Sunday, May 31, 2015

Post 2967 - Sunday

Hello again, my friends.

I am back in the city after a couple of days away.  When I got home this afternoon, Newbie sort of greeted me at the door. He was in the hallway looking up at me, and then turned away as I actually walked in. That is about as good as it gets for a cat.

It was a quiet afternoon. I dozed off during the 5th Jack Taylor movie on Netflix, so took a nap upstairs until a bout of acid reflux awoke me. I went downstairs to the recroom to continue my rest in my reclining chair. The reflux subsided, and I fell back asleep.

Got up at 9, just over an hour ago, and had some of the delicious dinner Patricia had prepared. Chicken and potato and curry in a crockpot, and rice cooked in coconut milk in a nearby pot. I had two platefuls and could have justified a third.

I had my shower for the evening, shaved so that my face is as smooth as silk (I hereby invite anyone reading this to come over to me tomorrow at my work or during coffee break at the Metro Deli and stroke my face to prove how smooth my face is!), and came back downstairs to kill a bit of time before I turn in.

Another 3 day weekend gone. I keep thinking that they go by faster than the 2 day ones. I am sure there has been a scientific paper or two written about this phenomenon along the way.

You guys have a good evening. I promise to think of you all night long, so keep it clean, folks.

See you tomorrow.


Saturday, May 30, 2015

Post 2966 - Saturday

It is late. Nearly midnight. I will turn in shortly.

I went to that Toastmasters thing today. I left the house around 9am. I grabbed something to eat along the way. And I was there at CFB Greenwood before 10am. I was there before Heather Perkins was, and I teased her about it. Heather is a legend in NS Toastmasters, having joined her first club at least 35 years ago. She is a fellow Valley girl, coming from a tiny community outside Canning called Woodside. I believe her old one-room schoolhouse is still there.

Anyway, the session started around 10:30 and finished some 4 hours later. I drove to Guy's Frenchy's and got there around 3pm. I browsed, but didn't see anything that told me to buy it, so I went into New Minas before I drove to Canning and got a few victuals and returned to the the house, 8 hours or so after I left it. I have spent the evening watching stuff on youtube and netflix. At 10pm, I watched "Orphan Black".

As I mentioned it is nearly midnight. Tomorrow, with some reluctance, I will return to the city for another work week. Valley weekends are pretty good. I wish they occurred more often.

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


Friday, May 29, 2015

Post 2965 - K-Rock 89.3's Birthday Shindig!

Hi. 9:30. Probably turning in soon.

I write these words in the kitchen of the house I grew up in. So nice to have an internet connection here. I drove up here this morning.

I got here, and my heart sank. The lawn was so shaggy, so long, so disgusting, that I knew my work was cut out for me. I had brought down with me the new-to-me lawn mower and whipper snipper thingy. After lunch, they proved to be worth every penny of the 50 bucks I laid out for them. The only problem was, because the lawn mower does not have the raw power of the lawn tractor, mowing the lawn took much longer. I can go places with the lawn mower I cannot with the lawn tractor, but going to those places takes a longer period of time. It took me most of the afternoon to take care of the lawn, and to go around the house with the snipper thingy. The snipper thingy works far better than it has a right to, by the way. It has more power than the stupid arse battery-powered device I bought a few years ago. It is not as powerful as a gas-powered snipper thingy, but I am very pleased with the juice it does have.


What's that?

You don't care?


By the time I was finished, it was dinner time. I drove to New Minas to get an extension cord because there was no suitable one here to use on the lawn mower or snipper thingy. I drove to Kentville because Darrin Harvey himself had invited me to come to the 7th annual K-Rock birthday party, which they always hold on Apple Blossom weekend. I had never been to one.

Every year they rent some space in Kentville's Memorial Park and hire some bands to put on a show, following which are the annual fireworks. I hung around for a couple of hours and heard a really good cover band whose name will come to me 5 seconds after I post this message. The second act was a Fleetwood Mac cover band called Fleetwood Mix. It occurred to me that it likely would not have cost that much more to hire the actual Fleetwood Mac, but I digress.

I got to talk to Darrin for a few minutes. I saw Mel Sampson again. Her hugs are just as nice now as they were the last time I saw her a few years ago. And I met some other folks at the station, most of whom knew who the hell I was, which is always nice. I met Darrin's co-host on the morning show, Becky Tucker. I met Colin Sweets, who's presently the morning guy at Radio 965 in Halifax. We had a nice long chat, actually, during which he revealed that the morning show could have taken a very different turn last year. I probably shouldn't say more, but it would have been a mighty interesting turn of events had it happened. No disrespect to Colin, of course. I told him that Radio 965 is greatly improved. It has lost that coffee house feel and vibe and has become a station with up tempo music played in sets that no longer make me switch stations. I was very impressed by Colin Sweets, actually. A very nice young man, whose head is in the right place, and who has a good future ahead of him.

I met Scott Baines, the afternoon drive guy on K-Rock. He reads my Frank column, and noticed the altercation I had with Peter A. Clarke on Thursday, and laughed when I told him that Clarke had called me ... well, the word one never calls a woman.

And I met the shy, retiring, conservative Frankie Hutchings.

Damn, I had a nice time this evening. I heard some good music. I saw some old friends. I met some folks who were very nice and who have the right attitude to take them places.

Been a very long week, and an especially long day. I have to get up comparatively early tomorrow morning to drive to CFB Greenwood for a Toastmasters thing. Like I want to. Sigh. A tale for another day.

See you tomorrow, my lovelies.


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Post 2964 - Thursday

Past 11pm.

I am sorry I didn't write Wednesday night. My internet connection was down for most of the evening. I couldn't work on my Frank column, let alone on the blog post.

