Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Post 2918 - Tuesday

Hello again, my friends.

I write these words around 6pm Tuesday night. Patricia is getting her hair down at a place on Spring Garden Road. The appointment began around 5pm, so I should be here until 9:45 or so.

Had a decent day at work. Been working on my latest Frank column since around 4:30. I was worried sick this time that I would not have enough material to justify a full-length column and thought I would try something else. But with 24 hours left before my deadline, that thing has fallen through. Meanwhile, some other stories have come forward in the last few hours that will nicely fill my column inches. You will have to wait and see until next week how it all shakes out.

I work across the street from a major grocery store. I haven't had a solid meal since breakfast, so you can imagine I am thinking about all the scrumptious victuals over there. I am hungry enough to consider eating some of their repulsive sushi. Too, I have been carrying around gift certificates for a place called Tarek's Cafe, down and around the corner from my work. I was hoping to hold off on using them until some occasion when Patricia was available, so we could go together. But I am not sure if I can hold off that long.

Say, I know what we can discuss. Why don't you reply to this post via a comment to the post, or on my Facebook or twitter, and tell me what your favorite restaurant is. It could be one in Nova Scotia, or wherever your home town is. If the place has a website, include that. Because, frig, I'm hungry enough already. Let's add to the misery.

My work week is half over. Two more days before I can take 4 days off work. Nice work if you can get it, huh?

6:23 pm. How will I handle the next several hours until Patricia's hair is done? Sigh.

See you tomorrow.


Monday, March 30, 2015

Post 2917 - Monday

Monday night. Pushing 9pm.

I promise not to stay up as late tonight as I did last night. Sunday night I watched the excellent season ender to The Walking Dead. Then, too wired to sleep, I watched The Talking Dead until half past midnight. I am supposed to get up around 5:30 every morning. Sure. That wasn't hard this morning. Not at all.

My work week is 25% over. Three more days this week before I have a 4 day Easter weekend. Looking forward to the break.

Newbie sits on the computer desk just next to the keyboard. I think he wants me to finish typing so that I can retire to my reclining chair in the next room so that he can then pounce on my lap, knead my flesh until it bleeds, and sleep for a while. He won't curl upon Patricia's lap, just mine.

I am working on my next Frank column. Once again, I am trying something a little different to shake things up a bit. I hope that you check it out when it comes out in a week. My deadline is not for another couple of days, so we will see how it shakes out.

Halifax streets are slowly returning to normal, which is to say that traffic is slowing to a crawl again. If we leave any later than 7am, I run the risk of being late for work. On a good day, we can be downtown in barely 20 minutes. There are not many good days lately.

Man, this is in the running for the most boring blog post yet. I guess I should quit while I'm behind.

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, March 29, 2015

Post 2916 - Sunday

Hello yet again, my friends.

I returned to the city late this morning. Patricia and Newbie both greeted me warmly. After a few more episodes of Netflix's "Bloodline", a shower, and a nice chicken meal, I am down here in my recroom half-watching last week's episode of The Walking Dead before they run the season finale in 24 minutes or so. Newbie is on the arm of the chair next to me in case you were wondering.

I have noticed a couple of things in the Nova Scotia retail sector lately. I would like to comment on them. First of all, Pete's Frootique in Wolfville is closing at the end of May, just over 2 months from now.

I am deeply conflicted about this. Wolfville is one of my favourite towns ever. It is fun and fresh and eclectic and I went to university there back in the day. When I go up on a weekend, I make it a point to drive through that town at least once.  Mom and I both loved eating at Rosie's in Wolfville, which is a damn sight better than the one in Kentville.

Then there was Pete's. A nice store. A great store. But full of things that the average Joe Sixpack can't afford. Many a time I would walk in there, balk at the prices, and walk out empty-handed, while some of the staff watched me walk to my car with their noses pressed up to the glass. If I felt especially flush, or really wanted an item I couldn't get anywhere else, like Montreal bagels, then I would have little choice but to go in, unload the contents of my wallet, and leave with the desired item and a lot less cash.

In the United States, there is a company called Whole Foods. Everybody calls it "Whole Paycheck". Great food, but crazy prices. Just like what Pete's charges. We were at the Pete's in Bedford Thursday night. Patricia bought some items, not that many, and left with much less cash. That store, plus the one in downtown Halifax, will continue to do well because there are more people in those parts of the province who can afford to support that kind of business. In Wolfville, there are not that many. As my mother said the one time she set food in the store, "You'd have to be a millionaire to shop in there!" That kind of perception doesn't just go away.

I feel sorry for the 50 full and part-time folks who will soon be unemployed. But I won't miss the store that much. It was the wrong store for the wrong part of the province.

Now. Future Shop. The stores in New Minas and New Glasgow both closed a week ago Friday. And the remaining Future Shop stores across Canada all closed without warning on March 28th. About half of them will reopen as Best Buy stores. Since there is already a Best Buy store in Bayer's Lake, the FS shop there will remain closed, so all the people who work there are s.o.l.

I don't know about you, but Future Shop was a place where I would go in, look at stuff, and leave without buying anything. I marvelled at how they continue to sell dvd's and blu-rays long after the bottom fell out of both markets. People don't buy video's any more. They use streaming services or download.

