Saturday, April 30, 2016

Post 3252 - Happy Birthday to Brian Phillips


I had a quiet day. Or, at least, it was a quiet day after we got back from Costco. My goodness, that place is crowded on a Saturday morning. We were so tired after that trip that we needed a nap when we got back here.

Tonight, I showered and shaved again. I decided to put in a fresh razor blade in my safety razor. I still got a really good shave tonight, but thought that two months of yeoman effort was enough. I will see if the new blade gives me an even closer shave, the next time I choose to shave, probably Monday night.

Today is tax day in Canada. Well, because it fell on a Saturday, it's been postponed until Monday, May 2nd. I actually owe a few dollars this year, so I am not going to pay it until Monday. I can pay via the internet this year, so I am hoping that, even though they won't get the $ for a day or two, they will see that it was "sent" on May 2nd, thereby not dinging me for interest.

Today is also legendary broadcaster Brian Phillips' birthday. There was a big party for him at the Lion's Head Tavern on Young Street tonight. If I had known about it, and perceived I was welcome, I might have gone to the party, as Wayne Harrett did. Deb Smith and Paula Breckon both drove down from New Brunswick for the event, not a short drive, so that is a measure of their respect for Philly.

I started listening to Brian Phillips around 1978. I hated listening to the Valley radio, so I started moving down the dial, alighting on 920 CJCH. I knew about Brian Phillips because he was the host of the Atlantic Lottery live broadcast on Wednesday nights. I later realized that it was the same guy who was the radio host in Halifax and wondered how he could physically do two jobs like that, especially since one of them was in Moncton.

Brian's show was just risqué enough to keep me coming back, day after day. Before long, I realized that this Dave Wright guy was the host of a call-in show, and on my sick days at school, I tried to listen in. (One time, in the late summer of 1980, Richard Sanders of WKRP in Cincinnati fame, was in Halifax for some reason and was interviewed by Dave Wright on the Hotline. He invited people to write him, so I did, and I still have the letter Sanders sent me.) I was in high school during that period, junior high school to be exact. Listening to the radio was about the only form of entertainment I could afford, and got me through more than a few hard times. I have not been grateful enough to the radio jocks and the stations that got me through that time in my life, So, thank you, Brian.

I finished high school, and went to Acadia University for my degree. The car I drove only had an AM radio in it, so I listened to CJCH as much as I possibly could. I remember sitting in my car more than a few times, listening to CJ, while I was studying. I never said I wasn't weird.

I moved to Halifax in 1988 and began what I laughingly refer to as my career in my chosen industry. I got my first job, and I still remember listening to CJ one morning when Brian asked listeners to call in and win some prize or other, as long as the listener's name was Beverly. Shaving cream on my face, I dove for the phone and frantically stabbed the buttons. I couldn't get through. Not until later did I realize that Brian likely would not have believed that Beverly was my actual name. It's just as well.

I stuck with CJCH, and Brian, through thick and thin. I did not move over to SUN FM when he did, though. Sorry about that, sir. I was addicted to the news talk format at CJCH back then, and I still wish that News 95.7 would drop all that dumb ass sports content and have more talk shows about more topics. But I digress.

After Labour Day in 2002, and until December of 2007, Brian was back where he belong, at CJCH, and I was there every day. The music format at CJ was agreeable to me, Brian was in top form, and things were good. Then, of course, in May of 2008, CJCH jumped over to FM and became The Bounce. Brian's not had a regular radio gig since then, and we're all the poorer for it.

I wish we lived in a society that valued the contributions of older folks more. It is all about the youth market, and because of it, there is not much place for older radio broadcasters like Brian any more. Don Connolly keeps hanging on, but I think that CBC's listeners would revolt if he retired on anything other than his own terms. Rick Howe is past 60 and will likely call it a day in a few years, if not sooner. Some broadcasters are past 50, but not many. Most of them are much, much younger.

I still hear Brian doing some commercials, though. When there is something going at the former Exhibition Park, or the Forum, he's there telling me about it.