I will get up early-ish Friday morning and spend a couple of glorious days in the Valley. I am looking forward to it. I have some chores to take care of down there, including mowing the lawn with my new-to-me lawn mower. For the first time in a very long time, there will be a push mower used on that lawn. Growing up, we had a gas-powered lawn mower, one that I used to rupture myself trying to start. Dad could start it with one pull. I never could, so he would mow the lawn most of the time. As he got older, I guess he couldn't handle pushing a lawn mower around anymore, so he got the lawn tractor, the one that languishes in the garage down there, until I can afford to get the thing fixed.

I will not get into the content, but I am trying something different with my Frank Magazine column this time. I am getting positive feedback on it from my editor, and I urge you to check it out. The next issue comes out this coming Monday.

Half-watching "Aquarius" this evening. Two hours of piffle that could have been one hour of something compelling. I likely will not watch it after this week.

Guess I will turn in. You should, too. You have to work tomorrow.

See you then.


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Post 2963 - It Worked!

Hah. So, earlier this evening I figured out how to remove the spool off the whipper snipper thingy. It just took that reciting the Lord's Prayer in that ancient dialect of Aramaic to get it to work.

Well, that and youtube.

Just over an hour ago, after printing off the downloaded manual for the whipper snipper thingy and trying to make sense out of it, I went to youtube and poked around for a few minutes. I found a video that explained what had to be done for a model similar to mine. It stated you just grab the bottom of the device, the part that skirts the ground, where the string comes out, and pull on it firmly. Sure enough, it came off, and revealed that there was in fact still some string left in it. I pulled some out and hooked up the whipper snipper thingy to an extension cord and pressed power.

For two glorious seconds, nearly as long as my first love making session come to think of it, I had the whipper snipper thingy working. The string promptly broke. Which is symbolic of other aspects of my life, come to think of it. I removed the thing and looked at the string and noted that the business end of it was wrapped around and under the rest of the string, so it would be nearly impossible for it to come out anyway.

Later on this week, when I get down to the Valley, where the whipper snipper thingy will live out its days, I will put some fresh string in it and see what happens then.

I feel such a sense of accomplishment. Not only did I figure out how to remove the thingy off the whipper snipper thingy, not only did I brush up on my Aramaic, but I can go around bragging about how I did the first two things in this sentence. I can hardly wait to mention it at coffee with the boys tomorrow. I know they can't wait, either.

I am so happy.

See you guys tomorrow.


Monday, May 25, 2015

Post 2962 - A Great Deal

9:39. I will turn in relatively shortly.


The lawn tractor down in the Valley is not working. The battery is fine; that was tested. I can hook it up to a set of booster cables attached to my car battery, and the lawn tractor will turn over, but not keep running once I detach the cables. I don't know what is wrong, but the cost of fixing the lawn tractor is more than I can manage presently.

Enter kijiji.

I started looking for an electric lawn mower last week. Today, I found one, plus a pretty decent whipper snipper thingy, for a total of 50 bucks. 50 bucks for both items. We checked it out after work. The lawn mower worked fine. The snipper had no string in it, but the motor runs well and I think it will be a perfectly acceptable device once we figure out how to replace the cap that holds the string. It is one of those things where you probably have to press down on the cap while turning it counter clockwise and reciting the Lord's prayer in its original Aramaic. I will figure it out, replace the string, and rejoice in having a decent lawn mower and whipper snipper for a price that makes me happy.

I was so happy tonight that I happily mowed the lawn this evening. I happily filled up a clear garbage bag with back issues of the Comics Buyer's Guide from many years ago in anticipation of its going out in the recyling tomorrow. And I very happily ate the pizza that Patricia prepared.

I love a good deal. I love a bargain. I love getting an advantage. And I think I will love my new lawn mower. Heck, I may not even bother to get the lawn tractor repaired.


You never know.

See you tomorrow, my friends.


PS. I had originally written that the Lord's Prayer was in Hebrew the first going off, but of course I was wrong. My friend and constant reader A.J. Thomas corrected me. The Lord's Prayer was originally written in Aramaic. Maybe that is why I can't remove the darn cap from the whipper snipper string holder thingy! Thanks and continued best wishes, A.J.!! Come back to Nova Scotia. We need you.

PPS. Well, actually, the Lord's Prayer would have been recited in Aramaic but recorded by biblical scholars in Greek. But since I was reciting the Lord's Prayer last night whilst trying to remove the cap that holds the string for the whipper snipper thingy, I thought I'd be a purist and try Aramaic. Hebrew wasn't cutting it, as I originally wrote.

PPPS. I mean, I could recite the Lord's Prayer in Hebrew, but there is just something lost when you do that. The original Aramaic has an aspect to it that is lost in translation to Hebrew or even English. You just haven't lived until you have recited the Lord's Prayer in Aramaic.

PPPPS. Let's start a "Recite the Lord's Prayer in Aramaic" club in Halifax. Good way to meet the ladies!

PPPPPS. I am still thinking about this Aramaic thing. If I recited the Lord's Prayer in its "original" Aramaic, would it be in  Ancient Aramaic, Post-Achaemenid Aramaic, Late Old Eastern Aramaic, Late Old Western Aramaic, Middle Aramaic, or Western Middle Aramaic? I suppose it might be in the Aramaic that Jesus would have spoken, which Biblical scholars think would have been a unique Galilean dialect, the common language of Judea in the first century AD. So, it's settled. When I try to remove the cap from the whipper snipper thingy so that I can get to the string and replenish it, I will press down on the cap, turn it counter clockwise, and recite the Lord's Prayer using the Galilean dialect of Aramaic from the first century AD, the one from Judea. It's my favourite version anyway.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Post 2961 - Sunday


Slept in this morning, as is my wont. I had been up fairly late Saturday night. I wrote my blog post about the horrid Ada McCallum article in Saturday's paper. I sat in my good-for-nothing chair watching youtube videos on my HD TV (courtesy of my Roku 3 media player). Then, Newbie curled up on my lap, and fell asleep. I wasn't long behind him.

