Sunday, June 29, 2014

Post 2701 - The Day Before

It is Sunday evening. The carpenters start here in less than 12 hours now. Yikes.

I have had a busy couple of days. Friday was a day off work, and we ended up cleaning out the contents of an old shed under the back deck. We had forgotten what was in there. It turns out that I have a wheelbarrow after all. Emptied out, the shed can just go to the landfill along with the back deck itself. Good riddance to them both.

The front steps have been cleaned off  in anticipation of tomorrow's destruction. I won't miss them either, but if I think of it in the morning, I will shoot some "before" video of the work so that the "after" video will make some sense. You will see the deplorable condition the back deck has been in and put on your pointiest-toed shoes and kick me over and over in a very private area of my body. I will beg you to stop, but because I will not have uttered the safe word, you will just kick all the harder. Thank you.

Turns out that I have to work on Monday, so I have to hang back and be a bit late tomorrow to answer any last-minute questions the contractor may have.

On Friday night I drove to my mother's. Saturday afternoon, after I had taken some old tv's and radios to the enviro depot in New Minas, and after taking my mother to lunch and a for a drive to the Frenchy's in Coldbrook, I returned to her house and mowed the lawn and then used the whipper snipper to take care of some of the stuff I couldn't mow. It looks much, much better now. My original plan was to go to the Valley on Canada Day to to that stuff, but that will no longer be necessary.

I know I was gonna go to the cottage this weekend, but things got away from me. The reality is that too much has to be done in anticipation of the work to be done here over the next couple of days. Business before pleasure.

I did find time to go to a spaghetti dinner at the Beechville Baptist Church this afternoon. It was to raise funds for a young man's trip to the Provincials in Basketball later on this summer. It was delicious. I liked it so much I paid for a second plate, which will serve as my lunch on Monday. I actually overpaid because it was for a good cause and the food and company were so excellent. To tell a secret, I actually paid for 3 plates but just got two. Like I said, it was a for a good cause and the victuals were that good. La Cucina in Bayers Lake has got some competition.

(Actually I think it is basketball that the young man is playing. He is 15 years old and is six foot five. I stood on the table in the church hall and jumped as high as I could. At each leap's apex, I was nearly at eye level with him. If it is not basketball, then the young man is perhaps in the wrong sport.)

I also found time to get a new paid of sandals at the nearby Walmart. I will wear them at work tomorrow. I just wish I had the time for a damned pedicure. I don't know how women do it.

I will be anxious until the work is done and the trash hauled away. It will be so much better, but it means putting up without a front set of steps for a couple of days. Maybe that young man can pick me up and lob me into the house after I get home from work tomorrow night. Or maybe I can just use the side steps for a couple of days. Which option would be more practical?

Busy couple of days ahead of me. Can't wait for them to be over!

See you tomorrow.


Friday, June 27, 2014

Post 2700 - A Moment Of Reason

Welcome to post $2700, my friends!

I have to get something off my chest. This week actor Gary Oldman has been excoriated in the press because of comments he allegedly made in a magazine that were perceived as anti-Semetic. He has been going around apologizing to anybody who would listen. I keep expecting a call

I don't think he has to do this. Not call me, but not be apologizing at all.

There is blame to go around here. I would want to hear the full taped interview as an audio file and hear what he truly said. Only in examining his comments in full context can you get a clear picture of what he actually said and the way he meant it to be said.

I have been doing these interviews for years now. I have had to teach myself how to do interviews as well as how to edit and transcribe. It is not easy. People do not speak in full sentences. They start with one thought and flit to another and then another before returning to the original thread. As a transcriber, I have to find away to produce a lucent and cogent and understandable interview, one that has some kind of natural flow. To do that, I have to cut out what I call "false starts". In the event of a person jumping around from topic to topic, I have stuck with one thought and then move the other information to another section. This is all in an effort  to produce something that reads well. I am not putting these people down because I know a couple of them, but I am not a court reporter. They have to produce every grunt and fart. Meanwhile, I have to think of the reader and I have to think of what my subject was intending to say.

I am unique in that I can make the interviews as long as necessary. I am not constrained by things like column inches or word lengths or anything like that. I have published interviews that, if printed out, would be 55 or 60 pages. When I have dinner with Courtney Amirault on Monday to go over her interview with me prior to publishing the thing, we will have to sort through some 16000 words, about 47 pages of text. If a reader decided to, he could take any of her comments out of context and she would be in a similar puddle of poo that others find themselves in.

In magazines that publish long interviews, like Playboy and Vanity Fair and the Comics Journal and a very few others, they still have those constraints. The interviewer is told to deliver a product that is X words long. He will do so by taking the transcribed text that he produced using the methods I described above and edit and chip away at it until it is the best interview he can put out there given the number of words he has to play with. Then, he submits the typescript to his editor who gets out his blue pencil (or whatever they use these days to edit something) and hone it some more, with or without the writer's participation. Probably without.