Happy birthday, Brian Phillips. May you have many more, sir.

See you tomorrow.


Friday, April 29, 2016

Post 3251 - Friday

We were off today. We ran the roads. The highlight was probably the free lunch time show at the downtown Halifax library. It was a preview of the annual Ha!ifax Comedy Fest. Two of the three comedians, Nathan MacIntosh and Graham Kay, were extremely funny. I mean, funny in the way you'd shoot fluids out of your mouth. Funny in the way that you tell your friends that someone was funny, but you utterly forget what the person said was funny.

I did find Nathan's website, however. Check it out. And here's where you can find out more about Graham Kay.

There was one bummer aspect to the show, which had nothing to do with the acts. We got there a few minutes before it started. I found a near-empty row. I asked the woman at the end of the row if anybody were to be using the seats next to her. By way of response, she got up, rolled her eyes and walked down two rows. Patricia was right behind me and heard the woman sigh. Patricia said not to worry, that we weren't planning to go to the bathroom that much. A very strange woman, clearly in a state where she didn't want to talk to anybody. I hope that she enjoyed the show enough to crack a smile.

Afterward, we returned to the car and drove to Halifax Seed. I read AHMM while Patricia shopped inside. She got whatever dirt or whatever she wanted, and we both drove to Bayer's Lake, and spent some time at Value Village. After that, we came back to the house and collapsed. A very long day. A very long week. And, tomorrow, the focus will be on Spring cleaning.

Or maybe sleeping in. Hard to say.

You guys have a good evening. Check out those websites, because MacIntosh and Kay are very talented guys, unlike the third act, whose name I will not mention so as not to embarrass her. You're welcome.

See you tomorrow.


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Post 3250 - Thursday

Welcome to the weekend.

It is 11pm, I am trying to type this blog post on my tablet.  I bought a wlow end tablet before Christmas and have found more problems with it than good things.  It is slow.  I don't mind the size of thing,  but it makes writing blog posts problematic.

But you don't care.

I'm  off till Monday. Tomorrow,  we will go downtown to run errands before coming back here to plot cleaning out the big stand up freezer.  That will take hours,  cleaning out that damn thing.  A major chore.

Will also tackle the middle bedroom this weekend.

Will I have any fun this weekend at all?  Let's find out.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Post 3249 - Radio News

I hate reporting these stories.

Harv Stewart, for many years part of the Q104 morning show, with many configurations of the morning show, was found dead in his apartment on Tuesday morning. Wayne Harrett reported that Harv was going to be doing some sports segments on Seaside FM, starting next week.

There is much sadness on Facebook this evening about Harv's death. This is a major loss to the radio community.

My condolences to Harv, his family, and his friends.

No blog post on Wednesday. Patricia has an all-day medical appointment and I'm taking a family illness day.

See you Thursday.


Monday, April 25, 2016

Post 3248 - Monday


Another long day. I spent part of my lunch hour researching material for the next missing persons casefile. It should go up later on this week.

Say, I forgot to mention on Saturday that we received word that Pets Unlimited is going out of business/being bought out. It means that they are not bringing in any more stock and are selling what they have at a good discount, said discount becoming larger as the weeks go by. We decided to get some extra litter for Newbie.

We ended up going to 3 of the 4 stores in Metro. Bayer's Lake, Bedford Common, and the one in Burnside. We didn't feel like driving to the one in Cole Harbour. And Truro is an hour away, and that didn't seem logical. Patricia ended up getting quite a few bags of litter. We also saw some soon-to-expire cat food, the very kind Newbie favours, at 35% off. Afterward, we checked out the Goodwill store in the same strip mall as the Pets Unlimited. Patricia got a few articles of clothing, and I got an ersatz tablet sleeve.

Pretty good deals, over all. And we even capped it off with a visit to the Chickenburger in Bedford. We go there a couple of times a year to reinforce the impression we have about the place, which is that it remains in business purely on the basis of nostalgia, and not food quality. YMMV, of course.