After we got up, I made breakfast. Around 12:30, we went to Patricia's storage unit in Bayer's Lake, to start the process (long delayed) of moving her stuff to the house and to the shed in the back yard. We did 2 round trips today, using both of our cars. By 3:30, we were back inside the house, our backs sore, and wanting to take it easy.

My internet connection has been flaky for the last several hours, so we had to content ourselves watching some stuff through Plex, which streams things wirelessly from a hard drive in my home office to any of the HD tv's in the house. Doesn't need the internet to work, just the wireless network. We elected to catch up on "Finding Carter", the MTV show in its sophomore year, which is rapidly running out of things to say. First season was terrific, though. Then, we watched the leaked-online pilot for this fall's Supergirl. Patricia wasn't impressed. I liked it a lot. But I still wonder why it will be on CBS, when it clearly belongs with most of the rest of the DC shows on the CW. (Yes, I know that CBS co-owns the CW). I am not sure if there will be enough people who want to see a show like that on the network that has given us 14 different CSI's, 12 NCIS's, and a few Criminal Minds. Time will tell.

I am not sure what to say about these shows being leaked online. In the case of Supergirl, there are no watermarks on the screen indicating who owns the thing. It is a very high quality download. I think that someone at CBS leaked this show to whet our appetites for when it is broadcast in 6 months. Based upon what I saw this evening, they will need those 6 months to get enough of a stockpile of shows in the can, because they are very FX intensive.

Anyway, I think I will work on my next Frank column before turning in.

See you tomorrow, my friends.


Saturday, May 23, 2015

Post 2960 - Ada McCallum Thoughts

So, people have been writing me today about Ada McCallum, the notorious Halifax brothel owner from back in the day. This is because the Chronicle Herald ran an article about Ada that most people likely thought was just ducky.

It wasn't.

Go ahead and read it. I will be here when you are done.

Back already? Good.

The article sucked. It is obvious that Dorothy Grant's primary source was the 1998 Lulu Keating-directed documentary about Ada. I think it was close to her only source. It is the same documentary that I recorded when it was broadcast, and which I found on a vhs tape upstairs and subsequently digitized before sharing it with people who wanted to see it (for educational purposes only). Grant refers to events in the film without mentioning they were in the film, giving the reader the impression that she had either experienced them herself or had found out these things through dogged investigation.

She mentions that two Nova Scotia MLA's were her lawyer for a spell. She does not mention their names. They were the father and son duo of Richard and Terry Donahoe. This is not a secret. Both men were quoted on screen in the Keating film.

She mentions that there is a well known NS author who arranged with Ada to have one of her girls go to his hotel room so that he could be caught in bed with this girl, thereby triggering a much-needed divorce for him and his wife at the time. She did not state his name, and I don't know why. He prominently and proudly tells this story in the film. It was Silver Donald Cameron.

She states that Morris Lodge was on the corner of Barrington Street and Victoria Road, when it was Morris at Barrington. Barrington pretty much becomes Inglis at the point of Victoria, anyway. I am not sure if that corner exists.

And she may have got Ada's adopted son's name wrong. I thought it was Gary, but she says it was Donald. I will give Grant the benefit of the doubt on that one.

These are mistakes and things left out that I was able to discern by reading the article once. I am sure I could find other things if I put a mind to it.

We depend on the media to tell us things we may not want to know, but need to know. They have an obligation to get things right. When someone of Dorothy Grant's ilk can't even be bothered to write an accurate portrayal of this remarkable woman, Ada McCallum, then why did she produce the column in the first place?

What are your thoughts on this article? Am I out of line here?

See you tomorrow.


Friday, May 22, 2015

Post 2959 - Friday

Sorry I didn't write last night. I started watching "Wayward Pines", and before I knew it, I was dozing off. I know you missed me.

Today I was out of the office for a one day course overview of a new software product. I had limited access to technology today, except for my very old Android phone.

We got back to the office around 3:30, and I left for the day an hour later. When Patricia got to the car, we drove to the Salvation Army store on Strawberry Hill Drive. We had never been there before. I got a couple of books and Patricia got a couple of items.

We decided to go to the Value Village in Bayers Lake as well. I did very well there, bookwise. I got a history of the CBC written by the late Knowlton Nash, and signed by him as well. I got a more modern copy of Janet Fitz's book about the Halifax explosion and another one about the 250 year history of the Halifax fire service. There have been reports lately about the proposed shutting of some fire detachments. Much hue and cry. But such things are hardly new. Queen Street in the South End has a funny-looking building next to the cemetary. It used to be a firehouse, and is now a private residence. I remember it being a convenience store. And McKelvie's seafood restaurant downtown, where Patricia and I had our first date by the way, was also a fire detachment many years ago. Anyway, I will enjoy looking through this book.

We got back home a couple of hours ago. I sat down to this computer and discovered once again that it had pretty much hung on me again. The OS I put on to it several months ago is letting me down all the time. I really should put Linux Mint or something on it, but it would mean re-installing all my apps, and Plex and Sonarr and everything else.

There is an episode of the Big Bang Theory in which Sheldon looks forward to spending a relaxing evening at home updating the OS on his computer.  The laugh track comes on. Ha ha ha. Most people would have had no idea what that entailed, or cared. For me, it is a time consuming chore to configure a given computer the way I want it, and I put it off as long as I possibly can.

Tomorrow should be an adventure. I look forward to telling you about it then.

See you then.


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Post 2958 - Wednesday

Past 10 o'clock. Will turn in shortly.