It is sent off to the lawyer's to see if there is anything libellous in the final product. Then it is prepared for publication. By the time the issue hits the stands, or the web, the speaker's words have been transcribed and edited and processed and moved around and edited some more and perhaps partiall redacted. Many people have stepped between what the speaker said, and what the public gets to see.

Which makes what Gary Oldman is going through all the more difficult to watch. What he said about Mel Gibson could have been perfectly reasonable and well thought out, but by the time it has gone through the processes I just listed, he may have been just as surprised but what he "said" as the Jewish Anti-Defamation League was upset.

I am not sure where I am going with this. I guess it is that having done this job for several years now, I can certainly empathize with anyone who feels his words have been taken out of context. I just wish that the people who take all that umbrage would take a moment, and a deep breath, and realize that what the person said is perhaps not what was published. If they are truly that upset, demand to hear the audio files and then see if Oldman really meant, and said the things he is charged with having stated. If he really did, then be pissed off, but not before.

Make sense? I hope so.

See you tomorrow.


Thursday, June 26, 2014

Post 2699 - Thursday

Burp! Fart! Belch!

There. Now I feel better.

I have eaten far too much today. We had breakfast at Nick's Place in Maritime Centre this morning. I had to go to the credit union to get some downpayment cash for the work being done to the house soon, so I was late for work. But before I went to work I had to drop off my car because the driver's headlight burned out. $128 later it is working again.

At lunch time there was a building-wide barbecue. For one price you got a burger or a sausage plus some salad and a piece of cake and a beverage.

After work, for dinner, we went to the pasta place in Bayer's Lake that we like so much. Even though I was already full, I still had a seafood pasta dinner. Hours later, I can barely stand or sit.

On the way home we decided to go to Value Village. Patricia got some clothes and a book about Mona Parsons. I got a book discussing notorious Halifax murder trials. I am into local history.

Tomorrow morning when we get up we will pile into our cars and go to the cottage. I work on the 30th; Patricia doesn't and will remain there for another couple of days. Just as well because the work on the house is slated to begin on the 30th.

There is not much else to report. Since I will be out of town tomorrow I think I will write the 2700th post this evening and post it in the morning or something.  Yeah.

See you later, my lovelies.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Post 2698 - Tuesday

It is late. I will turn in shortly. Been a long day.

After work this evening, I had dinner at Michael's Bar and Grill with Neil Spence and Chelsea Miller, the morning team at Radio 965. We talked about a wide range of things, and it was a great delight to see Neil again, and also to meet Chelsea. (Turns out she had no idea who the hell I was before Neil filled her in. My Ottawa minions have to get the word out about me.)

Turns out she is loving Halifax so far and is totally jazzed about Radio 965's future. Apparently, ratings are moving up, and Newcap is supporting this format for the long haul. Good for them.

I shot some video of them saying hello to the Blog. I used the camcorder I bought last evening for this event. I just hope that it turns out okay. I still haven't figured out all the why's and wherefores of the device.

Before we left, I got them both to speak to Patricia, who had taken Tuesday afternoon as a vacation half day to do some gardening and the like. Then, I drove home, to be confronted by her in the garden and wanting me to help her assemble the above ground planty thingy. It will hold soil and the things she wants to grow, thereby saving her back because she will be able to stand for most of this work.

By 9:15, it was getting dark, but the good news was that the whatchamacallit was nearly assembled. There are two sideboards that need to go on, but that is about it.

And, you know what?  We didn't fight once. Normally, any such thing we work on together would be  the launching pad for a battle royale. More than a few times, we have had to take a break, have a drink, shoot some H, whatever, to get over our frustration with whatever project we were confronting, and our exasperation with each other. That did not happen tonight. Maybe it was because the instructions were quite simple, and because we had a deadline to work against, as we didn't want to work on this once it got too dark.

I am now downstairs in the recroom. Netflix is offline this evening for some reason. Plex is working fine, and so is youtube. I know I paid my monthly bill, so I am at a loss to explain what is wrong with Netflix tonight.

It is time for bed. Got up a long time ago.

You guys have a good night. See you tomorrow.


Monday, June 23, 2014

Post 2697 - Monday

Hi. This will be a short post. Maybe.

We have been going to and fro with a contractor lately. The front steps need to be replaced. They are in a very poor state. They will be ripped down and brand-new ones put in their place. Meanwhile, there are a couple of steps on the side steps that have a lot of rot. They will be replaced with some some steps on the front steps that are still in good condition. Is there another word for "steps"?

The window sill on the window here in the recroom has more rot, so that will be replaced. The back deck is original to the house and is not safe to use. Good bye to that puppy, and hello to a relatively temporary back landing large enough to hold a couple of chairs and a barbecue.

It all adds up to a whole bunch of money. When people look at me, a guy with no kids (that he knows of), they assume I am wealthy. I am not. Trust me. I'm not.

