Sunday, November 30, 2014

Post 2834 - Sunday

Hi. Welcome to Sunday.

I returned from the Valley this afternoon. I had a busy time down there.

I dropped off that crappy-ass tv at the recycling depot on Saturday morning while my mother was shopping elsewhere. After that I went to the local superstore and noted that they still had some televisions that were marked way down and which were still tax exempt. That was a great deal, and I hope that they all sold.

We had lunch at the Swiss Chalet in New Minas. As we were sitting down my friend Neil Spence strolled in with his father and step-mother. Nice to see another Valley boy supporting the local economy.

After lunch we shopped for a while longer, ending up at the Fox Hill Cheese House on Church Street in Port Williams. They are developing a province-wide reputation for their products, and I can see why. Their whole milk is delicious. I finally got my mother to sample some of their chocolate milk, and she loved it.

I returned her to her nursing home, and I returned to the house where I collapsed in a heap. I had got up very early for a Saturday morning and needed some rest. It turns out that I appear to be fighting something, because I ended up turning in early Saturday evening and sleeping in this morning. When I got back this afternoon, I had to take another nap. Yes. I am fighting something. Not sure what it is. But it appears to be  kicking me arse.

In a scant hour, there will be the mid-season finale of the Walking Dead. After tonight I will be able to go to bed at a decent hour Sunday evenings until the show's return in February.

You guys have a good evening. See you tomorrow.


Friday, November 28, 2014

Post 2833 - Black Friday Deal

At 7:55 this morning I walked in to the Superstore on Young Street to pick up a few bananas to munch on during the day.

I walked out with a .. 32" led television.

Let me explain.

I overslept this morning like crazy. I got dressed as quickly as I could and we left the house barely 10 minutes later. After I dropped off Patricia, I realized I was starving, and I didn't want anything greasy, so I decided to pick up some fruit.

Of course, Black Friday has begun to infiltrate Canada in recent years. It has been a way for retailers to help keep Canadians from making long pilgrimages to the Boston states to pick up cheap electronics and other sundries. The grocery store by my work, part of a massive national chain, participates in this as best as it can. While other Superstores have actual electronics sections, this store, being much smaller, gets by with bringing in only what it can reasonably stock and sell.

Several times a year, local Superstores have tax-free weekends, or even just a tax-free Friday or something, where the amount equal to the provincial sales tax of 15% is deducted from the cost of an item.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I went in to get my bananas and saw the tax-free signs. I made my way up to the customer service desk, and on my way saw 40" tv's for $279. I was wondering if they might have smaller tv's, so I asked the lady if they had any smaller tv's. She said, "Besides these two?", and pointed to a brace of 32" tv's in front of me that my still-not-awake mind had not noticed. "Yeah, I guess like these two!", I muttered.

These smaller tv's were $159, taxes in, plus an environmental fee of 20-some dollars. I later found out that the very same television, the day before, had been $248 dollars, 90 dollars more expensive. And because of the "tax-free" days, I would save effectively another 15%. Yesterday, the tv would have cost $248x1.15 + ~$25=$310. Today, with the massive sale, it was $183 something. An incredible deal.

You will recall that I have been having problems with a refurbished tv I got in September at the former XS Cargo store in Bayers Lake. As recently as Wednesday evening, as I was having that meltdown trying to get this computer up and running again, I was experiencing the delights of being unable to watch anything on it, just catching the audio.

There was a guy on kijiji who was selling a television of about the same size as that one, a 24", and wanted $150 for it. What I got today is 33% larger, has more HDMI inputs, is brand-new, and cost only $33 more than what Buddy wanted for his. No-brainer, as the saying goes.

I carried the tv to my car and put it in the back seat. I used the rear seat safety belt to keep it in place, and then covered it with a throw I got last week at Costco. I drove across the street to my work and was never more grateful to be able to park my ride in a semi-secure parking lot. After all, I wanted to protect my investment.

I mostly set up the tv this evening. It is in my home office and doesn't dominate it as much as I thought it would. The picture is nice and crisp; I watched an HD news cast with it. Steve Murphy's shoe soles looked very life-like when he was interviewing Jane Tabor. I checked out netflix for a moment, and it looks grand. Now it is 10:40, and I am programming the local cable channels into it, and it is taking its sweet time to do it. I am guessing I will only have to do it once.

Tomorrow morning I will get up early and take that old piece of crap tv and put it in my car along with some other things and drive to the Valley for the weekend. The tv will be taken to the recycling place in New Minas, where I can wave a loud goodbye to it before I take my mother shopping for several hours and I return to the family home and collapse in a heap.

Think I will enjoy my new tv for a while. Will be a busy day tomorrow.

See you tomorrow.


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Post 2832 - I Still Got It!

Ha. Frig you, computer! You're mine. Mine, I tell you!

You may remember that I was up far, far too late last evening trying to get a desktop computer up and running again. I am happy to report that it is fine again. And it only cost me $3.45.