Then there was the cost of certain things like sound bars. I bought a pretty good sound bar at XS Cargo (also defunct) last year for about $55. I used the mounting screws and my cordless drill to attach it to the tv stand my HD tv is on. The sound bar has two inputs, plus bluetooth and even a pretty good FM radio. Plus a remote. $55. Works and sounds great. Why, then, would I spent $300 or so on a sound bar that doesn't have the radio, may or may not have the bluetooth? Why? Just so I could say I had bought it at Future Shop? I don't think so.

In Bayer's Lake, Future Shop was right next door to the Super Store. While Patricia was inside getting victuals, I would saunter over to Future Shop and kill some time, seldom buying anything. I have to wonder how many other guys did the same thing, and what kind of effect on the bottom line that had.

What happened at Pete's, and Future Shop, shows some pretty serious changes in the Canadian retail landscape. People want the best deals they can get. They don't want it fancy. And I am surprised it has taken this long for retailers to realize that.

It's 10pm. Time to watch the season finale of The Walking Dead.

See you tomorrow.


Saturday, March 28, 2015

Post 2915 - Saturday

Hello, my lovelies. How are you this evening?

It is just past 11pm. I am here in the Valley about to turn in for my second evening here.  The internet connection is still working, despite the utility's best efforts.

Seriously. I have never dealt with a more incompetent, borderline negligent, series of people. Everything they could have done wrong with this seemingly easy request, to add an internet connection here, was messed up. First time, they scheduled me for a day I didn't find out about until it was nearly too late. Then, two weeks ago, they didn't bother to show up here, but rather at my house in Halifax. Finally, on the 21st, they did show up, but in setting up a pppoe username and password here, it messed up the one in Halifax. Changing that one, messed up the one here. Finally, an hour before I had to leave for the funeral yesterday, they got it fixed to the point where there is internet here under one pppoe username/password, and the main one in Halifax, under a different pppoe username/password.


I made it to Greg's funeral with time to spare. It was a nice service. I hadn't seen Greg in quite a few years, but I certainly remember him fondly. There is a story about him that I'll bet very damn few people in his family remember, or even know about. I will tell it here, and now.

Many years ago, we kids were going to play baseball down the street from where I type these words, at the home of two brothers, one of whom would grow up to marry Reg's sister. Greg, Reg, and I, maybe one or two others, jumped on our bikes and drove there. The younger brother was angry with me about something, and don't ask me what it was because even I don't remember. He demanded I leave, refusing to play with me. The rest of the boys could stay, but not me. I would have to leave.

Greg refused to have it. He didn't like how I was being singled out. So, he said words to the effect, "Let's go, boys! If Bev can't play, then we won't play." We turned around and left. My final image as we drove off that day was the younger brother being beaten up by his older brother. Hee hee.

That lesson taught me that not only is there safety in numbers, there is strength in numbers. I won't say it turned me into a trade unionist, but the symbolism was not lost on me. Let's leave it at that.

Anyway, the funeral was very fine indeed. I learned about Greg's love of animals, how much he loved his children, and how sensitive he was to the travails of his life. He didn't have an easy life. He quit high school after Grade 10 or so, but I only found out very recently he quit because he wanted to keep his family together. I am not sure if I would have done what he did. I don't think I have that kind of character strength.

The funeral made me think of how we treat the people who are from the so-called lower classes. Every day I see how we treat the janitors, the people who clean our office buildings, the folks who labour in some factory for crappy wages. At best, it is with indifference, a sense of, "too bad you messed up, buddy!" At worst, it is with utter disdain and border-line contempt. Shame on the people who make the service class feel so badly. At the very least, the next time you order a coffee at McDonald's, you could say please. I sure do.

Poor people love their children, too. Greg sure did. He died before his second grandson could be born. I also learned about the dog he had as a boy, one named Brutus, who was put down by the SPCA because it attacked a neighbour kid after the kid teased Brutus. The night before Brutus was put down, Greg stayed in the barn with him all night, not leaving him once. I hope that little bastard kid was happy is all I can say.

Greg had four children, would have had two grandchildren, and made friends with anybody who met him. But because he lacked education, and would have been looked down upon by people who did have it, he perceived himself a failure. That, coupled with his depression, led him to take his own life earlier this month.

I don't talk about it much. Not because I'm ashamed of it or anything, but it just doesn't come up that much. My milieu, my background, is anything but the white collar existence I enjoy now. My relatives were mostly blue collar folks like the above, or farm labourers, or carpenters like my dad, or others who couldn't win a break if they tried. People who actually had to work for a damn living, and never made much money doing so.  I'll bet some of the other people I know, who come from privilege, would never have anything to do with those people. They would never have anything to do with me, if I had not climbed up through the morass and done a little something with my life. Whatever that means.

Rest in peace, Greg. You are in a better place. Some days, I may even be envious.

See you tomorrow.


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Post 2914 - Thursday


I'm off until Monday.

I promise to think about you while I am in the Valley.

As I mentioned before, I am attending Greg's funeral Friday afternoon. It is at 2pm, not 3, as I reported earlier this week.

I was thinking about that today. My whole life, with very few exceptions, when I attended a funeral it was for a person older, usually much older, than I. I don't remember attending a funeral for someone close to my own age. It will feel weird for me tomorrow.

After the funeral, I will try to get my mind off Greg and the shit he had to put up with since the 1970's. I will go back to the family home and knock around there until Saturday or Sunday.

Not much else going on. It is late, and I have to get up early.