My meeting with my boss went well this morning. Too well. Despite the bowl of Raisin Bran I had on Tuesday morning, the ears of corn Tuesday night, and the second bowl of Raisin Bran on Wednesday morning, I remained in good composure during my meeting. Before the meeting? That was another story! I will perhaps postpone the bran a bit before my next meeting with my boss.

Not to be outdone, for lunch I purchased a burrito for lunch. It had extra black beans in it. I had no meetings this afternoon. Something to plan for next time.

I had my Toastmasters meeting this evening. We had our club officer elections tonight. I will be the Vice President of Education next year, which means I put together the meetings every two weeks. We also had a new member give her ice breaker speech. Her last name is Cole. Her speech title was "Cole's Notes", which was just about the perfect title, huh?

Got home. Ate something. Tinkered with for a spell. The download aspect fails a lot, even on shows that are only a couple of weeks old. I am not sure what that is, given that the retention period is supposed to be a huge number.

Tomorrow is Thursday already. Raisin Bran, here I come!

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Post 2957 - Tuesday

Hello, my friends.

Well, I got some money for selling some comics on Monday. Tonight, most of it is gone. I put some money in the bank to put toward a visa card. I bought some cat food for Newbie. I got him some cat litter as well. Not to mention gas for my car. Anytime people ask me where my money goes, I can just say I don't waste too much of it.

I have been configuring this client. It has been downloading something for me for the last 30 minutes or so. It hasn't crapped out yet. I remain hopeful.

Have you ever seen the movie "Stand By Me"? Made in 1986, and based upon a Stephen King novella called "The Body", which was published in the same book that contained the story that became "Shawshank Redemption". That story? Remember? Well, there is a story within a story called "The Revenge of Lardass Hogan", in which the titular character, teased and tormented by his peers, deliberately overeats at a pie eating contest. He eats and eats and eats, and eats some more. There are predictable results. He becomes so violently ill that it causes a chain reaction in the crowd, and thus he wins his revenge on the people who teased him.

I am thinking of that story this evening. I do not seek revenge on anyone, but this morning for breakfast I had a bowl of Raisin Bran as well as a fruit smoothy. This evening for dinner I had two ears of corn. And, tomorrow morning at 10, I have a meeting with my boss. I fear that I am on a collision course with destiny. Either I have to spend some quality time in the facilities first thing in the morning, or hope I make it to work in time to visit the facilities there, or hope against hope that my meeting with my boss doesn't cause any adverse reactions at an inopportune time.

I promise you I will keep you up to date. I do this because I love you and I care. I hope you know that.

You guys have a good evening. See you tomorrow.


Monday, May 18, 2015

Post 2956 - Monday


Remember me?

I am sorry I haven't written in the last few days. Friday night, my body shut down around 8pm. On Saturday, Patricia and I drove to the Valley for the better part of the day. That evening, I sat down dutifully to produce a blog post, but my Internet connection got flaky. It remained that way through the better part of Sunday. By the time it came back up, it was getting late and I had fallen asleep again.

Today I took a bunch of comics in to a store in downtown Halifax for quick sale. I didn't want them any more. By the end of the week I will have forgotten what the books even were. Cal played an interesting game with me. After he had gone through the books, he wrote a number down on a sticky note and place the bad face down. He asked me what number I had in mind for the comics. I told him I knew that he wanted to sell the books for a profit and that I therefore had to keep a small number in mind. I also said I would never get back anything close to what I had spend on the comics in the first place. He assured me that if I chose a number smaller than what he had written down, I would still get that number (the one he had written down).

I quoted a number. He smiled, flipped over the sticky note and showed me a number that was considerably more than what I had just stated. I was happy, and so was he. I mean, I suppose I could have quoted a number higher than what he had written down. I don't know what he would have said then. Maybe I will find out, because I have more comics to take in next week.

I grabbed a couple slices of pizza on the way home. Patricia and I munched on the za until I had to go back outside for something. A neighbour was on the shared front lawn, holding some puppies. I told Patricia, who ran outside and played with the 6 puppies as well.

After that was over, we went back inside and finished watching that Netflix show that stars Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda. Okay show, but the title is so forgettable that I have to keep looking it up. I just did. It is called "Grace and Frankie". I will forget the title by the end of this blog post.

This evening I spent a couple hours trying to get working. I got it configured, but every time I try to download something it either times out or throws up its hands and says the show is outside of the server's retention period (which should be in excess of 2400 days!). I will figure it out in the next day or so. Probably something stupid.

Another long weekend is over. Back to work in the morning. I can hardly wait.

"Grace and Frankie".

See you tomorrow.


Thursday, May 14, 2015

Post 2955 - Thursday

Let's see here.

I got my latest Frank column out the door late Wednesday evening. My editor asked for some more information about a couple of topics today and I provided said information. The column will go live on Monday morning. Once again, there will be information in this column that will be unavailable anywhere else.

I can't remember if I have mentioned this here before or not. I probably have. Long day and all. But my Frank column about the dismissal of Paula Breckon was the 9th most-read column in Frank Magazine for the month of April. Well, it was if you look at web pages read. There is no way of knowing how many people read a given article in the printed version of Frank. A few people tell me they read my column while waiting to pay for their groceries in. On the one hand, I am glad they read the column. On the other hand, these cheap so and so's should be buying the issue, taking it home and reading it. If they have family members who want to read my column, each such person should buy his or her own copy and enjoy the thrill of reading a copy of the magazine that has been untouched by another human being. It is a unique experience and I want more people to know what it feels like. If that ends up selling more copies of the magazine, then that is a happy byproduct and nothing else.

I picked up a boatload of magazines during my lunch hour today. A man in Dartmouth offered me "about 100" magazines. He revised the estimate a day later to state it might be "closer to 200". I agreed. Fine. No problemo. I get there today around 12:20. He comes to the door with a huge clear plastic bag with magazines in it. He tells me he is worried that the bag might burst before it gets to my car, but the short trip from his front door to the back door of my car results in no mishap.