Let me explain.

Much earlier today, I drove to Brilliance Computers on Kempt Road. It is my favourite computer repair store in town. They sell a lot of used parts as well.

I explained my situation, how the desktop machine was seemingly dead, and that I had been unable to revive a 2TB hard drive in it as well. Of course, he suggested a new(er) power supply, and pointed me to one at the back of the store that was only $12. I recalled that I needed a new sata data cable as well, and since they were only $3 each, I stocked up and got 4.

Before I paid for my stuff, however, the owner told me about a little trick that computer repair guys know about that I had never heard of. He told me that before I went through the work of swapping out power supplies, that I should first unplug the existing power supply from the motherboard, both 20 pin and the 4 pin connections.

What the frig?

I took the side panel off the cable, worked the connections off as suggested, and then plugged them back in. I plugged the power cord in the power supply and pressed the power button. I heard the fan start up!

I rapidly powered it down again, removed the panel again and re-installed the moribund 2TB hard drive, replaced the panel,  connected the webcam and the scanner cable and keyboard and the other peripherals. Pushed the tower back in the area of the computer desk and turned the machine back on.

It fired back up again. I had no problem logging on to the machine.

I felt so proud of myself.

There was still the problem of the hard drive. I had used one of the sata data cables because I broke one last evening. I fired up a disk utility and saw that the drive was there. I re-formatted it as an NTFS, changed the label to something meaningful, and waited a few minutes while the utility went out and performed the re-format. I ran some utilities. The drive was now healthy.

I now have 3 unused sata data cables, and the $12 power supply I purchased this morning. They were not necessary. The only thing I did use was the $3.45 cable.

I will hold on to the cables. And I think I will keep the power supply as well. Eventually, this one will fail, and won't come back from the dead, and I will need to be able to reach for the one I purchased this morning and swap out the thoroughly-dead power supply with this newer one.

It feels really good to be able to say that I fixed this on my own, with only a 30 second tip provided to me in passing and a used sata data cable necessary to save the day.

I hope to have this computer for years  yet. And its record of being a very low-cost thing to keep going, remains intact.

Tomorrow, I think I will find that cure to cancer that has been nagging at people for centuries. It can't be that hard, right?

See you tomorrow.



Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Post 2831 - Sigh!

I have just spent the better part of 3 hours trying to configure the old desktop computer a neighbour gave me a few years ago. I seem to have fried something somewhere.

The computer doesn't power up any more. I connect everything, and it just doesn't power up.

Thank goodness I had completed my most recent Frank column and emailed it off to my editor. That is a good thing. What is not a good thing is what I may have done to the computer in question. Also, the contents of the 3 hard drives in the machine may or may not be usable. Things are backed up, but even so.

Why do I always take on these tasks so late at night, when my brain is frazzled and my faculties are not what they should be?

Maybe it is the power supply. Maybe I wasn't fully grounded and I fried the motherboard. Maybe ... I just don't know.

Too tired to think.

See you tomorrow. Or, technically, later on today.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Post 2830 - Okay, Okay, Okay!

It has been agreed upon.

There will be a Bevboy's Christmas Tie Extravaganza again in 2014!

This will be year seven. My goodness.

Here is where you come in.

Come up with some ideas for me as to where to have my picture taken anywhere between Halifax and the Annapolis Valley. I am a very well connected person, so think large! Think Big! Get your suggestions to me either by sending me a private email, as some of you already have, or by commenting on this post, or commenting on the Facebook update that herald this blog post.

This year's theme will be PPT - Persons, Places and Things.

Get cracking.

The excitement begins on Monday, December 1st!

See you tomorrow.

I'm so excited!!


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Post 2829 - Bevboy's Christmas Tie Extravaganza. Yes, Or No?

It is Sunday evening. I had far too much sleep last night. And I am wondering about something that perhaps you can help me with.

Should I do another year of the Bevboy's Christmas Tie Extravaganza?

This would be year... 7 I think it is. I started this on a lark all those years ago to get myself into the mood for the holidays. I am past being in the mood for the holidays. They don't mean much to me at all any more, especially since my father died. My problem, not yours.

Around this time of year I get people asking me if I am going to do the Christmas tie thing again. I have had a few requests already. I am willing to do this, but before I do, I want to know why you want me to.

Is it just a silly tradition? Do you really get a kick out of me doing this? Is it a "crazy uncle" thing  you tolerate with some degree of cheer? Do you wonder what shenanigans I will get myself into this year? What? What do you like about the Christmas Tie Extravaganza?

Please get back to me with your thoughts on this. I am seriously interested in hearing from you. You can either reply to the Facebook status, send a comment to the blog, reply to the tweet, or email me directly.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Have a good evening.

See you tomorrow.