For some reason, I am bushed tonight. I think I will turn in early. Another long day tomorrow.

See you then.


Sunday, April 24, 2016

Post 3247 - Sunday

How was your day?

I have thus far received no feedback whatsoever from anyone regarding the inaugural missing persons casefile. Is there too much information? Not enough? Do you want me to engage in rumor and/or conjecture? Help me out.

It was a quiet day in Casa Bevboy. We had a nice steak dinner that just reminded us how much we need a new barbecue.

We watched some episodes of "Inside Amy Schumer" this afternoon. I had only seen the first two episodes Saturday morning. Patricia had not seen them at all, so while I showered she got caught up. Then, we watched 4 new-to-us episodes and laughed our arses off. The horror movie parody in which Amy farts every time she is scared about something is something we will never forget, no matter how old and decrepit (and flautlent!) we may become.

Another work week awaits us. Oh, joy. Oh, bliss.

See you tomorrow.


Saturday, April 23, 2016

Post 3246 - Nova Scotia Missing Persons Casefiles - Leslie Katnick

Let's see here. I am ensconced in my home office, surrounded by books. Patricia is two stories up, watching a movie. Nobody can hear me scream. Good thing the doors are locked.

What do you know about this case? The following is from the Halifax police website. 

Leslie Katnick was a resident of Montreal until November 1, 1991, at which time she moved to Halifax and was never seen by any of her friends or family again. The police looked into it and learned that a woman by her name had registered at the Halifax YMCA on November 2nd, returning the key on November 4th. She used her bank card for the last time on November 2nd, probably to pay for her room at the Y,  and likely holding on to enough cash to cover any meals and incidentals. Then, nothing. She simply vanished.

I'm very curious about this case. Why would a woman who didn't seem to know anybody here, uproot herself and move a few provinces over, settling into a temporary accommodation? What did she do during those two days she was at the Y? And why would she stay at the YMCA, anyway? Would a woman new to the city not feel more comfortable staying at the YWCA, not far away, close to the corner of Barrington and South? An easy walk, and an even easier cab ride. 

The Cellar Door, a local website about missing person's cases and unsolved murders, provides a bit more information, and tries to link this case to unsolved murders. There's a lot of speculation there, and I don't want this series to be about speculation, but fact. No offense to the folks behind The Cellar Door.

If you know anything about the whereabouts of Leslie Katnick, please contact your local police department. If you are uncomfortable with that, you can contact me privately and I can forward that information to police. 

If there is a missing person's case you want me to look into, you can contact me here, or you can write me on my Facebook or tweet me privately at @bevboy0223

Let me know what you think of this series. It is a work in progress.

See you tomorrow.


Friday, April 22, 2016

Post 3245 - Friday

The weekend is here. The weekend is here! Yay!

Now, will I have the interest in cleaning out my car? The middle bedroom?

Let's hope so.

See you tomorrow.


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Post 3244 - My Thoughts On Prince

I am 52 years of age. Prince was in the height of his popularity in the mid 1980's, when I was still in university. When "Purple Rain" came out in 1984, I was busy with university, and not interested, so I didn't go see it, and have never seen it. His music was okay. I could understand why people would think he was a musical genius. But it did not float my boat.

I have two thoughts, however. People who are mourning his death tonight are of a certain age, somewhat younger than I am, who grew up with these rock stars, some of whom are dying not of some misadventure, but because of prosaic things like flu, cancer, and even old age. People don't like to be reminded that they are getting older and will some day die, too. Prince's death today is a reminder of their own mortality, that the meter is running, and that some day, time will run out.

My second thought is something I saw just a few minutes ago. An update from, in which it was revealed that when Prince was rushed to the hospital 6 days ago, that it was for a drug overdose, and that he did not have the flu. The flu thing was a cover story.

I get that people have a right to privacy, but I don't understand why publicists will willingly disseminate actual lies. Prince's PR person had to have known about the drug overdose, but instead told us that Prince had the flu, which was not the truth. Period.