See you tomorrow.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Post 2913 - Wednesday

Well, this will be fun.

Newbie resting on my left arm while I type with my right.

How was your day? Mine was okay. The weather has been better. The ice is melting finally. Some icicles that were hanging dangerously over my deck this morning were gone by the time I got home tonight.

In other news, that Halifax woman got her right of way, but at a terrible financial cost. Here is the update. I am loving the comments on the story, which have unfortunately closed. They are nearly 100% in favour of her plight and against those of the Crons. I know there are two sides to every story, but when one side gets its story out and the other doesn't, then what are people to think?

I have never met Linda Mosher, the city councillor, but I was disgusted by her comments about Susan Sutherland. She paints the Crons as victims whose property will now be devalued by allowing this driveway to exist. Typical South end class-ism. Typical of a doctor as well. The kind of guy who is used to making a certain amount of money, which you and I can only dream about, who will provide medical assistance to poor people but never deign to live among them.

When we were little kids, and had to see the doctor, my mother, who did not drive, would get a cab to transport us to doctor's office, which was in his home in Wolfville. Even then I thought it was inappropriate to have a doctor's office his home. It created the wrong impression and didn't seem professional somehow. And the house would be so off putting to people coming to it seeking medical assistance. Not to mention the perception that the doctor was putting on airs, opening up that portion of his house to riff raff like us.

Anyway, Doctor and Mrs. Cron will now have to tolerate having a driveway on their sanctified-now-sullied property. Poor them. Let's start a crowd-funding campaign for them. Never mind the fact that Susan Sutherland and her family have had 5 decades of inconvenience just doing things like transporting groceries and heating fuel to and from their property. Like I said before, typical class-ism.

I will keep up on this story and report any further updates.

You guys have a good evening. I will see you tomorrow.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Post 2912 - Tuesday, Part Two

Hello again, my lovelies.

My goodness, two posts in one day. How did I manage that? I can hear it now. "Martha, get over here! Bevboy did two blog posts today!!" And Martha will weep with joy.

I read something yesterday that I want to share with you. Here. Go read it.

I have never met either party. I have heard that Doctor Cron is an excellent physician. But I am marveling at how much bad blood could have been roiled up over the past 50 years that he would not permit an ambulance to go on his property to access this otherwise land-locked property. I am not even sure if that would be legal. Would not the saving of a life trump private property rights?

I mean, when the police investigate a major crime, they don't stop and ask permission of the person whose property they're trouncing on. They just do it. Firefighters will enter a burning home and nobody even thinks to charge them with breaking and entering let along trespassing. And it seems to me if EMT's need to pick up a person that they would would have a right to perform those duties. For Doctor Cron to have such a pent-up dislike for those neighbours of his that he would treat them that way speaks volumes to me about his character and his compassion and even what kind of a doctor he is.

There are two sides to every story. I hope that the Cron's side comes out after all these years. Because right now, I don't have a good impression of him. I am enjoying reading the comments to the CBC news story.

See you tomorrow.


Post 2911 - Tuesday

Hi. Sorry I didn't write on Monday. My body shut down very early, but when I woke up, I found that my internet connection was poor. Unplugging the router/modem combination made things worse.

I am pretty sure it has to do with the work done in the Valley over the weekend. I recall that the installer wanted to use the same pppoe username that I use in the city. Along with a newly-crafted password to boot. When they realized that this would not do, they gave me a new pppoe username, but meanwhile the password to the username in the city was still changed. When I unplugged the modem/router last evening, it tried to log back on with the new password. Don't ask me why it didn't realize for more than 2 days that the password had changed.

At least, I think that's the problem. I typed in what I dimly recall the password to be, which is written on a piece of paper in the Valley and which I will see again this weekend. I had to leave for work this morning before I could learn if I had typed in the pppoe password correctly.

My god, this has been a frustrating experience. They messed up the work order date, twice. The man who shows up on Saturday does good work but is obliged to put in a second phone line (with an attendant phone number) in the house when I did not ask for this to happen. Now, this debacle with pppoe password. What will they mess up next?

But that's not what I want to talk about today.

I was going to address that in this post, too, but it is a new topic and I want to make nice with you guys, so I will give you a second blog post today. You're welcome.

See you later on today.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Post 2910 - Sunday

Hello, my lovelies. How are you this evening?

I didn't write much on Saturday. Body shut down pretty early. But I am pleased to report that my "bidness" was pretty much taken care of yesterday.

A month ago, I got a security system installed in the family home. I won't get into the details of it, other than to say that it makes me feel very comfortable. And a week ago, on the 16th, I was to have the other piece taken care of, but I have already detailed that experience.

Yesterday, then, the guy showed up. And tonight I can now report that there is finally, at long last, an internet connection down there.

I got tired of having to drive to the local library to get internet service at my mother's house. I wanted to be able to surf the web or watch netflix, or what have you. Now, that is a reality. And it is pretty sweet.

My old friend Reg came over last week, and again yesterday. We talked about his cousin who had recently died. I wasn't going to mention it, but it has come out so I will announce that this man committed suicide in Alberta a couple of weeks ago. He was a tortured soul who did not have an easy life, and now his final days above ground are no picnic either. I have had my own family issues in this, the first 90 days of 2015, so I am not inclined to repeat his here. The funeral will be this coming Friday at 3pm at the church just past Jawbone Corner on your way into Canning. That Pentecostal church where people  shout out to the Lord and shake and shimmer and jump up and down and that's before the service even starts. I can't think of the name of the church or I would mention it here. It's the one that still advertises an Christmas concert if that helps.