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Post 2828 - Saturday


Very long day. We went to the cottage this morning, which is more than a 2 hour drive from here. We finished preparing the place for Winter, which involved throwing some things out and putting other things in the car to bring back with us. I can now happily state that there is a sound bar down there to hook up to a tv to enhance our viewing pleasure. And, it has a built in FM radio. Not the greatest tuner in the world, but it does pull in local stations, which is all I can ask for. It produces decent sound, and once we hook it up to an HDTV, which doesn't exist yet, we will have a pretty good home theatre system down there.

We got there around 12:30. We left around 3:30. We had dinner at the Big Stop in Enfield. The food filled us up, but that is not a reflection on its quality. We were hungry and would have eaten most anything.

We got back here around 6:30. I have been washing some clothes. And I have been sniffling and sneezing for the last half hour or so. I am bushed. Wiped out. Nothing else to offer.

See you guys tomorrow.


Friday, November 21, 2014

Post 2827 - Friday

What a day!

Got up later than I meant to. Picked up my winnings from yesterday's United Way Auction. From there, I drove to a local antiques store. I had not realized how many antiques stores there are in Halifax until today, as there is one literally around the corner from the I visited.

At any rate, I had received a tip of some old CHNS radio swag, at a price I could manage, and wanted
it. It was a circa 1940 booklet about CHNS's then-new move to the Tobin Street Broadcast House, featuring the radio broadcasters of the day, along with many pictures of co-founder William Borrett. What an austere-looking man! I have most of his "Tales Told Under the Old Town Clock" books that collected his history stories of old-time Halifax; his writing style is a tough slog.

I also picked up some 1965 era CHNS chart pamphlets, listing the then-current top 60 hits. Neat. Has little pictures of the on air staff of that era, including Frank Cameron, Brian Sutcliffe (who signed one of them for a local fan; see attached), Mike MacNeil, and the rest. Fascinating stuff.

As you can see, they advertise a quartet from that period of time I had never heard of. I wonder how many people remember these guys, and whether they are still alive?

Afterward, I went to Costco and spent $180, a lot of which went toward the purchase of things for tonight's birthday dinner for Patricia. Scallops, haddock, smoked salmon, Greek salad, pecan tarts, other things.

I returned to the house, washed the dishes that had been piling up, and hung out with Patricia for a while until she headed out to run some errands. I watched an episode of "The Thick of It" and began to prepare dinner of rice, Greek salad, and scallops. We ate it upon her return.

This evening has been about trying to get a version of Linux working on Patricia's netbook. What a maddening experience. The wireless kept dropping out, the performance is sluggish to say the least, and we were both frustrated. I think she needs a newer computer, or a tablet of some kind. Netbooks are crap computers, for the most part.

Tomorrow, we may drive to the cottage and finally shut it down for the year. Will let you know, as I know you care.

Enjoy the rest of your evening.

See you tomorrow.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Post 2826 - Thursday

After 10:30. I will turn in shortly.

I am off until Monday so yay for me.

Patricia's birthday was today. She is mumblety-mumble years young. I had to work today and she didn't, so we have agreed that her special day will be on Friday. I will make us a nice dinner on Friday. But, before that, I will have to go downtown to pick up some winnings.

Let me explain.

Every year we have a United Way campaign, part of which consists of an online auction, which was today. I ended up winning several of these auctions, most of which consisting of Rudy's Coffee Club cards, good for 20 coffees. I am not sure what their coffees cost, but we're talking about at least $1.50 each, which works out to about 30 bucks to buy 20. With me so far? Well, I won several of these auctions, and am paying no more than 12 bucks for any of the cards, so I am getting a really good deal. I am not downtown all that much any more, but I do go there most every morning to drop off Patricia, so jumping into Rudy's to get a pre-paid coffee a few dozen times sounds like a no-brainer.

It's funny. Rudy's coffee cards. Ha ha. That is a major prize at the local MBS stations. You call in and answer whatever dumb ass question they have for you, participate in whatever foolish contest they put in front of you, and you win one of these stupid cards. I have some dignity.

I spoke with my mother this evening. She got the latest Frank today, with the attempted character assassination by the semi-retired jock directed at yours truly. She was worried that this man was no longer my friend and wasn't happy that such things were said about her only surviving son (I had a brother who died when I was 5). I told her that she needn't worry, that I can take care of myself, and that my position with Frank is safe, as long as I keep writing 1000 words of content every 2 weeks which please my editor enough to want to publish them and keep paying me. Controversy sells magazines.

The only small downside of this column is the fact that I know that people are going to take pot shots at me, with the number one criticism being that I do not work in radio, so I therefore have no business writing about it. I don't care if they write that, as I expect that comment. As I have stated before nearly to the point of people asking me not to state it any more, not being in radio is a strength because I can write what I want without being fired from anything. The people whom I piss off can do nothing to me when I write about them, as everything I write is the truth. They may not like that truth, but it is the truth. And that is the only defence that matters.

