere 10 bucks. I'm even happier.

Every time I figure out something like this on my own, it reinforces the perception I have that I am not quite the dummy that some people thought I was back in a much earlier period of my life. Heck, when I got the job I have now, a close relative said to my mother, "What if Bev can't do the job?" To which I would reply, "Screw you! Go back to your job at Wal*Mart rearranging ladies' wear. At least you can handle that!"

What else is happening? Well, Patricia returns to the city on the morrow. She has been using my car for the last few days, and I can't say I have missed driving very much. It has been a nice break. But, back to reality tomorrow.

You guys enjoy the rest of your evening. See you tomorrow.


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Post 2667 - Saturday

Hello, my friends. How was your day?

I am in the house by myself, unless you include Newbie, which I do. Patricia and Cindy took off for the cottage late this morning and arrived around 1pm. We have spoken a few times since then, and all seems to be well, except that she is frustrated she can't mow the lawn because the lawn tractor needs a tune up before it can be pressed into service. She says that the weather is lovely up there. I keep telling myself she is at a disadvantage because she only has standard definition televisions down there. She will come around to my way of thinking, sooner rather than later.

I have spent some time today doing laundry and watching episodes of a show called "Community" on Netflix. The show was cancelled earlier this month after 5 seasons. However, I only watched one episode of the show a couple of years ago and didn't like it at all. Shame on me, because when I started watching it today, I became enthralled by it. It is funny and sharp and smart and I wish I had been watching it all along. I can make up for it now, though, by watching it a few episodes at a time. Check it out, won't you?

Not much else is going on. On Sunday I will tackle some work around the house that needs to be tackled. I don't need to mow the lawn here though, because the young fellow down the road from me had already done the job for me. This will be the second year that he will have been doing this chore for me. It adds up to a costly sum over the course of the year, but I am at the point where I don't want to do that any more. The young man is happy to get the money, and I am happy not to be doing that work. Lazy much?

I will try to stay up long enough to watch the season finale of Saturday Night Live. I'm sure you all care.

That's it for tonight, my lovelies.

See you tomorrow.


Friday, May 16, 2014

Post 2666 - Some Cool Purchases

Hi. It is quite late Friday evening. I should be turning in soon.

I had today off work. We went to breakfast at the Westcliff diner on Oxford Street before we went to the Superstore and the fish guy before we returned to the house. Patricia took a nap while I watched "Whitehouse Down", courtesy of the Plex client on my Roku media player. Tonight, we went out to that pasta restaurant in Bayers Lake, and it was excellent.

Thursday evening I bought a couple external hard drives from a guy on kijiji. The smaller one was 250gb and I got it for 10 dollars. The 500gb drive was 30 dollars. Alas, that drive doesn't fit in my Probox 4 bay enclosure, but the smaller capacity one, does. I will try to put the other drive in a desktop computer this weekend. I hate to waste storage.

Also last night I bought a replacement copy of "On South Mountain", the story of the Golers. I was unable to find the copy I had bought many years ago, and there was another guy who was selling a hard copy one for a price that didn't offend me. The book is long since out of print, and it is highly unlikely that there will ever be a reprint.

In leafing through it last evening it occurs to me that such a book would likely not be produced today, at least in the form it was published in. Victims of sexual assault are not identified as a matter of course. Since the abusers were their parents/uncles/brothers (or some combination thereof), they would not be able to be identified either, because by identifying them, one can therefore deduce the names of the victims.

As it is, a couple of names were obfuscated; but I downloaded off Youtube a 1986-era CBC documentary all about the Golers and the trial. It lists the names of the people who were convicted. I could probably cross reference that list with the names in the book (written 10 years later as FOIPOP laws were coming more into vogue) and determine those other names, if I wanted to do so.

I also bought a book published during World War II. It was only 10 dollars. It is more of a pamphlet really. It is called "Halifax in Wartime". The subtitle is "A Collections of Drawings by Robert W. Chambers", who was the political cartoonist for the Chronicle Herald for several decades, the way that Bruce MacKinnon has been their cartoonist for the last few decades.