With Greg's death on my mind, plus my mother's barely two months ago, it certainly puts things into perspective. When I didn't get the internet installed last week like I should have, I was not happy, but I wasn't nearly as upset about it as Patricia was. And now that I have the internet installed at the family home, I think it's neat, but hardly a show stopper or even anything more than something to combat a relatively minor irritant. Things that used to bug me a lot are today just minor irritants.

I returned to the city around 4:00pm and took things easy. My relatively high energy level began to slide off as the night progressed and after the 3rd episode of Netflix's "Bloodline", I turned in. Good show and everything, but it requires one's attention and that was starting to wane along with my energy.

Today has been about tackling the middle bedroom upstairs. Some people have a junk drawer. I have a junk room. And today I filled up 6 boxes of books and carted them downstairs to my home office and put them on the bookshelves behind where I am typing these words. To make room for them I am finally tossing out the old vhs tapes that had been taking up space here for far too long. I am holding on to the ones whose contents I want to digitize but once that is done, they will be gone, too.

Back to work tomorrow. I realized yesterday that I am going in to my first of four weeks where I only have to work 4 days. EDO on Friday. Good Friday the week after. Easter Monday rounds things out rather nicely indeed, but the next-next EDO will be the end of those four weeks.

Oh, one other thing. I gave Reg a decent working laser printer a week ago. Tomorrow I am giving another friend one. I still have a couple other ones that I do not want or need. I have a couple here in the house that I will use one-by-one until they fall apart, which should not be for years.

Do you know anyone who would like to have a free Samsung laser printer? 600 dpi. Decent throughput. Good print quality. And compatible with most any computer that doesn't run any MacIntosh operating system.  If you are running Windows or some flavour of Linux, you should have no problem getting this printer to talk to your computer. I have two or three of them left. Know anyone who is interested? Get back to me.

You guys have a good evening. See you tomorrow.


Saturday, March 21, 2015

Post 2909 - Yay!

‎Got my bidness taken care of in the Valley of Saturday. 

Party time. 


More details on Sunday. 

See you then. 


Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the Bell network.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Post 2908 - Friday

Hi. Friday nght.

I will be in the Valley Saturday morning in the hope of getting that "bidness" done that wasn't done last weekend. The utility people frigged up like crazy last Saturday. This time, they swear they will have it done correctly and someone will actually show up. If they don't this time I will express my disappointment by producing a moderately-worded email. That will teach them.

We keep hearing about yet another storm coming to the province over the weekend. A combination of snow and rain, because, after all, we don't already have enough precipitation down do we? After all, the snowpiles are "only" up to 12 feet so far. Let's go to a full 2 meters.

Netflix released another new show today, called "Bloodline". I am looking forward to seeing it. If it is only half as good as "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt", then we are really in for something.

Very little else going on, so I will call it a night and let you get back to maintaining your belly button lint collection.

See you tomorrow.


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Post 2907 - Thursday

Hello again, my lovelies.

It is around 8:30. I have had my shower and a very close shave, the kind that makes my face feel like a baby's bottom. Which is a really creepy comparison when you stop and think about it.

Work didn't start this morning until 10. Around 8, I went outside and made my way to the car to try to dig it out. Not long afterward the young man down the street who has a snowplow came over and cleared the driveway as best he could while my car was in it. My car was stuck in the snow drifts, so he and Patricia had to push it out while I floored it. That worked, and he finished his job. I also introduced him to our next door neighbour as she wanted her driveway widened. I am starting to think that I should get a finder's fee. That would be a joke, folks. Laugh it up, why don't you?

People at work tease me, saying that I am hiring child labour to do work I don't want to do. I suppose there is some truth to that, but I would have killed to have had a job like that when I was his age. And we pay him quite well, so it's not like we're exploiting him or anything. I think these people at my work are just jealous because they have to do all that work themselves while I get to stay inside and download porn maintain my stamp collection.

So, anyway, I got in to work around 10. I went to the local Tim's for a coffee and sammich for lunch, and that was a mistake. The food was fine, but the two block walk there and back was treacherous. The sidewalks are nearly unusable, so one is forced to walk in the streets to one's destination. On the way home tonight, I saw the logical extension of this when I saw two guys chatting while standing on the street as cars whizzed past them. At this rate, these dudes will be standing in the middle of the road by next week wondering why the cars are bothering them so much.

When I got home I shovelled off my front deck a bit better than it had been. I did what I could with the side steps. And I had the adventure of my life getting to my back deck to clean that off. Just sliding the door open nearly slipped the door off its runner. And the snow had turned to ice which made my job that much more difficult. I gave up after a while and returned inside, only to discover that I could not close the door because some snow was in the runner the door slides on. I kept trying to remove the snow but more would just take its place. After 20 minutes or so, I got it closed.

The forecast for Saturday promises some combination of rain and snow. Any rain at all would turn the existing snow into ice, and all roads would become perilous skating rinks. I can hardly wait for that to happen. Yippee. Yahoo.

I don't drink much. I am starting to think that is a character flaw.

See you tomorrow, my friends. Stay warm and dry, and may you never have to shovel any more snow ever.


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Post 2906 - Wednesday (I Think!)