I mean, if I wrote about my work with this way, which I wouldn't, but if I did, I would be in my boss' office for a very special conversation which would involve an HR representative and someone from my union. But by writing about an industry which I do not work in, just take a strong interest in, I have a degree of freedom that is extremely freeing. Jocks can write me and pass along information that they wouldn't dare tell me on the record. They can do this knowing that I would never reveal their identity to anyone, not even my editor. I love this feeling, and I haven't had so much fun writing something in a long time. I hope it comes across in the published work.

Anyway, I should turn in. Have to get up comparatively early to pick up some coffee cards. Frig MBS.

See you tomorrow.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Post 2825 - Proof!

My injury appears to be getting worse, ladies and gentlemen.

Here is a picture I took of my injury during my lunch hour.

And here it is, not very long afterward.

What strange, sinister fates await me?

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Post 2824 - A Lucky Bevboy!

It is past 10pm. Will turn in shortly.

I almost took a tumble down the stairs just now. They're the ones that I use to get to my recroom and home office, where I type these humble words. I scraped my right elbow, which is leaking blood.

I have lived in this house for nearly 14 years and never had an accident on the stairs before. I do remember my first Winter here, 2001, when I stepped out on my front step on a bracing morning and slipped on a patch of ice. The next thing I knew, I was flying through the air before landing on my back in front of those steps. That was fun.

And, come to think of it, 10 years or so ago, I was carrying a computer tower down these same stairs I just fell on, and slipped, slamming into the closet at the bottom of the stairs, which jammed the tower into my chest, which hurt like a living frig muffin. That was fun, too. The difference tonight was that I nearly fell at the top of the stairs this evening. And while we are at it, is there another word for "stairs"?

I will have to make up a story to tell Patricia. She will just nod ruefully and mutter something about how I'm left-handed and that it is a damned wonder I have lived to be the age I am without losing my life or a limb or an eye or an ear or a testicle or a lung or a kidney or an ovary or a kneecap or a wrist or a finger or an elbow or a foot or an eyebrow or a shoulder or a toe or an Achilles tendon or a sense of self worth. I will wonder the same thing. Just don't make me repeat it.

I had my flu shot this evening while we were at Costco. Unlike many other things at Costco, I only had to get one of them rather than five. Perhaps I should contact their CEO and tell them of their terrible inconsistency.

We watched "The Flash" just now. The show started out to be very good and has improved every week. I still think that by the rate it's going it will become the best show in the history of shows, by the end of its second season.

I don't watch "Arrow" very much. It is on Wednesday evenings, when I am at my Toastmasters meeting, and I missed too many episodes to follow it. My bad. But I know that Stephen Arnell is. And I loved his comments about the new, new Flash actor.

Maybe I should rename this post "Hodge Podge". I'm all over the place tonight.


Time to wash my elbow. Still bloody.

See you tomorrow.


Monday, November 17, 2014

Post 2823 - Up And Down

Well, that was fun.

Saturday evening, I called a well-known retired radio broadcaster and left a message 'cuz he wasn't home. He returned the call Sunday evening. We booked an interview for him Tuesday evening at a place along the Bedford highway.

When we got home this evening, we played back our messages and learned that this fellow had called during the day and postponed our conversation until after the holidays.

Which is fine, except that I was hoping to sell this interview to Frank magazine for an issue to be published in December. That deadline is in 2 weeks, and I am thinking I will not have anything to offer my editor by then.

For whatever reason, the interviews are drying up. Whether it is something that has run its course, or my reputation is getting around, or my reputation is NOT getting around, is really hard to say.

On the one way, I do not miss the many hours of transcribing. On the other hand, it was always pretty neat to be able to sit down with these jocks and discuss their careers with them. I will miss the interplay.

Nothing lasts forever.

My latest column is up on the Frank website. The paper edition will hit stores on Tuesday, and my mother should get her copy no later than Thursday. She will look for my column, read the letter from the semi-retired jock who tried to excoriate me, and then re-read my column.

My next deadline is in 10 days, which may sound like an eternity to you, but comes up very quickly. I don't have even a syllable of it written yet, so I will have to start working on it in the next day or so. Once again, I marvel at reporters who have daily deadlines. Plural. More than one deadline, 5 days a week. How do they do it? I get stressed with one deadline every 14 days.

I think I will finish this post with a joke.

Did you hear about the cop who pulled over a Cape Bretoner?

"No, I haven't", you respond. "Tell me what happened next!"

The officer approaches the driver and says, "I pulled you over because you were driving erratically."

The driver replies, "But, I wasn't trying to turn you on!"

Ha ha. You have to be from around here to get that. Say it phonetically and see if it helps.

It has been a long day. I have to get up for work in 7 hours. I guess I'll turn in.

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Post 2822 - Appointment Television

‎Newbie and I watching this week's "The Walking Dead ". 

Nice bonding time. 

Nice to see Carol again. 

See you tomorrow. 


Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the Bell network.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Post 2821 - Saturday

Hi, folks.

So, I didn't write last night. I am sorry about that. My body just kind of shut down last evening around 8. It had been a very long week, not the least of which was the extremely trying day that Wednesday was. I needed my rest.