I bought a new-to-me digital camcorder after work this evening. The kijiji ad was about this particular model of camcorder that I had been thinking about for a few years. Finally, today I saw the ad that I couldn't resist. The price was very low, about 25% the cost of what it would have cost new 4 years ago.

The seller already had someone dropping by her place at 10 am on Tuesday. I wrote her back and assured her that as long as it worked, I would not quibble over the price. I would not try to lowball her. She then offered to tell the other guy that it had been sold and also pulled the ad.

We got to her apartment around 5:30. I saw the item. The seller recorded a brief video of me saying hello and played it back for me. I bought the item. I have been playing with it all evening. I plan to use it at the Tuesday evening interview with Neil and Chelsea of Radio 965.

It is a JVC Everio model... I forget. But it has a 39x optical zoom and 8gb of internal storage; and one can use a standard SD card to provide additional storage.  The seller was including as a bonus an 8gb SD card, so I have 16gb of storage, which is plenty for my needs. Hours and hours of video can be recorded on the machine with this amount of storage.

It doesn't record in HD, but the one I have been using for the last several years doesn't record in HD either. But the SD video looks and sounds perfectly fine. I hope to get a few years out of this camcorder.

I may elect down the road to get a second battery for the camcorder. I don't know how much they cost, but it would likely be a good investment.

It has been a very long day, and tomorrow promises to be a long one as well. I guess I will turn in.

See you tomorrow, me hearties.


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Post 2696 - Sunday

Well, I wish I could state that I did a lot today. Instead, I slept in late. After breakfast, we watched some episodes of season two of "Orange is the New  Black" on Netflix. We dropped the movie channels a month or so ago, and Netflix has ably taken their place. The 40 bucks or so we save every month can go to arm candy.

Being Sunday and all, I required a nap the middle of the afternoon while Patricia continued to watch the show. This evening I watched a few more episodes but she is likely still an episode ahead of me.

It is back to work in the morning. Why is it that weekends are in a different space/time continuum and flash by, while Mondays are slower than a postal worker on Valium walking uphill in 200 lb boots full of molasses? Maybe the scientist who studies the relative speeds of ketchup dispensers should concentrate on that little conundrum.

Anyway, it is a short work week for me. Friday I'm off. Yay.

Can you keep a secret? Are you sure? Okay. Well, at my work, we have a huge whiteboard in the hallway leading from the entrance to a bunch of work stations, to the kitchen. From time to time someone writes some wise point or asks an upbeat question such as "Who or what was the greatest influence on your life?"  People scrawl their answers on the board; they take these answers very seriously, and I am often moved by their sentiments. But just to be a wise guy, and because I truly believe it, I always write "my hair" as an answer to every one of these questions. It always seems to fit somehow. Saves thinking.

I guess that's it for this evening. See you tomorrow, my lovelies.


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Post 2695 - Saturday

It is now Saturday evening. I am long since home from my Toastmasters Training Leadership Institute. And I survived.

I was not concerned about surviving the actual training. Just getting there. After all, it was in Dartmouth. I am trying to think of  time I have driven through Dartmouth and didn't get lost or take the wrong turn, or miss a turn off because the road sign was missing or in microscopic print.

Anyway, we got there a bit early. And, as in keeping with these events, it ran a good 15 minutes over. TM is all about running good and effective meetings, yet their own training sessions invariably run over.

At any rate, we drove back to the correct side of the harbour. I drove Helen, my car mate, back home, and then returned to my home. I was beat after having got up so early on a Saturday morning, so I collapsed in my easy chair for a couple of hours.

I went upstairs and saw Patricia watching the Space marathon of season 2 of Orphan Black. In just over an hour, the second ender will be on. We can hardly wait.

And, in other news, aspects of Plex continue to confuse me. I shared some media folders with someone at work yesterday. He was unable to access them. When I got home I discovered that the drives that contained those folders were unmounted. I re-mounted them, and all was well. But I don't understand how drives just unmount themselves.

And, sometimes, when I update some of the hard drives with fresh content, Plex doesn't discover that content unless I do some reboots and remounts and pray a little bit. As an experiment, a few days ago I moved some media files to a hard drive that has always been Plex friendly, and the app that could noticed them right away. A hint on a web page yesterday said something about how certain drives that are formatted in a certain way are not as accommodating to Plex for some reason. Sure enough, the drives that are giving me a hard time are all formatted that way. This will likely mean backing up all the media content, reformatting the drives the way they "should" be, and then copying stuff back again. This can take a few days at usb 2.0 speed rates. That will be a last resort. I'm experimenting with a forced refresh after moving a media file to one of those afflicted hard drives. The name of the media file? It is the pilot  episode of... "The Last Resort". Irony.

When computers work, they really work. When they don't, they really don't, and it seems no force on earth can get them to do what you want them to. They're like women.