I have some friends who work in public relations. I have to wonder how much they have to struggle with putting out a story they know to be false, even if doing so is in service to their clients. I guess it comes down to whether the public has the right to know, and whether the story that's being covered up has some kind of significance that overrides the clients' right to privacy. It is an interesting topic for debate.

Sorry. Nothing funny tonight. Not in the mood.

See you tomorrow.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Post 3243 - Arrggh!

Very long day. So glad it's nearly over.

We left the house at 7 this morning. The driver's front tire looked depleted, and the light came on telling me there was something; plus, the little message said to check the pressure. We filled the tire at the service station and got to work. But by break time at 10, it was flat again. I drove it to Drobot Automotive on Kempt  Road. Charlie told me that this tire was flat, and the one at the passenger's rear was, too.


Patricia came to the rescue for this one. Thank you, dear. By 4pm, I had two new tires on the front (it is a front wheel drive), and there was a marked improvement.

I nearly bailed on Toastmasters tonight, but went, and am glad I did. Something like 14 people there this evening. I had only run off 12 agendas, so we didn't have enough, which never happens.

After the meeting, Patricia and I got back to the car, on Granville Street, and drove home. I poured myself a strong drink because I needed one. We watched a couple episodes of "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt", which isn't as funny this season as it was last. And, at 9:48, I'm turning in.

What fresh crap awaits me tomorrow?

Let's find out.


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Post 3242 - An Early Bevboy Vignette Circa 1981

Well, this is something I very nearly threw out with my recycling a couple of weeks ago. At the very last minute, as I was lashing the clear bag together at the curb, I looked inside and saw this piece of paper, realized that it had a bit of significance, and rescued it.

Have a look:

I was in my senior year of high school, Grade Twelve, at Cornwallis District High School in Canning. Because I was a good student, and didn't cause anybody any trouble, the teachers and principal decided to treat me and a few similar students to a weekend retreat, which I think happened over two weekends. At this retreat they would teach us how to "peer educate" younger students about the evils of drugs and alcohol.

I was a strange choice. I had only been drunk once in my life up to that point, in the summer of 1978, when I got into my uncle's apple cider. When we got home, my father shook his finger at me, told me not to drink any more, and I swear to you, I haven't had a drop of alcoholic apple cider ever since.

Don't get me started on drugs. I have only been high a couple of times in my life, when I was at the dentist for surgery that required I be on a narcotic. I'm not saying they were bad experiences, just that they didn't taste like more.

Anyway, several of us from my school, plus several others from other nearby schools, plus some teachers to act as chaperones, all piled into a bus and went off to Kingswood Bible Camp (it still exists!), rented out by the school board for us to use that weekend. It was October 30, 1981, a Friday.

We got there. I was served my very first baked potato and had little idea what to do with it, so I watched others eat it and figured it would be okay for me to, as well. (35 years later, I still consider a baked potato to be a treat.) And we were exposed to public speaking. We all had to get up and say something. I said something and got a laugh. Don't ask me what it was, because I'm sure it wasn't funny to me at the time.

The training went on into the evening. We were encouraged to sit around and play guitars that materialized out of the ether, and sing. I decided to spare them my singing voice and found my room.

Saturday morning I got up so early that the main chaperone nearly jumped out of his pants when he saw me.

We had more training and returned to our homes that evening, which was Hallowe'en. I had a part time job at a dog kennel back then and was asked to housesit for my bosses. I did, and my sister decided to try to scare the crap out of me by knocking on the doors and running away. ha ha.

It was that weekend when CJCH AM pulled a pretty neat prank on its listeners. It told its audience that the station would "become part of the past". I missed the beginning of it because I was at sequestered at Kingswood, but got back in time to hear the Saturday content, including that evening when I was house sitting. It remains some of the strangest radio I have ever heard. They pretended it was 1967 or something, and did their level best to give listeners a flavour of what jocks talked like back then. I have nothing to compare it to, but it sounded psychedelic. But what do I know? I have never done drugs, remember?