Before that, though, I returned that flat screen television I had bought earlier in the week. 30 bucks is 30 bucks. I felt a little guilty, returning it to the Sally Ann. Their mandate is to help poor people, and one way they do that is to have these thrift stores where people can get some good bargains, and where nearly everything is sold tax free. Probably some quirk in the Nova Scotia tax system that I don't understand and never will. I would have been thrilled to keep that tv, had it been in good repair; but I am not rich enough to be able to keep things that don't work and never will. You understand.

I am typing these humble words on a desktop computer that a former neighbour gave me a few years ago. It was a couple of years old, then. Over the years, I have doubled the ram, added a front card reader, added a second (and, this evening, a third!) hard drive, and numerous usb ports. All of this has been at very little cost. It is now the computer I go to before my so-called main desktop, which has all the other hard drives hanging off of it so that I can have a media center.

Lately, though, I have been re-thinking that and been considering swapping out the computers. I have nearly 3TB of storage on this machine, and can probably squeeze a 4th hard drive in here, to take it up to nearly 5. Doing that would enable me to retire some other external hard drives, and likely even save me some money in electricity costs, since the internal hard drives would draw power from the internal power supply.

I could easily install PLEX media server on this desktop, and it has plenty of power to run it and also act as a print server, as my current main desktop does.

I am trying to think of a downside to it. The only one I can think of is that the computer desk over there would not easily accommodate this computer. The other one is a small form factor thing and fits perfectly in the space I have set aside for it. It is also not quite as old as this machine. And I like this computer and the computer desk a great deal; it is in a part of my home office that gives me quite a bit more privacy.

Perhaps I will leave well enough alone. After all, what I have now works just fine. Which is a metaphor for my life, come to think of it.

In other news, the new issue of Frank comes out on Monday. Without giving too much away, I am the recipient of a pretty snotty email from a noted broadcaster, and I think I rebut him quite well. My response was edited, but I agree with the changes. I hope you check it out. It will be the best $4.xx you will spend this coming week.

I guess that is it for this evening. You take care of yourselves and I will see you tomorrow.

Unless I sleep all day.



Thursday, November 13, 2014

Post 2820 - Thursday

Hello again, my friends.

It is Thursday evening. Late. I will turn in shortly.

I have had a busy couple of days. Since I was not in to work on Wednesday I did not blog yesterday, but suffice it to say I was extremely busy on Wednesday, running the roads to and from one section of the province to the other.

When I finally got home last night around 8:45, I took a quick shower and then sat down and finished writing my latest column for Frank. I worked on it until nearly midnight. I sent it off to my editor, who wrote me back this evening with some changes he wanted made. I agreed with those changes, as they softened some remarks made against someone who had not been very nice to me. I was intemperate and overly verbose in my response. It is much better now. That is what editors are for. The email that generated my response, and my response, will both be in the new Frank this coming Monday. I hope you check it out.

I guess you have to be careful what you buy, and where you buy it. You may recall that I bought an lcd tv six weeks or so ago from an electronics place that was closing out. All sales were final. The television has been disappointing, although the picture doesn't cut out as much as it used to.

I recently bought a used 26 inch lcd television at a local Salvation Army store. Yeah. I know. But it was 30 dollars and I took a chance. As well, the television has a 3 day warranty period where you can take it home and see if it works. Turns out that it doesn't, so I will return the thing on Friday after work. I feel a little cheap asking for money back for something from that place. They generate funds that help poor people. But the thing doesn't work at all, so I would rather spend that money on something there that I can use, that does work, and not this piece of crap. You understand.

Why do I have such trouble with televisions, anyway?

There is but one day left in this shortened week. Then I am off for two more days. I can get used to this schedule.

You have a good evening, my friends. See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Post 2819 - Tuesday

The end of a very long day. In the Valley. Mowed the lawn one last time. Removed the battery from the lawn tractor. Whipper snipped along the perimeter. Cut down some saplings. Many more et ceteras. 

Here is the view of the neighbors from the garage.  

Wednesday will be here. Will make Tuesday look like a walk in the park.  

See you on Thursday.  


Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the Bell network.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Post 2818 - Monday

It is around 10:30. I will turn in shortly.

I am off on Tuesday and on Wednesday. In the morning I will drive to my mother's; and on Wednesday will take care of the issues that need to be addressed. Due to what I need to do, I will not produce a post that day. Sorry. Policy.

I have been working on my latest Frank column. I produced nearly 1100 words this evening. I have printed it off. I will take a couple of hours on Tuesday and edit it, making sure it gets into my editor by Thursday, my deadline.

Someone wrote a pretty caustic email to me today, to my Frank email address. The comments were so off-base, so out there, that I worry about their writer's mental state. He and I had seemed to get along when I interviewed him a couple of years ago, but now he goes off on me because he disagreed with my most recent column.