The book had retailed for 15 cents back in 1943. It features short pieces of text accompanied by Chambers drawings of Halifax life during World War II. I have seen this book around for years now, but could not justify paying 25 dollars for it, as other places had wanted. I managed to talk the seller down to 10 bucks, and I am very happy with the purchase. I think my favourite is the one featuring downtown Halifax, at the corner of Barrington and Sackville. I can see the building that became the Vogue Optical building. And I can see the buildings beyond that which have been demolished in just the last couple of weeks to make room for the Roy Building condominiums that will be unaffordable for nearly everybody, despite the fact that we're told that people should live downtown. But I digress.

In the same drawing, I can see buildings on the right hand side going down Sackville that ain't there no mo'. There is a parking lot at the foot of Sackville, but when I first moved to Halifax in 1988, I remember a couple of abandoned buildings. Those are represented in this drawing. They were demolished around 1990, but I have always wondered what those buildings were used for back in the day. Were they businesses? Office buildings? Residences? Whore houses? In the last going off, there were rumours that the buildings were not that abandoned after all, that perhaps they were used for some nefarious purposes best not described here.

Anyway, this is an excellent book. It is 71 years old. It will never be reprinted. And it's mine.

Say, while we are on the subject of former buildings, how many of you remember the ABC Bargain Centre, on Morris Street? There is a sushi place there now. But, back in the day it was this convenience store. I went in once or twice. The owner informed me he had been there since 1968 or so. This was 1996 or so. The place gave me the creeps. You'd go in, and there would be a layer of dust on the canned goods. Uh, what kind of store was this, anyway? It was not a very inviting place.

And, lastly, who remembers "Mr I Got It?" It was around the corner of Hollis and Salter Street, where the Cabin Coffee is now. Another interesting store that had a unique identity and was the subject of much speculation. But who here reading this, knows what the joint was about?

Three questions, then. Those buildings at the foot of Sackville: What were they, back in the day? What was the deal with the  ABC Bargain Centre? And just who was "Mr. I Got It"?

You guys have a good evening. I will see thee on the morrow.


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Post 2665 - Wednesday

‎Let's see here. Whom can I tick off this evening? 

This will be a short post. It's late and I have a long day ahead. 

Just read a Facebook update from Jim Starlin, a very famous comic book creator. His cat got run over this morning. I grieve his loss with him but I will never understand how someone who claims to love his cat lets them run around all they want. You wouldn't let your dog do that so why do you let a cat do it?

We keep Cindy and Newbie in doors nearly 100% of the time. Newbie is so skittish about going outside that we merely have to head for the door and he will move away from it. Cindy is old and loves her creature comforts too much to run around.  

Indoor cats live far longer than outdoor cats. They're healthier and happier and come to love being inside. So why would you let them go out?

You love your kitty? Prove it. Keep it inside. You'll have your cat much longer.  

See you tomorrow.  


Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the Bell network.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Post 2664 - Duly Noted

Yes! Two blog posts in one evening. How much would you pay now?

I noted today that the Town of Wolfville was reporting the death of former mayor Paul Kinsman.

A few things to state about Paul Kinsman, and one or two of them are not complimentary. He was my father's doctor for many, many years. He provided excellent care to my dad, and even came to the house on more than one occasion to see how he was doing. It's all good.

However, many years ago, when I was still living at home, I recall that Kinsman hired Dad a couple of times to do work for him. Home renovations of one kind or another. Dad would work his heart out, would pay his men out of his own pocket, exhaust credit with the building supplies providers in the  Valley, all to do work for Kinsman and others of his ilk.

When the work was done, he would present the bill to Dr. Kinsman.

And wait.

And wait.

And wait.

We got a nice Christmas card from the family that year, but Dad had to wait for more than a little while to get his money. It was shameful.

When I presented the eulogy at Dad's funeral in 2010, I stated the maxim that the rich man never pays his bills, but the poor man always pays. It is so true. And I was thinking of Paul Kinsman (and a few others) when I referenced that.

The last thing I will mention about Paul Kinsman is that he was also the doctor for Donna Goler all those years ago when she was basically being pimped out by her father and raped by him and other relatives. The Goler situation remains a sore point for many people in the Valley, all these years after the court case, all the times after one male Goler said on camera, "What are you supposed to do when a 13 year old comes on to you?"

As a way to deal with the controversy, the disgust over the subject matter, the embarrassment over having let this situation happen for decades, people devised dark humour. "What do you call sweat on a Goler's balls? Relative humidity". Ha ha. "What is the definition of confusion? Father's Day in the Goler family." Hee hee. I am sure there were others.