We had a major snowstorm over night and into Wednesday. It was so bad that they pulled the buses off the road. It was also so bad that they cancelled my work for the day, which very seldom happens.

I haven't been outside all day. I just look out my front door and laugh and close it again. My car is, for all intents and purposes, buried. Snow is piled up in such a way that I don't know where I will put the snow around my car. My front deck has so much snow on it that I have to hope that it doesn't collapse. It is still new so I should be all right.

Roads are a mess, although the guy who manages all the snow plow operators in the city says that things are better tonight than they were earlier today. Side streets like the one I live on are likely impassible, although I will still be expected to make it into work in the morning. At least work is postponed until 10am. I will need that time to shovel my way out. Let's just hope that doing so doesn't result in a lethal heart aneurysm, like the one that killed poor Allan Rowe this week.

A nimrod Halifax councillor, Waye Mason, has called on all able-bodied Haligonians to step outside and shovel the sidewalks in front of their homes, even though the city has taken on this responsibility. I am not sure if this is a call to action, or just an admission that the city has fallen down hard on this task. I just know that I don't have sidewalks in my neighbourhood, and that between me and the young man down the street, it will be murder just to clear out my driveway enough to get my car out tomorrow, if it comes to that. I may just say the hell with it and take a partial vacation day. Depends.

I did accomplish something today, though: I sent in my latest column to Frank. My deadline was today. I am not sure if the Frank offices were open today, or whether the reporters were allowed to work from home. I really must ask them sometime.

I am wondering how much snow has piled up against the house in the Valley. I am guessing/expecting that my snow plow guy will clean out the driveway there tomorrow, but frig knows where the snow will go there. There is at least as much snow in the valley as there is here. Maybe even more.

I spent some time this evening moving books from upstairs to downstairs and found some books that I had forgotten I had. Doesn't mean I will actually read them, but it will be nice to have all my books in one place.

I'm sorry that this is not a funnier post. There is nothing funny that happened to me today. I guess I will call it a day and turn in, just in case I have to go to work tomorrow.

See you then, my friends.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Post 2905 - Tuesday

‎3 o'clock in the morning. Been asleep for hours. 

What did I miss?

See you tomorrow.  


Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the Bell network.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Post 2904 - Monday

Welcome to Monday evening, folks.

I write these humble, sub-par, slightly pathetic words in my home office. Newbie is in the chicken box on top of the computer desk. He seems to have abandoned climbing atop the entertainment centre by the doorway. Probably so he can be closer to me.

I just finished writing the first draft of my next Frank magazine column and will polish it during my lunch hour Tuesday, and keep researching more stuff for it before my Wednesday evening deadline has drawn nigh. Not that you care or anything. I am writing this in case my editor reads this and is wondering whether I'm dicking off.

I am trying something slightly different with this column. I won't get into details because I want you to buy the magazine and see for yourself, but I will state that instead of running a vintage radio picture with my column, I am submitting something else. I think you will find it very interesting, but the only way to confirm that is if you buy the magazine when it comes out next week. Deal?

Today's drive in to work was another adventure. We got another snow storm Sunday, and of course Halifax city streets were hit and miss as to whether they had been plowed. I guess they haven't heard of salt, these people. And I guess expecting a snow plow to have gone through most streets 24 hours later is asking for too much. At least roads were better when we got home.

There is not much else to report. Newbie snores like a little girl. Patricia is probably preparing to collapse after a long day. And I think I will check out Netflix before I turn in just because I want to, and I can.

So I will.

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Post 2903 - Sunday

Hello again, my friends.

I promised to tell you about yesterday, today. And I will. Now.

I had originally booked the utility to be at the house in the valley for a week ago.  That was not possible. Without my knowledge and consent they booked it for March 9th. I almost didn't find out in time. But, I did, and managed to re-schedule it for March 14th, which was yesterday.

You heard about the mishap of Friday night where I returned to the house because I had forgotten a hamper of wet towels. I ended up driving down instead early Saturday morning, leaving around 6:15. I got to the house around 7:40.

I got there and waited. I cooked myself some breakfast. And around 9:30 the phone rang. It was Patricia, who wanted to tell me that the utility company had called her at the house to confirm the appointment, but instead of the house I was at, it was at the house in the city. A complete screw up. Patricia let them know in no uncertain terms what the address was. They even had the correct address, actually; but they somehow thought it was a Halifax address even though anybody who's lived in Nova Scotia for more than 5 minutes would know it wasn't.

I was flabbergasted. My friend came over for coffee around 10, and we had a lovely chat. Around 10:30, the utility called me at the house and informed me that they could not locate a service technician on Saturday  to come to where I was and do this work. Did I want to book for the 21st?

Sigh. I did, but I let them know how pissed off I was. I had gone out of my way to be there and had been assured several times that, yes, they would be there. And they weren't.

I don't know who screwed up. I don't know what certain people use for brains. I don't know why customer service has gone down the toilet. And as a civil servant who's been told many times that civil servants are lazy and stupid, when I know it isn't true, I have to point to the fools at the utility who messed up this work order, twice.

The day wasn't a complete loss. I paid off the snow plow guy. I ran some errands. I had a very nice and fulsome chat with my food friend. I drank some good coffee. But the problem with the utility soured the experience for me.

I returned to the city mid-afternoon. I trudged up the stairs with the dried towels and the other things I had brought back with me. I showered. I took a long nap. And I turned in early.