I took some time this evening in my column to try to refute his assertions; the editing I mentioned above will be my way to make my comments as succinct as possible.

I have little way of knowing who reads my column, but if the mail that they're getting at Frank is any indication, then I guess the right people are reading it.

I do hope that you guys check out the new  Frank when it comes out in a week's time. It will be 1100 words or so of Frankly goodness.

Not much else is going on. Newbie is above on his perch, staring down at me. Don't worry, buddy. I am leaving you behind tomorrow, so you can torment keep Patricia company.

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Post 2817 - Sunday

Well, I wish I could tell you that we went to the cottage this weekend and shut it down and everything else.

But we didn't.

Instead we stayed in town. Patricia was feeling a little blah, and was enjoying the Bose sound system I hooked up to the HDTV in the living room. I was, too. My god, was amazing sound. My god, I got a good deal on those 2.1 speakers. They are usually so much more expensive.

I spent some time in the back yard yesterday afternoon, trying to de-clutter. There were some things laying around that I have put away for the Winter months. The ample amount of storage under my new front and back decks is coming in very handy.

Late last night I got a FB message from my next door neighbour that informed me that a couple of kids tried to jump the fence into my back yard. Someone saw them and yelled at them, and they scurried off. I appreciated the heads up. But shortly after my home was broken into in 2007, I have had a state-of-the-art security system in place. I will not discuss its specifics here, but let's just say that it has bought me peace of mind to the point where not even a village idiot would break into this place. They would realize what I have and break into someone else's house.

Today I made French Toast for the two of us. It is my specialty. Even Newbie wanted some, but we told him no.

I dashed into Bayer's Lake this afternoon, returning with some cat litter that all of us could tolerate. For some reason, cat litter is something that is nearly as personal a choice as pizza. Cats are finicky at the best of times, but finding a litter that both Cindy and Newbie would use was a big challenge. Since she died, and we are therefore down to one cat, we are choosing a litter that he likes plus one that doesn't get tracked throughout the house or stink up the joint due to its perfumey fragrance. Found one today that is odourless, colourless, grass-based, and is not one a cat is likely to lick off its paws and ingest. Apparently, cats ingesting litter is a primary source of cats' dying, as they cannot pass the litter, so it stays in their stomachs and interferes with what is supposed to be in their tummies. The things you think about!

I have been gradually replacing all the incandescent light bulbs in my house with LED ones. They are expensive to buy but eventually pay for themselves. The only drawback I have found so far is that it has been hard to find a bulb that would fit in the small space set aside for a bulb in the lower-end ceiling fans I have in a couple rooms in the house. My home office here is pretty small and could only accommodate a smaller ceiling fan, so a bunch of years ago I bought one of these ceiling fans for 20 dollars or so. It still works flawlessly. But the LED bulb I found for it that fits in the glass base is only the equivalent of a 40 watt bulb, which is woefully insufficient for this room. Even the 60 watt bulb I had in it before, an incandescent one designed for a ceiling fan, was no great shakes, but it was a damn sight better than what is there now.

So, my question is: Does anybody know of an LED bulb that is the equivalent of at least a 60 watt bulb, that will fit in a very small space, like an enclosed ceiling fan? Has the technology reached the point where such a bulb can exist? Or do I have to have other lights on in this room, which sorta defeats the purpose of what I am trying to achieve, which is energy cost savings? Do let me know, please.

You guys have a good night.

See you tomorrow.


Friday, November 7, 2014

Post 2816 - Friday

It is past 11pm. I will turn in as soon as I write this post.

I will get up as early as possible on Saturday morning so that we can drive to the cottage and shut 'er down for another year. It is my intention to return here Saturday evening, so it will be a very long day indeed.

After work this evening we went to Costco. On the way out, we noticed a sign advertising a Bose home stereo system for a price that didn't make me want to throw up. Bose stereos have astonishing sound, and they wanted to get rid of the last few of the previous year's model so they could sell this year's model, for more money.

Turns out that there was exactly one more of them in the store, and I ended up getting it. We got it home, and after a little fiddling and farting I got it working. After knocking the paintings off the wall, and robbing Newbie of 40% of his fur, I realized that every word that has been written about Bose sound systems is correct. We will very much enjoy this addition to the home this Winter! I'm sure that my hearing will return in a couple of days.

Guess that is it for this evening.

See you tomorrow.


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Post 2815 - This and That


How was your day? Mine was awesome. Thank you for asking.

This time tomorrow we will be looking out the window here at the house and hoping that the weather will improve enough for us to drive to the cottage, there to shut the place down for another year. We both want it to happen.

We should have shut it down during the Thanksgiving weekend, but between the poor weather and my nearly unending slumber, not as much got done as should have. I still hear about this, nearly every day. Perhaps after this weekend, that discussion will be over.

Will be a funny several days. Off for Saturday and Sunday. Back to work on Monday. The 11th is a day off, and I will be taking another day off on the 12th, and back to work on the 13th and 14th before there is another weekend.