The case was so ugly, so spirited, so divisive, that when it was over, people wanted to forget about it. It was not until the late 1990's when they put out that book "South Mountain: The Dark Secret of the Goler Clan". I have never been able to find it within me to read it. It sits on a shelf in my home office.

Getting back to Paul Kinsman: he was the doctor to Donna Goler. When she went to him reporting some of the symptoms associated with her abuse, he did not report this to the authorities. Instead, he sent her back home, where what had been happening to her, continued. He could have done something, and didn't.

Kinsman did some good. Dad always defended him even with the slow payments. But I am not so forgiving for that or for the things he neglected to do.

Rest in peace, you son of a bitch.

See you tomorrow.


Post 2663 - The Beer And Beethoven Story

I have been putting it off. I am not sure if it is even a story worth telling. But I have been teeing it up so here it is.

First of all, it was a wonderful evening. My friend Courtney Amirault was the Master of Ceremonies, and she did a great job. I still wonder why a modern rock station would be the official media sponsor for this event, but some things are not ours to wonder why.

Courtney had 7 tickets she could give away. Nobody at the station wanted them. I sent an email to 89 people at my work offering the tickets. Within an hour they were all spoken for. It was too late for me, because I had already shelled out 90 dollars of my own money to buy tickets for Patricia and me. I didn't mind supporting Symphony Nova Scotia at all.

Patricia and  Courtney and I had dinner beforehand at Michael's.  The arrangement was that the people at my work who wanted the tickets would drop by and pick them up from Courtney. This was done for the first two sets of tickets, but one guy asked me to leave his tickets at his work desk and he would pick them up. Michael was returning to work and had got 3 tickets and I asked him to drop those tickets off. He kindly agreed.

Anyway, we had our dinner. Courtney had to bolt to prepare for her evening's activities. Patricia and I sauntered up to the Halifax Forum, which is very close to my work, there to pick up the tickets that I had paid for a few days before. Easy peasy. Patricia even bought me a Beer and Beethoven t-shirt. Thank you, dear.

We got the tickets, which were general admission the same way that the ones we had given away earlier had been. We asked the ushers and were told where we could sit. There were other corporate sponsors. Those tables had free food all night long, and maybe even free beer.

Two of the sets of people getting tickets from Courtney showed up and sat down with other general admissions folks. The last guy, however, having picked up the tickets at his work, informed the same ushers that he had got the tickets from someone at Live 105, which was truthful. He was then escorted to the official Live 105 table. Throughout the evening he was part of the chuckwagon of people who got free food.

Let's back up for a moment. He gets free tickets. He sits at the media table. He gets free food. He meets Courtney.

This fellow lives a charmed life. I told Patricia what happened, and she was not happy. After all, I had paid for the tickets and had to sit at the back of the bus, while my colleague and friend got to sit in first class at no cost to him. I thought it was funny, and I still think it is. Maybe it is the irony associated with the situation I just described. Maybe it was because of Patricia's reaction to it all. Maybe it was because it had been a long day and I was tired. But I still think this it is amusing to note that he got all these benefits at no cost, and a paying customer like me didn't. Hee hee.

Several days later, I can't help but chuckle at this story. But, mostly, I had a good time. The music was fun and frivolous and the place seemed to be a near sell out. It is all good.

So, that's the story. I am sticking to it.

More in a bit.


Monday, May 12, 2014

Post 2662 - Monday

‎Hi welcome to a new week.  

Patricia has been resting most of the evening. I have been down in my recroom wondering if I will bother staying up late enough to watch 24 or just turn in to for the evening and watch it tomorrow night on demand.  

Newbie has been all over me tonight like unto an inexpensive suit of clothes. This will be the third time he will have fallen asleep on my lap in the last 2 hours. I hope he is okay.  

I have a short week at work. I'm off on Friday and next Monday is Victoria Day. Patricia will likely go to the cottage but I am on call all weekend and need to remain in town‎. Such is life. 

I still haven't related the story regarding Beer and Beethoven. How about tomorrow? Something to live for.  