Anyway, since I haven't had my fill of frustration for one day, I will sign off and monitor this system refresh. Should be a good time.

See you tomorrow.


Friday, June 20, 2014

Post 2694 - Tim Bousquet's New Venture

Hey, everyone. Welcome to Friday night.

Tim Bousquet, about whom I have written before, has finally announced what his latest journalistic venture will be. It is an online journal called The Halifax Examiner. I don't quite understand some of the guts of it, but there is a semi paywall. A permeable paywall, if you will. There will be free content, but also stuff you pay for.

I signed up on Thursday. I mentioned it on my Facebook. In short order, at least two other FB friends signed up, and Niki Jabbour shared my post with her multitude of FB friends.

I have high hopes for his enterprise. Every city needs at least one media outlet run by a guy who doesn't  mind skewering public figures and calling things the way he sees them. Tim (along with Frank Magazine when it is not focusing on whose house costs the most, or who's graduating from law school this year) is that person, and the Halifax Examiner is that outlet. It will be a place where he focuses on his strength, which is long-form pieces that you can't find anywhere else about subjects that other media outlets can't or won't report.

As you might recall, it is my opinion that it was entirely due to Tim's efforts in writing his long piece about the death of my friend Holly Bartlett that A) got the Halifax police service to agree to re-open the case; and B) got CBC's the Fifth Estate to cover this mysterious case. There is a good chance that my friend was murdered. Thanks to Tim's efforts, she may now achieve justice.

I can hardly wait to see what Tim Bousquet has up his sleeve.

If you are a fan of long-form journalism, and want to support Tim's efforts, then by all means go over to the website and subscribe. Best 10 bucks you will spend every month.

And, it doesn't hurt that Tim is a semi-regular reader of this blog. He didn't get my 4.7 reference when I ran it past him, but maybe he can work his way up to being one of them.

Frigging Toastmasters thing on Saturday. Maybe Tim can write an article about how time-sucking this organization can be. One can hope.

See you guys tomorrow.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Post 2693 - Thursday

Hello, my lovely 4.7. How are you doing this evening?

I didn't write on Wednesday because I took a sick day then. As per my policy, I do not blog on days when I am off sick. Sorry about that.

There is not much to report. I continue to slog away at the Don Connolly interview. I had to postpone the interview with Neil Spence and Chelsea Miller from this evening due to my lingering illness. I think I still meet with Ron Roberts next week, but that could change. I don't want to keep putting off that one. The man is 81 years old.

Plex has been bedevilling me of late. I add programs to one of the hard drives that contain TV shows. I press the library refresh button in Plex. It goes through the motions of looking for new shows to index. And it doesn't find all the stuff I've added. Very perPLEXing. Ha ha.

The thing in common are the 4 hard drives in the Probox. Sometimes the application just doesn't pick up changes made to them. Meanwhile, things I've added to the stand-alone external hard drives seem to be picked up with much less hassle. I don't know if I am doing something wrong, or if there is something particular about Plex and multi-bay hard drive enclosures that it either doesn't like, or whether I have uncovered a bug in the application. I am presently moving some files from one of those 4 hard drives to one of the stand-alone drives to see if my theory is correct. If it is correct, I will have to figure out what, if anything, I can do about it. It sure doesn't make any sense to me. Wish me luck on this. It is the little things that should work and don't that cause me the most consternation. It is probably that way with you as well.

In other news, the front steps and back deck to my house will be replaced sooner rather than later. And we need to replace two of the steps on the side steps, if that makes any sense. We got the estimate this afternoon, which included replacing the back deck with a make shift one until we can afford to put in the deck of our dreams. It is not a pretty number. Let's just say that getting a newer car is no longer on the horizon, and that it is a good thing we have Netflix, because it is about the only entertainment we will be able to afford for some time.

In a smidge of radio news, there is talk that a certain broadcaster at a certain Halifax station may call it a day in the coming months. It is a rumour. I cannot substantiate it. But I think this person will announce the departure in a way that works for that person, so my asking the person directly will likely not result in an answer that I can pass along to you. But what the frig? I will likely ask the person anyway.

On that mysterious, cryptic, even conspiratorial, note, I bid you a pleasant evening.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Post 2692 - My New Hair

Meant to send this last evening but didn't get a chance.  

I got my hair cut  on Monday morning. It is short and styled ‎and Patricia likes it. Which is all that matters in the end, huh? 

Off to a taping of a new CBC show this evening. Be home late. 

See you tomorrow. 


Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the Bell network.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Post 2691 - Radio News

Wayne Harrett has outscooped me again. Grr. If you want the latest and greatest radio news, check out the "On the Air" Facebook page. You'll be glad you did.

Anyway, I'm pleased to report as well that Lisa Blackburn has landed a job as a Casual Web Writer/Editor for the CBC. As I understand the role, she will be producing online content for the voracious maw which is the CBC news website. It is just for the summer, hence the "casual" part of the job title. But Lisa informed me that she is also recording a demo with the CBC, who may elect to put her on the air.