I spoke to my mother earlier this evening. I bought her a subscription to Frank so that she can read my column. She asked why the "Bevboy tip of the week" wasn't there. The truth is that it was cut by the editor, and I can see why he made that decision. It has been getting harder and harder to come up with something that can constitute a tip, a radio show or feature that someone should check out. It is a political thing in a very real sense. I don't want to be accused of stating nice things about the same station, or company, at the expense of other companies and other stations. And after getting to know the jocks and developing an appreciation for more and more of the content the stations put out, I truly find it difficult to find something about a station that I actively dislike. It is not impossible, as you can see from the rant in my latest column about limited playlists. There are policies of a company that I don't like. There may be disagreements with how a station abruptly changes direction or fires people at the drop of a hat. And more than a few jocks are paid subsistence wages (they tell me), which makes me cross because I know that the station owners are always wealthy and could afford to pay more if they wanted to. But by and large there is a lot of content in the Halifax market that I enjoy quite a bit.

So, let's just say that the tip of the week is going on vacation. When I find something I love to bits, I will put it in a column, and make the tip a special event that really means something as opposed to something I put out there because I thought I should.

Any questions?


The column will continue. I serve at my editor's pleasure. I will make the column as good and as interesting as I can, and I hope my editor and my readers like it as well.

Folks have asked me whether I will do other professional writing. Depends on whether there are any offers out there. Hustling to pitch stories, research and write them, and try to sell them to a publication, doesn't appeal to me very much. The romance of the writer sitting in his garret, consulting his muse and dashing off a little something, has virtually nothing to do with the reality of being a working writer. The hustling, etc., isn't something I want to do.

If someone wants to approach me to write something, I'll listen. But I am not holding my breath.

Any questions?

I guess that is it for tonight.

See you tomorrow.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Post 2814 - Wednesday

All right. It is just past 10pm. I am still awake. I had better write this blog post before I fall asleep again.

Had my Toastmasters meeting this evening. Not in keeping with the previous VP's of Education, when I got home, I updated the future agenda, printed it off, scanned it in and then emailed it to the club executive. This may seem silly. I could just update the spreadsheet and email that to folks, but I chose to do it this way because I use an unusual spreadsheet application called Gnumeric. I figured it would be better to scan it in and save it as a PDF file and then send it out to everyone. Don't judge me.

Besides, I am doing far more than others did in the club. I lost track of how many times this piece of paper would go missing. I will be generous and state that this happened half a dozen times before I took over the role. Unacceptable. Drove me crazy, especially the whole "who cares?" attitude in which it was done, over and over and over.

This way, if something happens to the paper agenda that's next to my computer monitor, I can just print off another copy and continue on my merry way. Or another member of the executive can. No more excuses And are you bored yet?

I have decided that there are 4 things in life that one should not discuss in polite company. It used to be two. You shouldn't discuss religion, politics, fracking, and... Jian Ghomeshi. Very little good can come from discussing any of these things.

I have started work on my next Frank column. Have about six news items already, and I am sure that there will be more. And I hope to be able to announce in  my next column who my next interview subjects will be. Frank is interested in running at least two of them, but time is running out. My deadline for transcribing any interviews for them is around the first of December.

Two more days before the weekend, when we go to the cottage one last time in 2014, to shut the joint down for another year.

You guys have a good evening. Keep smiling.


Monday, November 3, 2014

Post 2813 - A 180 On Jian Ghomeshi

Earlier today I posted a couple of links about former CBC broadcaster Jian Ghomeshi, and my Facebook lit up like a proverbial Christmas tree. I wrote that in light of the ever-increasing number of women coming forward and telling horrific stories of how they had been assaulted by Jian Ghomeshi, that my feeling about the situation had changed.

I could accept that there had been one woman who had felt jilted by Ghomeshi. So aggrieved, she became vindictive and set out on a campaign of character assassination against our favourite BDSM participant. One. Woman.

Not nine.

By the end of the first week of this debacle, nine women had come forward with these terrible stories. How Ghomeshi would invite them to his home or hotel. How by way of greeting he would beat them upside the head, pull their hair, choke them until they were nearly unconscious, call them names you should not call anybody. Et cetera.

Today I learned that several schools of journalism had decided not to send any more interns to the "Q" CBC program, for fear that they would be mistreated by Mr. Ghomesh, as several had already been.

In light of these new allegations, I revised my opinion of this entire situation. I could no longer countenance or support Mr. Ghomeshi. There is no way that 9 women would come forward to report such things unless there were a lot of truth to them.

I was a fan of Ghomeshi's. He had a breathless approach to his program that was so un-CBC like that it seemed as if "Q" had taken over the airwaves from the CBC like some massive pirate broadcast.

Today, in light of these allegations, even that approach seems creepy. His morning greeting of  "Hi there" makes me want to hurl. Every picture of him now reminds me of a leering pervert barely able to keep it in his pants. Even though he is nearly my age, he dresses in a way to evoke a persona much younger, which adds to the creepy, icky factor that is Mr. Ghomeshi's oeuvre.