Not much else is happening. Plex is mostly working but I'm stymied by how the server is ignoring some folders and therefore don't index their contents. I have to figure out what is wrong. Plus NAS devices aren't being picked up at all. It is probably something stupid. I will work on that on Tuesday. Brain will fry I'd I spend any more time on the problem tonight. 

I guess I will turn in. Busy day tomorrow.  

See you then.  


Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the Bell network.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Post 2661 - Short And Sweet

It is past 1am on Saturday night/Sunday morning. I really should turn in soon. It has been a very long day. I was up until 1am Saturday morning but got up around 6:15 and went to work to put in some overtime. That lasted until 12:30pm. I got some food and returned home and got some proper sleep.

This evening I watched the annual Stoker Awards, presented by the World Horror Association. The hotel's bandwidth was so poor that only about 2 dozen folks could watch the proceedings online, and I was one of those lucky few. The audio was about the worst I have ever experienced, any time, anywhere. It would give a bad name to tin cans strung together.

I promise I will write about Beer and Beethoven on Sunday. That story is pretty funny, and I want to share it with you.

See you tomorrow.


Friday, May 9, 2014

Post 2660 - I Still Got It!

It is very late: nearly 12:30am on Saturday. We are back from Beer and Beethoven. I will tell you all about that on Saturday.

Right now, though, I want to report that I have mostly vanquished the problem I was having with Plex on  Thursday evening. Yay to me. I did some research today and found that the problem I had last night was pretty common. The easiest solution seemed to be to associate the external hard drives with a particular mount point on the server box; this mount point had to have the same name as I had given it in the fstab file also on the server box. Furthermore, the mountpoint had to have full read/write access, so the chmod 777 /media/labelname was very handy.

For some reason I do not understand, the NAS devices are not being found by Plex; just the two plain old external hard drives are located now. The good news is that Plex is downstairs furiously  indexing some 1700 movies, and I am successfully running the Plex client on the Roku streaming stick. I even started to play something, and it worked very well.

The bad news, as I mentioned, is that the NAS devices cannot be found by Plex. And, the external hard drive I plugged into one of the NAS device's usb drive is nowhere to be found, either. I should be able to plug that external hard drive in an empty usb slot on the server box plus do the stuff I mentioned earlier, in order for the contents of that hard drive to be recognized by Plex.

That still leaves the NAS devices. If I can't figure it out, I will be only too happy to copy their contents to plain old external hard drives and do what I did earlier to make those be recognized.

So, this time last evening I was pretty frustrated, but I feel much better this evening. The battle has been mostly won with Plex, I had a good time at Beer and Beethoven, and I will relate a funny story about B&B on the morrow.

Right now, though, I have to get some shuteye. I must get up in just a few hours to do some overtime.

See you tomorrow.


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Post 2659 - The Other Kind of PMS!

Calm, blue ocean. Calm, blue ocean.

There. Now, I feel better!

I just spent a couple of hours trying to get PMS working. That is short for Plex Media Server, which is a way to aggregate your media on your various external hard drives and so on, in such a way that those media are nicely indexed and presented for your viewing pleasure.

I am running Ubuntu here at home. I tried editing the sources.list file to add the Plex repository. However, every time I tried to save the file and update the repository list, I got an error message that the file was locked.  That happened over and over, despite what other things I tried. Finally, I decided to go to the Plex website and manually download the package that contained the Plex software. That worked.

After the download, I ran the package manager. I am delighted to report that this worked fine, and the server was successfully installed. I fired up my web browser and used the "localhost" url presented to me by the online guide I was using. Within 5 minutes or so, I had created an account in Plex. Not exactly easy peasy, but I have had to deal with far bigger pains in the anus than that. There is always another way to do anything in the world of computers.

Having created my account in Plex, I proceeded to create libraries, two of them, one for movies, and the other for tv shows. I figured out that the folder it was looking for was the locations(s) of said media files. I pressed "save" and expected that the server would go out there and find all the movies and tv shows I have on my 5 external hard drives.

Nope. Not so much. Both the movies and tv shows libraries indicate that there are zero entries. I KNOW that the hard drives have a lot of content on them.

I am clearly doing something wrong but I am frigged and fricasseed if I can understand what it is. All I know is that this kind of thing has happened to me on many occasions: I get so far on a problem and can get no further. I call it a day and look at it the next day and figure it out in 10 minutes. Just the way my brain works.