I know. It seems silly for the CBC to give someone a demo to see if she is a good enough broadcaster to go on the air, when in fact she has oodles of experience as an on air newsreader already. The only defense for it from my POV  is that it seems to be the way they always do things, and also the broadcast style of the CBC is markedly different from private radio. CBC news delivery is slower and more deliberate. In private radio, if they have news hits at all, it is mostly about blurting out the stories as soon as humanly possibly so they can get to the sports reports, weather and back to the latest long set of music that people allegedly want to listen to.

Please don't get me started about the state of radio news these days. It would just upset me and take away from the joy I feel in telling you that Lisa Blackburn has a job in the media again, if only for the Summer.

Congratulations, Lisa Blackburn!!

Special second blog post later on today. Watch for it!


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Post 2690 - Sunday

‎Well I wanted to write more of a post this evening but I had a Newbie on my lap.  

Little so and so.  

See you tomorrow.  


Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the Bell network.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Post 2689 - What I Got

Hi. It is past 11pm. I have had a busy day.

Despite what I wrote in last night's blog post, we decided not to drive to the Valley Friday night. We drove up this morning and arrived in Port Williams by 7:50 or so. The weather wasn't very nice; lots of people stayed home and lots of residents opted not to sell off their crap.

I did find a few things. A woman was selling a ton of older local history books. I got more than half a dozen, for a dollar apiece. A few of these books are long since out of print and would cost me far more than that to buy at any of the specialized used book stores in town, assuming I could find them in the first place.

I picked up a bag full of hinges for 2 bucks.

I bought a shortwave radio for 5 bucks.

I purchased a couple of cd's.

I acquired some tupperware.

I grabbed a combo dvd/vcr for 10 dollars. The same model player I already have at my mother's.

Munchies. Got some munchies.

Geez, what else?

Patricia got a couple of books, one about bird watching. She got some tupperware. A couple stoppers you put in opened bottles of wine. Something for her camera. Some other stuff that I can't remember at the moment.

In the afternoon, we went to  Guy's Frenchie's in  Coldbrook. For less than 2 dollars I found the type of GE clock radio that I like. From there, we went to visit my mother. I had yet another bag of magazines to give her. She was happy to get them but was dropping some hints about books. I think she wants to read a few of my books, novels, thrillers, whatever. I will find something suitable for her to read the next time I see her.

We then drove to the Noodle Guy place in Port Williams. We had some noodles and TAN coffee. We both like the place. The man who owns the place, Ross Patterson, is the brother to Steve Patterson, who is the host of The Debaters on CBC Radio. Just so you know.

While there I happened to notice a woman leaving the place. I recognized her. I ran out to her car before she left and tapped on the window. She recognized me as well. Turned out to be Ronda, who was a member of my Toastmasters club some 20 years ago. I would never forget her.She spells her name with no "H", and her last name is one that is very uncommon in Canada.

We got caught up on her recent life events. She is involved in a not-for-profit school that just moved to Port Williams from Wolfville.

It was nice to see Ronda again. I hope I see her again before too very long.

Anyway, we returned to my mother's place. The rain had held off long enough for the grass to be relatively dry, so I seized that opportunity to mow the lawn, which it desperately needed. Looks much better now.

We returned to Port Williams one last time, this time to grab a meal at the annual Port Williams community supper. I saw some people there I only seem to run into there year after year.

From there we went to Blomidon Nurseries in Greenwich. While Patricia shopped, I got some gas across the street. I drove back and we returned to the city.

We got home around 7:30. I have spent the last few hours with my feet up and watching HD stuff. The season ender of "Orphan  Black" will be next week, and I will be on the edge of my seat after tonight's episode.

It is now past 11:30, and I have had a crazy long day. I think I will turn in and sleep for 12 hours or so.

See you tomorrow.


Friday, June 13, 2014

Post 2688 - Weekend Plans!

The weekend's here! The weekend's here!

In but a very short period of time, Patricia and I will drive down to the Valley. We want to be able to wake up down there tomorrow morning so that we can participate in Port Williams Days.

Every year during this sacred event, there is a village-wide yard sale. A staple since 2000, I have not missed a one.  I have picked up some excellent deals including the latest carrier Newbie uses and the camera base in which I keep my camera and camcorder. Yes, I keep my camera in a camera bag, which in turn is in a bigger camera bag. Overkill? Maybe. But I want to keep the camera for as long as possible.

The weather forecast doesn't sound pleasant, but I have participated in the yard sale in years when the weather was even more frightful, and ended up getting some good stuff.

Every year I prepare a short list of things I would like to buy. This year's list is short and sweet.

1. Random hand tools. If I can find an ice cream container full of screwdrivers, I will likely get them. If I see a pail full of wrenches I will push a bunch of old ladies out of my way to get them.