Anyway, I wrote about my thoughts on my Facebook earlier today, and nearly everyone agreed with me. One person didn't though. She was in my face about this throughout the day.

I have known her for a very long time. I tolerated her outbursts and will continue to do so. It is my hope that she will come around to my way of thinking, which is that Ghomeshi needs help, but not as much as the many women who have come forward need help and support for what they have endured, and will continue to endure as this case inevitably makes its way through the courts, once the  Toronto police have concluded their investigation and decided to charge Ghomeshi, that is.

I am embarrassed that I ever listened to that man and liked his show. Ashamed, even.

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Post 2812 - Mea Culpa!


It is Sunday night. I haven't written a post in a few days. I apologize for that.

Both Friday and Saturday nights, I went to bed with the intention of waking up and writing some kind of blog post on my BlackBerry. But both evenings, I slept past the 4am deadline. Once again, I am sorry for that. I feel that I have let my 4.7 readers down.

I had a good weekend at my mother's. She was surprised to see me. But we got some business done that had to be done, and I got to take her shopping on Saturday as well. After the god-awful experience we had at lunch the week before at the Port Pub in Port Williams, I am very pleased to report that we had a very nice meal on Saturday at Rosie's in Wolfville. I really do recommend that place. I have never had a bad meal there. Check it out the next time you are in that quaint hamlet.

On Friday I tried to renew my vehicle permit. I made the mistake of going to the Access Centre on the last day of the month, only to be confronted by a line up as long as my... arm. The numbering system is bewildering. Some sequences start with J. Others, "M", I think. Mine started with "C". There were other letters used. You had to keep track not only of what your number was, but what letter series it was in. A couple tv screens scrolled the currently-served sequences. Not nearly often enough, the new one would be called out, and that sequence would flash on the screen as well.

Turns out that the guy sitting next to me was also getting his permit renewed. His sequence was seven ahead of mine, and would be the next to be served. I figured I would be there all afternoon, so when another man came in with the intention of getting his vehicle permit renewed, I wished him a Merry Christmas and pressed my sequence slip into his hand and left. His original sequence was several after mine, if you get my meaning, so he was grateful for the boost. May not have been completely kosher, but I was in no mood to hang around and in even less of a mood to play according to Hoyle.

I cheered myself up by going to a Chinese buffet for lunch and then to a used bookstore, where I got some interesting books on Nova Scotia history, a particular favourite interest of mine. They had two copies of a very old book chronicling the life of Angus L. Macdonald. I had never heard of it before. One of those books is now mine. Another one was by Steven Laffoley. He has written a few books about very old (and unsolved) Halifax murder cases. I already had this particular book, but have misplaced it, so I was happy to get another one. I hope to meet this man some day. His efforts at self-promotion put mine to shame, and I mean that as a compliment. Of course, now that I have bought a second copy of that book, my original copy of it will magically reappear, right around the time that my first copy of the book about the Golers reappears.

I went next door to the computer store and ended up buying a used 3.5 inch front bay card reader for a desktop computer. I took this computer apart this evening but need to figure out how to get access to the bay and how to remove the little panel thingy that covers the slot where the bay will go once I get the thing installed. Nothing in life is easy, is it?

I bought some potato chips Friday afternoon in case some kids dropped by the house Hallowe'en evening. None did. Good thing I like potato chips. I stayed in and watched a horror movie or two including a big chunk of "The Devil's Rejects". Absolutely one of the most violent and disgusting and disturbing films I have ever seen in my life. And I can't take my eyes off the screen whenever I watch it. I will probably sit through it again in a year or two. Rob Zombie is an underrated film maker.

I also watched "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein", the first time I had seen this movie in a good 10 years. As a youngster, I thought that Abbott and Costello were gods. I would roar every time I saw them in a movie on tv, much more so than I ever did with the Three Stooges or Laurel and Hardy or the Marx Brothers. A&C were it for me. It was like watching a couple of old uncles running around last night, and it wasn't very funny for me. I guess you have to be a kid or a victim of arrested development to have an appreciation for that kind of humour these days.

This morning I watched the pilot for "Warehouse 13", and I am not sure if I want to see any more of them or not. My boat was not floated.

I returned to the city this afternoon. Now it is just past 9:30, and The Walking Dead starts at the top of the hour, and I can't wait.

The clocks changed last night. For most of you, that is not a big deal. When you are me, this becomes a mini-project. I have so many clock radios that I know that I will miss one or two of them and sheepishly adjust the time on them. More importantly, though, is the fact that with the time change it will be dark when I leave for work and dark when I get home. I am not sure what the benefits to day light savings time are. I just know that being in the dark all the time is not a metaphor I like, nor is it a state of being that I enjoy either.

I guess that is it for tonight. Time to get curled up in front of my HD TV and watch my show.

See you tomorrow.