Woke up this morning to a snowstorm. Mid-afternoon I went out and freed my car, and the young man who shovels out my driveway now has a snowblower of his own to use, so that was put to good use.

It has been a decent weekend, even if the utility issue on Saturday was such a farce. At least now I get to go back to work in the morning.

You guys have a good evening and I will see you tomorrow.


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Post 2902 - Saturday

‎Watching the news with Newbie. 

Very long and frustrating day. Will tell you about it tomorrow. 

See you then. 


Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the Bell network.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Post 2901 - Sigh!

Well, I sure am having a good time in the Valley so far! Yep. You betcha.

Or not. Let's go with "or not".

Let me explain.

My dryer here at the house is toast. I can tell you this because when you turn it on, the arse end of it heats up and lights up redder than Michael Jackson did the first time he saw a woman nude. Or me for that matter. But I digress. We decided it would not be a good idea to use the dryer any more. It has become an interesting ornament in the laundry room. On the left hand side, there is the washing machine, still chugging along. In the middle is that little tub thingy for pre-soaking. Then there is the unusable washing machine.

"Jesus, where is he going with this?"

Here's where I'm going with this.

The dryer at my mother's works just fine. So, every few weeks when I go down there, we make sure that the towels and things that will not dry easily on their own are washed here and dried down there. Works out well.

Until this evening.

Let me explain.

"Dammit, will he get to the point already?"

Hey, this is Bevboy's Blog, folks. I take my time getting to the point. If you want to read a more succinct blog, I'm sure the Kardashians have learned how to spell the word and have perhaps begun one of their own.

Where was I?

So, I have business in the Valley on Saturday. I got home here tonight, dropped off Patricia, grabbed something to wear for tomorrow, and headed out. I left my home and eventually ended up on Highway 101, heading toward God's Country.

Then I realized I had forgotten the clothes hamper containing the still-wet towels and so on.


The first exit I could use was at Mount Uniacke. Exit... 3? 4? 2? I can never remember. Mount Uniacke at least. I took that exit and doubled back to my house. I dropped off in Bayers Lake to get a burger. Called Patricia just so the shock of my return to the house wouldn't give her a heart attack, especially if Svend or Benito or Karlheinz was still here. These guys usually like to visit when I am away. I must discuss the appropriateness of that with Patricia sometime. But I digress.

I got her a burger, too. Drove back to the house. Retrieved the clothes hamper and dragged it upstairs, leaving it by the front door. And announced that I was going to drive to the Valley first thing Saturday morning instead. It was pushing 8:45 and I didn't feel like heading out a second time at that hour.

I am here. Newbie is all over me. And Patricia didn't have that heart attack.

So, when I get up in the morning, which will be very early, probably by the time Stan Carew starts his show on CBC radio, I will drive down, take care of my "bidness", and return sometime in the late afternoon. I want to get back to the city because I want to avoid that storm that is supposed to knock us around and have its way with us on Sunday. Because we don't have enough snow.

What is the title of this blog post again? Oh, right.


See you tomorrow.


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Post 2900 - Thursday

Hello and welcome post #2900, folks.

Well, I guess it is post 2900. As you know, over the years I have lost count of the number of posts. In a few cases, I have used posts that didn't have a damn number, or had a "and a half" or "B" as a suffix. It is all terribly confusing. Let's just agree that this is post 2900 and be friends, okay?

How was your day? Probably a little subpar because when you fired up your computers this morning you didn't see a blog post. I apologize for that. My body shut down last night around 7:30, and I was out for the night. It seems to be happening more and more lately. I wonder why?

Tomorrow is Friday. I can't help it. It just is, so get used to it. But my point is that Friday presages the weekend, which once again is something beyond my control so piss off already. Where was I? Oh, yes. The weekend is nearly here. I have plans in the Valley this weekend, but I have heard that there will be a massive storm starting Saturday night. This is according to Frankie MacDonald, whom I trust implicitly.

So, I don't want to get stuck in that crappy weather that Frankie is forecasting. This means that I must take care of my business down there in less than 24 hours, which further means that I must cut back my sleeping to no more than 18 hours. I think this will be a huge challenge for me, but I must persevere because Frankie would want me to. I will make it back here Saturday evening, after I order my pizza and Chinese food and charge my iPod and iPad and cell phone and tablet and laptop and buy my Pepsi and Coke.

I have been half watching Big Bang Theory this evening. It was very nice that they mentioned Steve Ditko tonight as being the unknown co-creator of Spider-Man along with the far more famous and wealthy Stan Lee. I wonder of the 18 million or so people who will see the episode this evening, plus all the people who will see the repeats and in syndication over the coming years, not to mention see it on streaming services and via illegal downloads, how many of those hordes of people will have heard Steve Ditko's name for the very first time. And, I also wonder if Steve Ditko himself, living in near poverty somewhere in a low rent part of New York, will know that his name was mentioned on the show, because who knows if the man even owns a television?

I guess that's it for this evening, ladies and fine gentlemen. You take care of yourselves and think of me. I will think of you once I am done thinking about myself.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Post 2899 - Tuesday

Hello again, my friends.

It is just past 8:30pm. I have had my shower for the evening. I have eaten. And Newbie rests above me in the empty chicken box. If I could get a webcam to work under this new version of linux I'm trying out, I would get a picture for you. Some other time, I promise.