2. GE clock radios. The really old ones from 30+ years ago and the faux wood grain finish. They are not hard to find and have excellent sound quality. If I only had GE clock radios I'd be a happy Bevboy.

3. A camcorder. Digital. Preferably with a hard drive. Ha ha ha. Well, stranger things have happened.

4. SATA hard drives. If I can get one of a decent capacity for not too mucho dinero, I will.

5. Hard drive enclosures. For those special moments.

Of course, part of the fun is finding cool stuff at a great price that you can definitely use and didn't know you would need it until you actually saw the thing. Several years ago I bought a coat rack which I gave to my parents. After my father died, I took it out to the garage, where it sits to this day. I keep construction hats on it and a pair of coveralls. I can run around looking like one of the Village People any time I want.

I have bought a couple of broadcast spreaders.I offered one to my father, but he said no. I took it to my house in the city, where it still sits in my shed. The second one I likely bought after Dad died, because it is in the garage, waiting to be used.

What else? Well, several radios. In 2001, I got a GE table top radio for 3 bucks. It is the radio I keep in the garage. It has worked flawlessly for all these years. And in 2002 I bought a much rattier GE table top radio for 50 cents. The battery compartment was corroded from a set of batteries that had been in there and leaked. The radio was scuffed up and had flecks of white paint on it, likely having been used on a work site for some time. I suppose I could have learned how to solder and reattach the battery compartment or even bought a new one for 1 dollar or so, but I didn't want to spend any more money on it. A mere 12 years later I still have it, and it still works fine, for what it is. It is in the basement at my mother's. I'm sure there have been other radios, but once again, I am mostly interested in GE clock radios of a certain vintage and form factor.

I will do my best not to buy things I will not use or find useful. I have done that too many times in the past.

It is time to rev the engine and pile in the car. I will tell you all about my purchases on the morrow, so see you then!


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Post 2687 - Radio Stuff

Hey, folks.

I don't really have radio news. I just thought you might like to be up-to-date on the state of some upcoming radio interviews.

I interviewed Live 105's Courtney Amirault some 4 months ago. I have delivered the initial draft to her for her approval/changes, and we have to schedule coffee or beer or something to discuss any changes she might want. I look forward to sharing this excellent interview.

I am transcribing the second part of the Don Connolly interview. We spoke in two different sessions, most recently in early May. Don is extremely forthright in his interview; I think you will see a totally different side of him.

On Thursday the 19th, I interview the Radio 965 morning team of Neil Spence and Chelsea Miller. Neil and I go way back. I have the utmost respect for him and I am enjoying watching him succeed. Chelsea Miller, I have not met, but look forward to doing so. Maybe, if I am an extra good Bevboy, they will let me go in studio with them for a few minutes sometime and get some pictures of them in action.

And on the 26th of June, I interview radio legend Ron Roberts. His radio career in Halifax goes back to 1955. I suspect this will be a very long interview indeed.

After all this work, I will likely want a vacation. I've got a couple weeks coming to me at the end of July. Thank you for your concern.

For the radio folks who read these posts: Just because I haven't contacted you yet, it doesn't mean I don't want to talk to you. I do. It is just that there are only so many hours in the day and only so much time I can devote to the blog during what I ironically refer to as my free time.

But, if you want to sit down with me, please feel free to contact me via Facebook, or as a comment on this blog, or my twitter, or send me an email. I enjoy hearing from you guys. I like talking to the people who are new to radio as much as I get a thrill from speaking to the veterans. You all have stories to tell, and I want to be your conduit through which you tell them.

You guys have a good evening. See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Post 2686 - I Need Your Help

Hello again, my lovelies. How are you doing this evening?

I am on the horns of a dilemma, ladies and gentlemen.

I am scheduled for a summer hair cut next Monday. My hair, though beautiful and silky and full of body, is at the point where it really needs to be chopped off. Here is what it looks like right now:

Nice, full-figured. No question. But yet I tire of it, the way that a person can tire of having the same wine every night, or to wear the same underwear day after day after day.

I have been wracking my brain coming up with examples of what I would like Christina to do next week. Finally, I found this website and went cuuuhhrazzeeee.

I worked with the official Bevboy avatar, of course:

Then, I became experimental.

Damn. I just can't decide what I want. There are so many options to choose from. Thousands, I'd wager.

This is where you come in.

Please let me know which gloriously-beautiful hair style you would like me to go with. Could be one of the above, or another one you think would accentuate my incredible good looks.

You have between now and Monday morning the 16th of June.

I look forward to your feedback.

See you tomorrow.


Monday, June 9, 2014

Post 2685 - Monday

I was going to write a long blog post this evening but Newbie jumped on my lap and wouldn't leave.  

Little so and so.  

See you tomorrow.  


Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the Bell network.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Post 2684 - Sunday Evening

Hi. It is pushing 11pm. I should have been in bed a good hour ago. But I have been spending time fiddling and farting around with Plex. I had turned off the desktop machine on Friday before going to the cottage. This evening, I booted it up and all of a sudden, several hard drives could not be found or mounted. What a great time I had getting that working. I finally removed some entries from fstab, and then the disks mounted. Wonderful.

Anyway, we got back a few hours ago. It was a 2 hour drive. Newbie meowed nearly all the way from the cottage to the front door of the house. I don't know if he thought he was going to be cremated or what. All I know is that Patricia and I had our patience sorely tested. Meanwhile. Cindy Clawford was positively serene, as if she were deliberately trying to show up Newbie. Which maybe was her intention all along.

The lawn at the cottage has been partially mowed. We had to get a new battery for the lawn tractor on Saturday; but Friday was about getting our handyman friend to build 2 ramps in the shed, one to get the lawn tractor from the old part of the shed to the new part, and the other ramp to get the lawn tractor outside where it can do its thing.

The weather didn't cooperate until this morning, when it was barely dry enough to venture outside and attempt to mow. Patricia reported that the grass was still plenty wet. It will be even that much longer the next time we are down, in a couple of weeks.

While Patricia was out mowing, the so-and-so next door was out doing the same thing. You will recall that he is the cretin who owns the ATV and takes great delight in terrorizing the neighbours therewith.

It is back to work tomorrow. Even 3 day weekends go by too quickly. I take pleasure in knowing that I have a vacation coming up at the end of July.

See you tomorrow.


Saturday, June 7, 2014

Post 2683 - Cottage Day 2

Saturday night. Hard to believe that we have to return to the city tomorrow.  

As you can see Newbie is enjoying himself.  

See you tomorrow.  


Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the Bell network.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Post 2682 - Cottage

‎Friday night and here we are at the cottage. Patricia is on the couch. Cindy at her feet. A d we are all watching Whose Line Is it, Anyway?   

Had a lovely lobster supper dinner. We are stuffed.  

Life is good.  

See you tomorrow.  


Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the Bell network.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Post 2681 - Thursday

It is late on Thursday evening. I have spent far too much time watching the news out of Moncton. They haven't caught the cop killer yet, but I know they will, dead or alive.

I am off on  Friday. As far as I know, we are going to the cottage in the morning. We were to go there this evening because the lawn tractor needs to be maintained and we had booked someone to show up Friday morning. However, Sears left us a message today saying they no longer provide that kind of support on their products, at least the ones whose warranty has expired.

Patricia got on the ameche and called Sears. They repeated what we had heard on the machine. Patricia, nearly apoplectic, said she would never do business with Sears again. Which in my opinion is a long overdue decision. I have disliked the attitude at Sears for a long time now. They don't care about their customers once they have taken their goods out the door. Their customer support was outsourced to a country that has no vowels in its name. And their prices are competitive in the same way that I am a 12 year old school girl. There are reasons why companies like Sears are struggling, and not all of them have to do with lower prices offered by American companies that come up here. Frig Sears.

Nobody has taken me up on the invitation to send me selfies of themselves reading my blog. However, I did run into Griff and  Caroline on my way back from coffee this morning. Griff said he couldn't send me a selfie because he reads my blog while sitting on the toilet, and Caroline said she doesn't have a webcam or something. Hey, Caroline: I have several spare webcams and I will give you one.

The offer is still out there. Take a picture of yourself with my blog on a computer screen also in the image. I will come up with amazing prizes and mail them to you. They will knock your socks/knee highs off.

A bit of radio news. I learned today that Kate Venås was let go from Radio 965 last week. Let's see if I can keep this straight. The former KOOL FM disappeared last August in time for the ratings book. They had let Griff and Caroline go and hired Domink Diamond and Kate Venås to do the morning show under this new format that I have never fully understood. By the end of March, Dominik was gone and Kate Venås was moved to mid days. Neil Spence and Chelsea Miller formed the new morning show. And the last part of the grand experiment went away when Kate Venås was let go last week. How sad.

As you might expect, I wish her all the best in her future endeavours. I know she will land on her feet.

Now, do you still wonder why I never went into radio? Wanna hear another story?  Okay!

A radio friend told me this story a few years ago. A guy at a Canadian radio station was very well-liked. He was fun to work with. The station needed to construct a new studio. The cost of this new studio was about the same as this fellow's salary.

So they fired him.

What? Another story? Okay, but this is the last one.

CIGY was an FM station in  Calgary. They went on the air about 6 years ago, and went through formats the way I go through socks, only they change formats more than I change my socks. Don't judge me. Finally, probably with a degree of exasperation, in 2011 they decided to rebrand the station one more time to become CHUP-FM, playing adult hits. They called themselves up! 97.7.

My point? In order to achieve this upbeat format, they fired every single damn on air person they had and hired all new on air staff who presumably were more upbeat than the folks they replaced. I can only imagine how dirge-like they must have been on the air such that they could not be deemed acceptable to move over to this new format. Right.