I see that "Plex Media Server" is rendered as PMS in a lot of camps. I am starting to understand why.

In other news, we went to a fish and chips place for dinner this evening. It is called Wilman's (sp.?) and has been a North end institution since 1946. We drove past it last year for the first time and said we'd go. We went tonight because Patricia saw what she thought was muppet babies jumping up and down on the sidewalk. They were holding placards exhorting people to call 454-0929. When she got to the car, I called that number. Patricia spoke to the person who answered the phone and learned that they were actually fish, and that the number was for this long-established fish and chips place.

We were hungry, so we decided to check it out. We are sure glad we did. The fish and chips we had were excellent. The menu has a lot of other things on it, and we can't wait to return to try out some of those other items. We also thought it sure would be great to live in that part of the city. I could walk to work. There is a lovely community out that way. And it is close to so many interesting restaurants and amenities that one would seldom need to leave it. It is something nice to think about. Ain't gonna happen.

Tomorrow night we are going to "Beer and Beethoven". It is held this year at the Halifax Forum, very close to my work. The media sponsor is Live 105, which is a modern rock concert. I hope you appreciate the irony. The MC is Courtney Amirault. There will be a blog interview with her sooner or later, but you will learn when you read it that her musical interests are extremely varied. She is a huge Classical Music fan and adores Beethoven. She will be in her element. Prior to the event, the three of us will be grabbing a quick bite at Michael's Bar and Grill. It will be a fun evening, and I am looking forward to it.

I am looking forward to tomorrow night in the same way I am not looking forward to facing "PMS" again. If you hear shouts of frustration from out this way, it is just me letting off some steam.

You guys have a good evening.  See you tomorrow.


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Post 2658 - Do It Right

I see where the Horror Writers Association is having its annual Stoker Awards this coming weekend. For the third year in a row, I plan to watch the Awards online. For at least the third year, Jeff Strand will be the host. I have not read any of the man's fiction, but if it is half as funny as his witty repartee is, then I am missing out on a treat.

They are already teeing things up for future Awards. The guest of honour in 2017(!) will be none other than George R. R. Martin, writer of the Game of Thrones series (and much, much more). I am sure that people are hoping he will have published the sixth volume in the  GoT series by then. I am not holding my breath.

The Awards are great fun to watch. Putting a face and a voice to the authors whose work I enjoy is a treat for me. The vast majority of these writers barely make a living at it, though. Brian Keene, whose website I check out a lot, and several of whose books I've consumed, and who is a guest of honor this year, is likely the best known horror writer of his generation. But he makes on average about $40 000 dollars US per year. The guys who wrangle shopping carts at Costco make that much or more. Sad, So, these awards are important if for no other reason, it affirms what these writers do.

If you want to watch the awards, which I plan to live tweet, then go here.

I have been saying nice things so far. It pains me to point out a mistake that I fear may be repeated. There is an excellent chance that during the evening the MC will abandon the lectern for a few moments while presenters stroll up to it and do their thing once they're there. Then, when the presenters are done, they will simply walk away, abandoning the lectern again until Jeff Strand has had a chance to return to it.

In any meeting, it is important to make sure that the information flows through the lectern. When it is abandoned, what happens? People fill that gap by talking amongst themselves. The buzz becomes a walla group until someone finally takes over the lectern and starts speaking.

To avoid all this crap, just make sure someone is always at the lectern. Jeff Strand should stay there until the latest batch of presenters comes up to him. At that time, he will shake their hands and retreat into the background or sit down or something. When they are done what they were there to do, they should remain at the lectern until Jeff Strand comes up and relieves them. They go back to their seats and Mr. Strand does his next piece of shtick or announces what the next award will be and who the next presenters are. The process repeats. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

I hope that I am wrong and that they do not continue this horrid practice. I hope that I am right that Jeff Strand will be the Master of Ceremonies; it is hard to find that information on the website. And I hope that the awards are as much to watch this year that they have been in the past. And, and, I further hope that some day I will be able to attend the Stokers. I would be, uh, stoked to do so.

You guys have a good evening. And I'll see you tomorrow.


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Post 2657 - Tuesday

‎Hi. Very long day. My body shut down around 8:30 and I only  just now woke up. 