That was bag one.

He went back into his house and returned with a second bag. I carried it, if I recall. He went back inside and got a third bag. By the time it was done, there were five huge bags full of magazines. I am surprised my car did not complain from all the extra weight in it.

I returned to work and leafed through the contents of one of the garbage bags before I returned to my desk. This one had lots of sports-related mags, suitable to the men who live in my late mother's nursing home. I had never heard of "Sportsnet" before.

After work, I spent 45 minutes transferring the magazines to cloth grocery bags. The final plastic bag did burst, spilling its contents on my driveway. Those ended up in a green plastic shopping bin.

I haven't counted them, but there are easily 300 magazines there. I am very grateful to this man for all of this reading material. It will not go to waste, sir.

It is 9:20. I want to spend some time trying to get and usenet-crawler working before The Blacklist starts.

See you tomorrow.


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Post 2954 - Wednesday

Very late. Turning in shortly.

Patricia had a Pilates class after work. I had to hang around my work until 7:25 so I could pick her up. That was fine. I had to finish my latest Frank column. But that was thwarted because my Facebook blew up because a mentally ill guy took exception to something I had written earlier this week and decided to take me to task for it.

This went on for hours. I know about his issues so I let him state his silly comments. But when he possibly threatened the wife of a local radio jock, things got very hairy, very quickly. Gary Tredwell was also taken to task for something he did not do.

This guy is bitter and angry because he couldn't get any radio work. Even PD's show offered to explain to him why they wouldn't dare give him work were refused this offer. He goes around blaming everyone for his failures without once looking into the mirror and pointing a finger at the reflection.

Sad, really.

The thread was deleted around 7:15, but I have screen grabs for my records.

In other news,I have found yet another source for magazines. I have been stockpiling them to take them into my late mother's retirement home. I will have that many more magazines tomorrow when I spend my lunch hour driving to someone's house to pick them up. Or maybe I can build a tree fort with them, after I wait 20 years for a tree to go in my back yard.

I figure if they don't want them, I can drop them off to any doctor's office. I have always wondered where they got their stacks of old magazines from. Maybe it is from people like me who hate to see something like that go to waste. Who knows?

I guess I will turn in.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Post 2953 - Quickly Noted

I will likely post the upfront news about ABC's news shows in an upcoming blog post. I got home late tonight and haven't had a chance to see them all, although I caution you to take into account the words of Dorothy Parker when you see the trailer for the "Dr. Ken" show starring Ken Jeong. This is a show not to be taken lightly. It should be thrown away with great force.

We got home around 9pm tonight. We were invited to a financial services seminar that morphed into an attempt to get as many of us in the audience to become involved in the company and spread its good words about segregated funds and their common sense approach to financial management.

I don't want to get too negative about this stuff. It makes sense to save for one's retirement and to have some money for a rainy day. But people take this to extremes when they save and save and save and never have a speck of fun in their damned lives. At the end of your life you'll still be dead. The quality of that life is measured by how well you struck that balance between living your life and not driving yourself in to a financial morass you can never crawl out of.

Every once in a while you'll hear about a person (usually a woman) who worked at a nondescript job for 30 or 40 years. Never got married or had children. They die and leave a large estate to a university or something. People rejoice that so-and-so left this pile of money and that it would be put to good use.

This is pure bovine feces. In my view, that person threw her life away. She denied herself any pleasures her income would have allowed her to enjoy. And being dead, she will never see any of the good this money could be put to, nor will she see how it is frittered away by well-meaning people who don't have a clear idea of where the funds should go or what they should do with them.

So, you see I have my own common sense approach to financial management. Save, yes. Don't pee away your money. But don't deny yourself a bit of fun from time to time, either.

I gave some blog cards to some of the presenters there this evening. Perhaps they will read this and respond. Who knows?

Past 10. Think I will turn in.

See you tomorrow.


Monday, May 11, 2015

Post 2952 - TV Stuff


I have several flat screen tv's in the house. There is one here in my home office, directly behind where I am typing these humble, sub par words. I bought it on Black Friday in 2014 at the Superstore across from my work. It had been $249 the night before. The next morning it was $158 with no sales tax, just a 20-something dollar environmental fee. I had to get it.

Then, there is the one I bought from a guy who was moving to Calgary last year. For one price, too low a price in retrospect, I got the 42inch vizio tv, the stand it sat on for years, as well as his satellite radio.

Upstairs, on the main level, is the first flat screen tv I ever bought. It is a pretty-much-no-name 32 inch thing that has a really nice picture but as with many of these cheaper brands, the speakers are of such poor quality that they may as well not even be there, so I bought some Bose speakers for them about 6 months ago.

Lastly, in the main bedroom two levels up from here, there is a 24 inch knock off brand tv that was refurbished when I got it from an electronics store that was shutting down nationally. Got two of them, actually. The first one, which I kept in this home office, pretty much didn't work, so I recycled it because the store was not accepting any returns, no way, no how. The one in the bedroom works and sounds just fine, though, for what it is.

You might think that we watch a lot of television. You would be right-ish. There are shows that we both like. We  just watched the season ender of "Castle", and it was fine. We both like "Orphan Black". Some other shows. And there are shows that Patricia likes that I don't, and vice versa.

I make an effort to keep up on what shows are coming down the pike. Every May, I pay attention to the network upfronts, where they reveal what shows will be offered in the Fall and mid-season. In recent years, many of the networks renew their most popular shows early, and leak what new shows they will be adding, so that the upfront announcements in May are merely a formality.

Fox is officially the first out of the gate. They announced today what new shows they will have in the Fall of 2015 and the Winter of 2016. And they have released official trailers for several of these shows.