In radio, you are here today and gone later today. I like a little bit more stability in my life. I would imagine that you do, too.

Do you still wonder why I didn't go into radio?

You guys have a good evening. I'll talk to you tomorrow.


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Post 2680 - Some Housecleaning

First of all, I am sorry I didn't write on Tuesday. You can assume that any day I don't write something, it was because I wasn't feeling well. That was the case last evening.

Please direct your vision to the Bevboy avatar to your right. I have changed the label from "My ears! My beautiful ears!" to one that states that anything I write about on my blog does not reflect the thoughts, opinions, wishes or bowel movements of my employer. I had been thinking about adding that disclaimer for some time, certainly since last summer when those firefighters in Toronto got canned because they posted tweets from their personal twitter accounts that were perceived as misogynistic. Which is a word I spelled correctly the first time (but I misspelled "correctly"!). In fact, they were quoting from an episode of South Park, a show I used to watch with near Calvinistic verve.

What happened to those guys last year was nothing short of disgusting. To be parted from one's job because of an immature bleat on social media, on your own time, using your own account and computer and brain and fingers, is beyond the pale. I fear it is the thin edge of the wedge, though. I think you will see people be fired because they voted the "wrong" way, or are members of a fetish club, or reveal online that they are ill without revealing said information to their employer first. You are not paranoid if someone is out to get you.

I have been careful, to the point of meticulousness, not to write directly about what I do for a living. My last name appears only rarely. I freely exaggerate my work place, and if I use the names of my friends at work, it is first names only. All done on purpose, and for a purpose.

Long-time readers will recall that I have taken passionate stances on several issues, any of which could land me in some hot water if the wrong people read them when they were in the wrong mood. You can probably think of what some of those posts are. I sure can. Adding the disclaimer to your right should go a long way to protect me. Should.

In other news, I am still looking around for radio ratings news. Just keep in mind, my lovelies, that such information is very hard for me to come by. I do know that the folks at Bell Media were very happy with the ratings of both C100 and The Bounce. I saw that Bobby Mac was stating Q104 was number one. The Evanov stations were down, Energy 103 moreso than Live 105 (which sucks because I am liking the station more and more). Griff and Caroline were very happy with Jack FM's ratings. Bill Hart was happy with how The Wave made out.

The numbers I get to see are rolled up to show the overall rating of the station. If the morning show is kicking arse, and the drive home show is in a ratings free fall, those ratings are averaged out to result in the number I have access to. This does not tell the full story, because the morning show did great and the drive home show didn't. The ratings breakdown is what I would like to see, but won't because I don't have thousands of dollars to spend on such things.

It has been demonstrated time and again that a station whose ratings decline on an ongoing basis will consider and implement changes. I have already heard whispers from a couple of sources that some changes are being considered at a few stations in this market. Time will tell.

In the radio business, they always live in interesting times.

Finally, Mike Duffy (yes, that Mike Duffy) sent me an email yesterday spelling out the amount of profit for every station in Canada. How neat that the stations that are at the top of the ratings, made the most money.

Time to get back to transcribing the Don Connolly interview!

See you tomorrow.


Monday, June 2, 2014

Post 2679 - A Blog Contest!

Hey, my lovelies. How are you doing today? How was your weekend?

Sorry I didn't write more. It was an action-packed weekend so rich with incident that I barely had time to turn around. But we did get rid of 3 old tv's, have a nice breakfast at the Trellis Cafe in Hubbards, throw out 6 garbage bags at the landfill yesterday. I all by myself got Plex working on some additional hard drives after more than a few issues that arose. I still don't know what I did to get it working as I had done nothing differently beforehand. Weird.

Anyway, I thought I would share this with you:

That is Bill Hart. He is the morning guy at 899 The Wave, which enjoyed a good ratings book last week. I have never met the man, but he is uncommonly supportive of the blog, and I appreciate it. When they got a new webcam in studio last week, the first picture taken with it was a selfie of him reading my blog.

This brings up the contest.

I want you, my amazing readers, to get selfies taken of you reading my blog. You could be on your smart phone, your laptop, your desktop; you could be on the toilet or in the bathtub or doing a spin class. You could be at work, at the library, at an internet cafe. I don't care. I will publish any and all selfies I get from you guys. They will go up on my Facebook and here on the blog. I promise.

Your best bet is to email me your selfies to this address. Or, you can send them to me via Facebook, as Bill Hart did last week.

The contest is open now. It closes when I say it does, likely a month from now.

The prize? Well, bragging rights, of course. And I will sift through my myriad of stuff and mail some of it to you. I have a lot of books and magazines and so on. If you have a reading preference, let me know, and I can accommodate it. Same for movie preferences and music preferences. I can feed your addiction.

Get to work. Send me your selfies. I look forward to your creativity.

See you later.