Woke up with a migraine this morning. I wrote work that I would be late and slept for another few hours, at which time I felt much better and drove in to work. It is too bad I can't drive in to work every day during non-rush hours, because I practically sailed in.

After work, I drove home. Didn't feel like cooking, so we ordered in a pizza. We ate. I took my shower, and if this isn't the most boring blog post yet, I would like to know what one has been.

Something did happen today, though. I opened the mail this morning, and there was a threat from the insurance company to cancel the insurance policy at the house in the Valley unless I remitted the munificent sum of 30 dollars to them by March 22nd. WTF? I had paid the insurance in December for the agreed-upon amount. Why would they change things now?

A couple of hours later, I learned. Turns out that because Mom's name was on the policy, she was able to qualify for a small discount equal to 30 dollars.  After she died, I did the correct thing and alerted the insurance company and had her named removed from the policy. This triggered an alert that removed the discount and produced letters demanding I pay the difference.

It ticked me off. I paid the money but it ticked me off. I had paid the insurance in good faith 3 months ago. I didn't enjoy having to reach in to my pocket again and hand over yet more money; and I sure as frig muffins didn't appreciate the threatening tone of the letter. I had half a mind to cancel the insurance entirely. But, if I did that, 5 minutes later there would be some kind of calamity and I'd be f--- er, I mean, severely inconvenienced.

You know, I'm going to throw the lines open. Tell me about your insurance horror story. A time when an insurance company didn't provide coverage you thought it would, or lost your policy, or decided you owed additional money part way through the coverage year. Contact me via a comment on the blog, through my Facebook, my Twitter, or via an email here. I look forward to hearing from you.

See you tomorrow.


Monday, March 9, 2015

Post 2898 - Monday


It is past 11pm. I should turn in shortly.

Long day. My latest Frank column went up this morning, and not much was changed. Some items were moved around, so I asked my editor, who gave me some good feedback that I will implement going forward.

When we got home, there was a parcel waiting for me. Turned out to be the official replacement modem/router from the phone company.  The one I got for 8 bucks on Friday was a stopgap thing. The one I got today was two antenna, so a full 300Mbps rather than 150. I swapped them out this evening, specified my pppoe username and password, modified the default SSID and password, and I was away to the races. Working just great so far. The router is in the next room, and I have nearly a 100% signal nearly 100% of the time.

I had long since forgotten about it, but just before Christmas, Mom and I went to a restaurant in Coldbrook. It was one of our favourites. And it was the last time we were there together. But on the way out, I put my name in for a draw for a free satellite dish and installation, and discounted programming. Anybody who had a meal there could put a name in for this draw. I would probably have put my name in for a draw for a used set of pliers.

Also this evening was a message on the machine from someone reporting that I had won the above. I called Buddy, whose actual name is Buddy, and he spelled out for me what I had won. I demurred. Not sure if I want a satellite system or not. I have been happy with digital cable for many years now. Even if I went with Aliant tv, it is a fibreop-based technology not requiring an unsightly dish affixed to my roof.

I am not sure if I will go forward with this "prize" or not. Likely not. What would you do?

I guess that is it for this evening. I may as well turn in. Another long day tomorrow.

See you then.


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Post 2897 - Sunday

Hi again.

It is about 9:36. I can write for 20 minutes or so until The Walking Dead starts at 10.

Another quiet day. The biggest accomplishment for us was to finish watching all 13 episodes of "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" on Netflix. The show is brilliant. Funny and warm and with a message. And I will require a frontal lobotomy to get the theme song out of my head. I hear they're on special this week at Costco.

Last evening, after I finished writing the blog post, I moved some stuff around in my home office. The unused external hard drives are in a different section of the room, in a less obvious place than a bookshelf and on the hutch of this computer desk. Instead, I have re-located an awful lot of my Bevboy's Blog business cards to the hutch on this desk, as well as to the mostly-empty shelf on the other computer desk, where the wireless router I no longer need, used to reside. They're next to the new-to-me modem/router combo unit. And, I know you don't care. In fact, I don't care. It is just that I needed to fill this paragraph with some wordage. Strange, random characters do not a paragraph make.

Newbie is crazy-like this evening. He is jumping around like he is 5 years old again, rather than 8.5. I keep telling him to act his age, but then he farts and I realize he is.

It is the end of another 3 day weekend. I don't know where they go. In fact, 3 day weekends seem to go by faster than 2 day ones. I am disappointed. I want my money back.

It is now 9:51. Newbie is settling in once again in the ancient cardboard box on top of the computer desk. Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, the box housed frozen chicken breasts. He decided to sit in it one day years ago, and I have kept the box ever since.

Remind me to show you a picture of him in it sometime. He looks so cute.

Time to fire up the colortini and watch my show.

See you tomorrow.


Saturday, March 7, 2015

Post 2896 - Saturday


It is just past 10pm Saturday night. CBC Radio is playing "Saturday Night Blues", and like last weekend, I will repeat that I really should listen to the show much more often than I do.

So, I have internet again. Turns out that the modem I had was no longer functional. Whilst at Value Village Friday afternoon, against all odds, I saw an unused (unbroken plastic wrapping) Aliant modem. Also  has a built-in wireless router, so I could potentially retire the barely-used Tenda router.