I have watched these trailers and will try to embed them for you now.

First up is "Lucifer", about the devil. He gets bored running Hell and decides to move to Los Angeles and solve crimes. That's not going to offend anyone, is it?

Here you go:

I saw the trailer. And I am not impressed. It just looks like a silly crime procedural. I do not think I will bother.

Next is "Grandfathered, starring John Stamos as a middle-aged man who discovers that no only does he have a son, but that son has had a daughter, thereby making him a grandfather when he didn't know he was a father.

I giggled during the trailer and look forward to trying it out when it starts up.

"The Grinder" stars Rob Lowe who plays a lawyer on a show called The Grinder. After 8 seasons, the show is canceled, and the now-out-of-work actor must find his way. He stumbles into becoming a lawyer, working with his brother, played by Fred Savage.

The show looks like a scream. I can't wait to watch this.

"Minority Report" is based on the dopey Tom Cruise movie of 2002 that I can barely remember, which is in turn based on a Phillip K. Dick story that I have never read.

I think that a minority of people will watch this show. I will not be in that minority.

"The Frankenstein  Code" stars the guy who was the library cop on that old episode of Seinfeld. He plays an old man, a retired police chief, who is murdered and is brought back as a younger, stronger version of himself, who retains his memories and experience and solves crimes.

This looks like a lot of fun.

Lastly, "Rosewood" stars the guy who played a drug kingpin on The Good Wife. This time he plays a brilliant pathologist who has a fatal vulnerability and who is at least as full of himself as Dr. House.

I like the actors. I may check it out.

The other networks will be revealing their offerings in the next few days. If you like, I can discuss that stuff here. Let me know if you give a dang.

How many of these shows will you check out?

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Post 2951 - (Not So) Happy Mother's Day!

This is my first Mother's Day without my mother.

She died almost exactly 4 months ago. It was a tough Winter. Still, every night around 8:30, I have to stifle the reflex not to call her to see how she is doing. I have to remind myself that I saw her lowered into her grave on January 25th. When I go to the family home in the Valley, I know that there will never again be someone there to greet me.

I miss my mother a great deal. I can't help but think that she got screwed out of a few last decent years by catching the flu this Winter and dying from it.  I wish she had lived for a while yet, so that she could have enjoyed more time at the retirement facility, so that she could have read the sequel to "The Little Old Lady Who Broke All The Rules", and so that she could have gone through the bags and bags of magazines that I have been stockpiling to take over to the retirement home for the clients to read through. Minus the back issues of Rolling Stone. I am not sure if they would want to read that.

It was a tough day for me. I am glad it is nearly over.

See you tomorrow.


Saturday, May 9, 2015

Post 2950 - Oops!

Welcome to Saturday evening, folks.

I am sorry I didn't write on Friday. My body shut down around 7:30 last night. By the time I woke up, it was too late to produce a blog post.

Friday was crazy busy. I drove up to the Valley around 6am. I wanted to make sure I was at the house by 8 because I was expecting the guy from the phone company to show up any time after 8. He arrived around 9:20 and announced that, yes, the main phone line coming into the house was not working. The second line, which was never asked for, was working fine, so the decision was made to map that phone line's number to the original number for the house, the one whose line was broken. So, the house is back to one phone line, and the original phone number for the house is back in action. Also, the stupid voice mail that was added to the line in the last little while, without my knowledge or consent, has been removed. It is all good.

I had some other chores to take care of. I had discovered that the lawn tractor was not working, even though its battery had been cared for and nurtured all Winter long, attached for the most part to a trickle charger while sitting on a bench that was directly under a warm air vent. If I were a lawn tractor battery, I could think of no better way to spend my Winter.

I ended up taking the battery into a place that fixes lawn tractors, on Saturday morning. The battery is fine, so I drove back to the house, reinstalled the battery in the lawn tractor, and found that the lawn tractor started. Once. Any subsequent efforts to start the lawn tractor were unsuccessful. I may have to go back down  to the Valley yet again this week to have them pick it up and see what is wrong. Sigh.

I spent some time on Friday dealing with the overpayment situation on my mother's pharmacy account. We kept getting bills since her death saying that we owed a small amount of money, so my sister made good on that debt, and I reimbursed her. Then, in the last few days, we got yet another account statement that says that there is actually an overpayment. Not much money. A relatively small amount. But they gave me a phone number to call, so I phoned them from my car and they will mail a cheque to me in care of my mother's estate. And, doubtless I will get that cheque and see yet another account statement that indicates that this overpayment is actually a bill after all, and that we will have to cough up money.

As I left the pharmacy on Friday afternoon, into whom should I run but one of my blog's 4.7 readers, Ken Pineo. I have known him for years, and I am delighted that we have kept in touch. In his retirement years he has taken up the hobby of geocaching, and more recently has become a councillor for the village of New Minas. He told me that he won his seat by 3 votes, after the obligatory recount. He got in this year by acclamation.

I drove to the village of Canning after my experiences in New Minas. There is a grocery store there that we make an effort to visit whenever we are up. They have eclectic items there. They must do a hopping business, but I wish the owners would spend a little bit of money on the store itself. The floors are dirty, some of the freezer units are acting up, and the pizza they make and sell in the store is unspeakably bad. But they have some good deals on some items and we take advantage. They bring in pies from a local factory, seconds, and sell them at a price that makes me wonder how they make a profit. Yesterday they had Just Us! coffee at $5.99 a bag, stuff that had not sold at the regular price. We drink Just Us! coffee when we are not drinking McCafe coffee.

I ended up buying two pecan pies for $5 (for both, NOT for each), and two chocolate pecan pies (both for $7). I just had a sliver of chocolate pecan pie, and it is delicious. Those four pies cost less than the so-called dessert we got this week at a local farmer's market.