Maybe I feel a little apprehensive because I have a physical with my doc in a few hours. I'm at that age. Sigh.  ‎He gave me a brief overview of what I could expect and I do not look forward to it. Not sure who would. I'm unaware of any fetish involving these activities and I try to keep up on these matters. 

I'll let you know how this all turns out. 

See you tomorrow. 


Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the Bell network.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Post 2656 - Radio News

I am on my lunch hour. I have an mp3 player (with a built-in FM radio, natch!) tuned in to News 95.7.

I only  found out this morning, but this is Scott Simpson's last day with Rogers. He has been with the company for 20 years now, the last 8.5 years with News 95.7. He is one of the last few people who have been with the station since it went on the air in October of 2005.

I have met Scott a few times. He is a very nice person, and the radio market will be poorer for his absence from it.

Without giving too much away, Scott's wife is sick and her treatment options in Nova Scotia have been all but exhausted. There are more such options where he is going to in London, Ontario, and I wish her all the best.

I have enjoyed listening to Scott over the years. I am sorry that I won't be able to turn on my car radio and hear him any more.  But I wish him and his family all the very best, and it is my hope that I will cross paths with him again.  Scott, I wish we had had a chance to do an interview before you left. It is my loss.

On his final half hour, right now, he is asking people to call in and tell them what they would miss about Nova Scotia if they had to leave it. I would miss my family members, those who are left and are speaking to me at least. I would miss the ocean. I would miss the Annapolis Valley. And I would miss the local radio stations.

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, May 4, 2014

Post 2655 - Sunday

Hi. It is past 10pm. I will turn in shortly.

When I got up this morning, I decided to install the lawn tractor battery in the lawn tractor. After I did that, I thought it was worth a try just to start up the lawn tractor, so I did that. Having started the lawn tractor, I thought it might be worth doing a rough cut of the lawn, so I did that, too.

I don't know how old the lawn tractor is. Dad had it for quite a few years before he died. As he got older, it was more and more difficult for him to push a gas-powered lawn mower around the property. I am guessing the lawn tractor is a good 12 years old. Somewhere along the way, the starter got messed up, and Dad did something or other with a screw driver to bypass something that somehow would start the lawn tractor. After his death, my sister and brother-in-law fixed the starter, which turned out not to be a big deal to fix, which makes me wonder why Dad didn't spend the few dollars necessary to accomplish the same thing. He also didn't make any effort to keep the battery going year after year. He would leave the battery in the lawn tractor in the garage all Winter long. No heat in the garage meant it would be really hard on the battery. Yet, year after  year, the lawn tractor worked for him.

Me? I put fuel stabilizer in the tank ever Fall. I remove the battery and store it in the house. In 2013, I bought a trickle charger and kept the battery hooked up to it on weekends when I was home; I probably could have just kept it set up continuously but didn't bother. Maybe it's all overkill on my part.

Anyway, I returned to the city mid-afternoon. I hooked up a new media player, a Roku Streaming Stick, to my HD tv and fell in love with it within minutes. There are literally hundreds of apps/channels to appeal to every possible genre or fetish or special interest. I will get a second one later on this week so that Patricia and I don't have to share.

One of the channels on the  Roku is plex, a client that will let me take a plex media server I have yet to create on my main desktop, and stream presumably all of the contents of my various network and shared drives. The Roku can read the contents of 2 network drives and play things that are in certain filetypes. I am guessing that a Plex Media Server can send anything to the client, and the client can play anything. I will find out sometime soon, after I set up the server. I will let you know how that works out for me, not that you care or anything.

It is nearly 10:30. Long day tomorrow.

See you then.


Saturday, May 3, 2014

Post 2654 - Saturday

‎Saturday night. Just listened to the K-Rock Saturday night request show hosted by Ed Shaw.   I ended up missing "Orphan Black" but that's fine.  

I guess i'll turn in.  

See you tomorrow.  


Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the Bell network.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Post 2653 - Friday

‎Hi. I'm at my mother's for the weekend.   This time I managed to wrest Newbie from under the chair where he was hiding and put him in his carrier and bring him here.   

Been a very busy day. And my mother has made plans for me for tomorrow that will be sure to tucker me out. I swear she rests up in anticipation of my visits.  

See you tomorrow.   


Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the Bell network.