Got it home and ran down here. After a quick call to technical support, I had the thing up and running. I was then able to sit down and watch some episodes of "House of Cards" and the first episode of "Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt", both on Netflix. Today, I watched the very first Columbo movie courtesy of Plex.

I know that I should get fibreop, but you should recall that I have had some extraordinary expenses in the last 2 months, what with paying a goodly percentage of my mother's funeral, retiring her line of credit, replacing my car battery, and getting a new thermostat for my car. Very expensive year so far, 2015. So fibreop will have to wait a bit longer.  But I hear nothing but good things about it. I am envious of people who have it.

It has been a quiet day. Sunday I hope will be another quiet day, before I return to work on Monday morning.

Say, don't forget to "spring" ahead over night. Because of all the clock radios I have in the house, it is a major project for me to change them all. I always forget one or two. Since most people only have "one or two" clock radios in their damned house to begin with, they don't see the big deal. But here in my home office I have 5 clock radios. 5. And there are 4 of them in the recroom, next door. One up stairs in the kitchen. Two more in the upper level bedrooms. And don't get me started on the clock radios at my mother's. I always forget one or two of them. Is it time to sigh yet?

I guess I should sit down and write down where all the clock radios are so that I don't miss any.

You have a good evening and I will see you tomorrow.


Friday, March 6, 2015

Post 2895 - Yay!

Got the Internet working again. Acquired a new modem at Value Village this afternoon. Works great. 

Now it's time to get caught up on "House of Cards".

See you tomorrow. 


Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the Bell network.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Post 2894 - Thursday

Hello again, my friends.

Welcome to Thursday.

I didn't write on Wednesday because my internet connection at home was toast. I write these humble, sub-par words during my lunch hour, and I can tell you that my internet connection at home is still toast. It's like the kind of toast that languishes on a breakfast plate for a couple of days in the kitchen because you forgot to throw it out even though your wife is on your arse to do so, but you ignore her because you're tired of her mouth and just want to sleep and so you promise to throw it out tomorrow, even though she and you both know you won't but you have the unspoken part of your relationship that kicks in. That kind of toast.

Where was I?

Yeah. The internet connection is not good. I am trying to determine what to upgrade it to. Probably Fibreop, but I am not sure yet. I can actually write off a portion of the cost due to my Frank writing. And not having an internet connection at home frigs me up professionally, too.

The coming days will tell.

I will be in the Valley this weekend. I promise to think of you, but not in such a way as to make you feel uncomfortable. I have been told about that before.

See you tomorrow, my lovelies.


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Post 2893 - Tuesday

Hello again, my friends.

I am feeling much better tonight. Now, it's Patricia's turn to feel sub  par. She has been sleeping all night while I have puttered around the house. Now it is approaching 9:30 and I sit in the recroom in my fave chair with a laptop on my lap. Newbie sits on the arm of the chair and obviously can't wait for me to finish this post so that he can jump on my lap and kneed my flesh until it bleeds. Soon, my pet. Soon.

Where to begin? Well, my next Frank column is mostly written. I will send it off to my editor on the morrow. I continue to appreciate the exquisite poetic justice that the acronym for the Plex Media Server is "PMS", because whenever I have to configure it, or add certain shows to it, it often balks at the content, sending me off in a tizzy until I figure out what I am doing wrong. I start ranting and screaming and throwing things and now you know why "PMS" is such an appropriate acronym for this product.

Canadians have the reputation of being overly polite. I can refute that by pointing to some of the people I have met over the years, but never mind. I am one of the polite ones. I apologize to people I haven't bumped in to yet, and may not at all; I excuse myself if there is even a remote possibility that I may cross someone's path; and I mutter the phrase "that's degrading to women" several times a day, just because I feel I must.

Back in university, there was a guy named Robert who went through women like I go through... uh, something I go through quickly and don't stop and think about it. He was also argumentative and opinionated about things that a person needn't be argumentative and opinionated about. It reached the point where some of us would dread lunch time because it meant sitting in the student union building with him while he disagreed with us over some trivial subject, and go to the wall over that subject, driving his points home and shooting down everything we said either with a  sharply-worded counterpoint or a scoff of derision. It was exhausting, spending time with him. After a while, many of us would give up, and he would think he had won his argument. I have a relative who is the same way, by the way. I argued with her over some subject and eventually gave up because it was getting late and I had to go pee. She just said it took a big man to admit he was wrong and savoured her victory.  Sigh and double sigh.

Not sure where I am going with this. I suppose it is that after the experience with Robert that I am now overly cautious about not wanting to hurt people's feelings. I know because I am human that I will occasionally say something I oughtn't, and most of the time I am scolded for it. But sometimes I wonder if it is healthy to be so tentative in what I say and do for fear of offending someone or pissing someone off. How many times have I bitten my tongue when I heard something that was so offensive to me that I had to leave the room, or cut off contact with the person for a period of time? How often do I hear things that I dislike, and I say nothing for fear of reprisal? And how much must I gird my loins when I hit the road every day for work? Maybe I excuse myself, or apologize, or say "that's degrading to women" in some kind of superstitious context, as if saying them would ward off some bad luck.

I don't know.

All I know is that it is getting late and I have to go pee.

See you tomorrow.


Post 2892 - Ugh

‎Feel like crap. 

See post title. 



Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the Bell network.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Post 2882 - Sunday

‎Watching "House of Cards " with Newbie. 


See you tomorrow. 


Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the Bell network.