Anyway, I got back to the city early Saturday afternoon. We watched a few episodes of the new Lily Tomlin/Jane Fonda show on Netflix, and then we took a long nap.

This evening while Patricia watched "Orphan Black", I watched a live stream broadcast of the 2015 Stoker Awards. As usual, Jeff Strand was the host. He is an excellent host, funny, and does a great job of moving things along. My complaint about these awards ceremonies is that the host leaves the lectern at every opportunity, leaving it vacant until the award recipients or those who are bestowing the awards, show up and start speaking. Then, when they are done, they leave the lectern vacant again until the host comes back. This is a bad thing. You never leave the lectern vacant.

Tonight, this was not done, but for a technical reason. There was no microphone stand at the lectern, so anyone at the lectern had to hand off the mic to the people who wanted to use it. So, I got my wish. However, the quality of the audio was so poor that it reminded me of what you'd hear coming out of an old speaker you'd attach to your window whilst at a drive-in theatre, only the speaker had been damaged and fixed incompetently, so you could only make out every fifth word or so. That is the kind of audio those of us sitting at home had to endure this evening. I wish I could have enjoyed Jeff Strand's hosting duties more, but I just couldn't make out what the frig he was saying most of the time.

Next year, there will be the first annual Stokercon. I can say "annual", because they are already planning the 2017 convention. I am guessing that the Stoker Awards will move away from the World Horror Convention banquet over to Stokercon, but I may be dead wrong. Time will tell.

I live tweeted the Stoker Awards. Go ahead and read my tweets from this evening and you will see who won.

Been a long day. I think I will turn in. See you tomorrow.


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Post 2949 - Quickly Noted

Thursday night. Late. I am off on Friday. I would normally look forward to sleeping in on the morrow, but I can't. I have to get up early tomorrow and drive to the Valley to find out what the frig is wrong with the phone at the family home. Lots of fun, there.

Was going to drive down this evening, but my body had other plans. I slept the night away. I saw The Big Bang Theory season ender but missed The Blacklist.

Silly me.

Turning in.

See you tomorrow.


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Post 2948 - A Few Things

This past Sunday, on the way to the hospital to visit Ron Roberts, we took a roundabout route. We ended up on Creighton Street. As we snaked our way along, Patricia noticed a little storage area that had books in it. She said it looked like one of those "Little Free Libraries" that are sprouting up in the oddest of places.

On my way to Toastmasters this evening, I chose to drive up Creighton Street again, in order to get to Cogswell Street and then downtown, where my meeting would be. Sure enough, in the block before Cogswell, there was one of of those libraries.

I looked at the books and selected a true crime paper back called "Doc", by Jack Olson. A little light reading about a doctor in a Mormon-based community who sexually assaulted women, many of whom were too naive to know what was happening to them.

I just checked, and the little free library website doesn't know about this particular little free library. Which is weird because the library I got my book at invites people to go to that website for more information. The website only knows about 4 of them in all of Nova Scotia. I find it hard to believe that I have only found the 5th little free library. There must be quite a few more of them in the province, and several more in the greater Halifax area.

The next time I go there, I will drop off a book or two.

In other news, Service Canada sent me a letter today. It was regarding my late mother. I half-heartedly applied for the death benefit as a way to defray the cost of her funeral in January. I knew that she would not qualify for anything because she had not worked outside the home. The letter confirmed my suspicion, which is to say that there would not be any money coming from the government to help pay her funeral.

This got me to thinking. Surely to frig there are people in this country who die and leave such a modest estate that there is no money to bury them. Their family members are similarly shallow-pocketed and can't afford to contribute to the persons' funeral. What happens then? Are there really pauper's graves where the bare minimum cost is expended to put them in them? Do funeral homes step up and eat the cost, but keep the costs as low as they can? What is the deal with this, anyway? What about homeless people who die? Who pays for their funerals? And what kind of sendoffs do they get? Is there a fund for this kind of thing?

Does anybody know the answer to my humble questions?

Lastly, when I returned to my car following Toastmasters, I could not help but notice that there was a big police presence on the block of George Street bounded by Hollis and Lower Water Street. What was going on there this evening? I wish I had wandered down there to take a look.

My, I am a nosy little so-and-so this evening, aren't I?

You guys have a good evening. I will talk at you tomorrow.


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Post 2947 - Tuesday

My work week is half over.

I have Friday off.

Am I bragging?

Yes. Yes. I am bragging.

How are you this evening? I am fine. I am in a pretty good mood for several reasons, one of them being the fact that my previous Frank column, in the issue that goes OFF sale on Wednesday, was the 9th most read Frank column for the month of April, taking into account the online reads that each page gets that is. It is the first time I have cracked the top 10. I hope it is not the last. Maybe I will some day make the top 5. It is something to aim for.

Patricia finished her second day back to work. At this hour, 8:30, she is resting on the couch in the living room, zonked, exhausted, wiped out. While much better, she tires easily. I am down here in my home office, typing as quietly as possible, so that I don't wake her.

Meanwhile, Newbie is in that chicken box again. For several months he would climb up on top of the entertainment centre and look down on me with a baleful eye. Now, he has gone back to that stupid cardboard box that I do not dare throw out. I am at the other computer desk tonight, so that means he can lay in that box and affix me with a gaze at the back of my head that would singe my hair if he could help it.

I still haven't heard anything about Ron Roberts' funeral. I am checking the obits on a regular basis, and also checking my email address to see if his cousin has written me to give me that information. Nothing yet. When I know, you will know. I promise.

Since Patricia is resting I think I will stay down here and watch some porn check out a television program I don't often get a chance to see. I still have a few more episodes of season one of "Tyrant" to get through, so if you'll excuse me...

See you tomorrow.


