Friday, February 26, 2016

Post 3200 - Valley Bloggin'

Hi. Past 9pm.

I write these humble, sub-par, slightly pathetic words, from the family homestead in the Valley. I drove up this morning.

The plumber got here when I did. He told me that he had only just arrived. I told him I was late because I was picking up cash for him. He was happy to hear that.

The problem was, the last time I was here and turned on the water, the hoses attached to the washing machine split, and water was going everywhere. I turned off the water, and kept it off until the plumber got here. He replaced the very old rubber hoses with brand-new (and expensive-ish) stainless steel ones that will last for a very long time. I should do the same thing for the washing machine in the city.

Because I fear electricity, I also got him to install a freshly-purchased non-programmable thermostat. I had read a horror story about programmable ones, which is that if the power goes out, and comes back on, and the battery backup fails, some thermostats do not go to their default programming. They just don't boot up at all. Not good. Not good at all. So, now, there is an old-fashioned analog non-programmable thermostat. If the power goes out for any length of time during a cold snap, upon the power's coming back on, because the thermostat is physically set to a particular temperature, the furnace will come back on and heat up to that temperature. Plus, to show an abundance of caution, I put a fresh fuse in the fusebox that governs the furnace.

Peace of mind. I love it.

I gave the old, programmable thermostat to the plumber, who said he could find a use for it. It is likely in his living room now, which is fine by me. I would have thrown it out if he hadn't taken it.

I treated myself to lunch, because I was so happy. And I spent the afternoon washing some towels. Tonight, I am watching an old Columbo movie, from 1976, where the killer is William Shatner. I am now ruining things for you in case you want to see it. For those who don't know, Columbo is an example of what is known as an inverted mystery story, where the bad guy is revealed to the audience up front, and the detective has to figure out who the bad guy is. I had forgotten how much fun these old Columbo movies are. "Just one more question, sir, if you don't mind!"

I am still working my way through my collection of Jas. R. Petrin stories, as published in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine over the course of 25 years. I am trying to track down Mr. Petrin. He is not registered with the Writer's Federation of Nova Scotia. I can't find an entry for him in the online yellow pages. I have written AHMM to see if they would mind forwarding an email to him requesting an interview, but haven't heard.

It is a damn shame that Petrin is developing a serious reputation as a crime fiction writer, but he is nearly unknown in the province. Meanwhile, many of his stories take place in and around Halifax. In one story, the main character tails someone to her home, following her from Robie Street to Clayton Park to off Dunbrack. The denouement takes place in a house along the Purcell's Cove Road. That is one series character. Another one is about a bartender in Halifax, and his various adventures. He's been writing stories for AHMM since 1986, and other than a few paragraphs in a Chronicle Herald article a few years ago, I have seen nothing about the man in local media. Like I said, it's a damn shame.

I guess I will get back to that Columbo movie.

See you tomorrow.


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