Monday, May 4, 2015

Post 2946 - Radio News

Okay. Before I get started, I will get this out of the way. My latest column for Frank Magazine went live today. A couple smaller news stories were cut. The deal I have with my editor is that when he cuts these little pieces out, I am free to run those stories here. I do this with his knowledge, his consent and (I hope) his blessing.

So, you have an interest in being on the radio but you don't have the diploma? What do you do? Well, if your name is Erin Hopkins you can volunteer at Seaside FM and let Wayne Harrett decide to give you a chance on air working the summer cruiser, the news and some on air shifts. Now she's got a full time job at C100 and The Bounce in Promotions. She continues to work at Seaside FM every Sunday afternoon. Now that they have their power boost, I can’t wait to listen to her. If her show is half as enthusiastic as she is, then I am in for a treat.

In other news, there will be more details in my next column in 2 weeks, but Ron Roberts, interviewed in Frank last summer, died today. Patricia and I visited him on Sunday afternoon. He was in decent spirits. We chatted for about 10 minutes before he got too tired to keep talking, so we took our leave. Wayne Adams tried to visit him today at 12:45, but his nurse told Wayne that Ron was sleeping very soundly. I got the email from Ron's cousin around 3:20 that Ron had passed.

Ron had a heart attack at Christmas time. Complications ensued including fluid build up and the attendant strain on his kidneys, which were shutting down. He had had a stroke that made the left side of his body difficult to use. He had refused all medications save for those that provided him comfort and eased his pain. He was ready to go.

If an interviewer can get to know his subject to any extent, I think I can safely state that Ron was a pretty special guy. While this is a sad day for his friends and loved ones, we can all take some comfort in the fact that he lived some pretty good years and met some extraordinary people. In his apartment he had signed photos of Frank Sinatra and Bobby Darin and Michelle Phillips and Marie Osmond and so many others. Ron lived the way he wanted to. And if my interview with him that ran in Frank last summer played some small role in getting his name out there again so late in his life, then I am feel proud for that. I know he got a kick out being accosted at Sobeys by that woman who had read the interviewed and wanted to talk to him.

I do not know anything about the funeral details. I will post them in the usual places when I find out. And I will make every effort to attend this funeral. I wouldn't miss it for the world.

Rest in peace, Ron Roberts.

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, May 3, 2015

Post 2945 - Sunday

I returned to the city late this morning, in part because of a disturbing email I got Saturday afternoon.

Turns out that Ron Roberts, subject of my first Frank Magazine interview in 2014, was in the hospital. His various ailment are about to take their final toll, and he has refused all medications save for those that would provide him comfort in his final days.

I was in touch with his cousin last night and today. At 2pm, when I got the news about the medications, Patricia and I headed out to see him. I know that Jeannette Chisholm wanted to come with us, but there was no time to arrange to meet up with her. Sorry, my dear.

We saw Ron for a few minutes. He has a superbug of some kind, so we had to gown up and wear gloves before we could go see him. He was tired, but greeted us. We chatted for a few minutes, until we could both see he was getting even more tired, so we took our leave. How do you say goodbye to someone without actually saying "goodbye"? I am not sure, but we all know that would be that with that.

I take some measure of pride that, less than a year before his inevitable passing, Ron Roberts got some press again. After too many years of not being in the news, or being on tv, or being on radio, he got to be in Frank Magazine because of my interview with him. He told me that he would be on his scooter at Sobeys and a woman would accost him and ask if he was Ron Roberts. When he replied in the affirmative, she told him she had read and enjoyed the interview very much.

I will long cherish the hours I spent with Ron Roberts. I wish they could have been larger in number, but I will have the memories, and the archived audio files, for the rest of my life.

Been a bad weekend. First, one of my favourite authors as a young 'un died. Ruth Rendell wrote some terrific crime stories. I know her for her short stories, but she produced a great number of novels as well. Then, I got the news about Ron Roberts. And those two pieces of news were after I visited my parents' grave.

Guess that is it for tonight.

See you tomorrow.


Saturday, May 2, 2015

Post 2944 - Coming Home

First time i have been to the family grave since Mom's funeral .

Next week is Mother's Day. It will be tough.

See you later.


Friday, May 1, 2015

Post 2943 - Friday


These humble, slightly pathetic, words come to you from the Valley, the old family homestead. I am up here for the weekend, having arrived here less than an hour ago. I will be here until Sunday morning or early afternoon at the latest.

I didn't write last night because my body pretty much shut down around 8pm. I woke up in time to watch The Blacklist at 10pm, and the dozed off again.

Worked today, and drove up here this evening.

What will I do this weekend? Well, I am washing a few clothes now. After I finish this here blog post, I will likely fire up Netflix and watch a movie. Or, at least, I will sift through the many offerings on Netflix and ultimately select something after 45 minutes or so. I will watch whatever that thing is for perhaps 30 minutes before I realize it is not my cup of tea, so I will begin the process all over again.

In the old days of my youth, before most of you were born, the process of selecting something to watch was different. It meant having to travel to a video store and wandering through its aisles, finding something you wouldn't mind seeing, and then contemplating its quality as you stood in the line up to shell out cash to rent it. Because there was money on the line, you tried a little harder to make sure it was something that wasn't a waste of your time and discretionary income. I do not yearn for those days, but there was something a little more honest about them, that's for sure.

I have some other chores to take care of this weekend, like install the battery to the lawn tractor in said lawn tractor. If I remembered to do it last time I was here, the battery has been on a trickle charger for some time, so it should be conditioned for another year or use. It is still far too early to mow the lawn around here. The snow is barely gone from the property. It will take a few weeks of good weather before the grass decides to peek up from its winter blanket and greet the new year. Which means having to mow the lawn at least once a week, maybe even twice. Is it too early to sigh this evening?

I guess that is it for tonight. Netflix, here I come.

See you tomorrow.