We went back to Kingswood two weeks later. More training. And we got these really slick certificates. My vice principal drove me back to the school and then to home, because it was on his way. While he went to his office to get something, I sneaked a peak into the girls' washroom, because, well, I wanted to know what the girls' washroom looked like. No urinals. I hadn't known.

Later on in November, we students met with younger students and attempted to teach them about the evils of drugs and drinking. Most didn't listen to us or care. One student came up to me afterward though and thanked me. That was worth the trips to Kingswood, struggling with a baked potato, and not singing.

Two little postscripts. On the first weekend, we were transported home via bus. One girl saw me staring off into space and told me smile. I did. She smiled back. And two years later, I saw her at Acadia University as I rounded a corner. She smiled again. Or maybe she had gas. I am still not sure. Better to be safe than sorry so I didn't ask her out.

The other postscript? Well, one of the teacher chaperones was Heather Stevens, my English teacher in grade 9 when I was attending Kings County Academy. I have written about the horrors of my three years in junior high, before, in this blog. I will not relive them tonight, because The Flash starts in 6 minutes. But I abruptly disappeared after grade 9 and went to Cornwallis after that. Ms. Stevens had not seen me in the interim. I re-introduced myself to her on Friday. That weekend, when I was sitting by myself, she came over and talked to me. We had a nice chat. She had often thought about me over the years. I didn't want to talk about how I had been bullied within an inch of my life while at her school, so I demurred on why I had left. I know that she was happy for me because I hadn't quit school, killed myself, or wound up in a gutter. When she saw me after that, months later, she was very warm in greeting me. I always liked and respected her, and I wonder what became of her. Does anybody know?

And, now you have it: My first exposure to teaching.

And baked potatoes.

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Post 3241 - Find Follow Up


I am back in the city, having returned this afternoon.

Of course, I brought back those back issues of Ellery Queen and Alfred Hitchcock, plus the few of Mike Shayne and Espionage. The latter two are put away on the shelf, but the first two are anything but. Integrating the EQMM's will likely take an hour or so, and the AHMM's, perhaps 20 minutes. Too tired to do it this evening.

I thought you might like to see a better version of the cover of EQMM from June of 1984, which I discussed yesterday. I did a scan of it just now. The magazines were stored in those cardboard boxes in the attic for 28 years or so. A cold, dark place is the best place to store things, as archivists will tell you. The magazines are in excellent condition, or at least in a very similar condition to what they were like when I put them up in the attic, all those years ago.

There's some artifacting in this image because scanners struggle with a picture that's dark. The original cover has a lot of blacks and dark greens in it. Plus, the wall has a pattern on it which comes across weird in this image. But, anyway, here's what's likely my fave cover of EQMM ever. It's the same issue I was reading in May of 1984 when I espied the university professor in the SUB reading his own copy as I was reading mine. Small world. Wonder if he still has his copy, all these years later?

Yeah, so Buddy in a wife beater, watching himself on tv, reacting to a knife about to plunge into Buddy's back. So... symmetric, eh?

It lists one of its authors, Edward D. Hoch. Hoch had at least one story in every issue of EQMM starting in May of 1973 until April or May of 2009. 36 full years, only interrupted by Hoch's death a year earlier. He wrote upward of 950 short stories in his life time, and I'll bet as he passed that he wised he could have produced a full 1000.

Henry Slesar had a distinguished and prolific career, not just writing in the mystery field but in science fiction as well. But he is perhaps best remembered to those of a certain age as being the head writer, between 1968 and 1984, of the soap opera The Edge of Night. I remember a friend's mother watching that show. My mother was an "Another World" fan.

Anyway, that's my fave EQMM cover. I'm glad it's back under the roof with its hundreds of brethren.

Tomorrow, I'll scan in something else, something from my high school. I very nearly threw it out with my recycling last month but decided it represented an interesting story, so tomorrow night, I'll share it with you.

See you then.


Saturday, April 16, 2016

Post 3240 - A Great Find

Hi. Welcome to the Valley.

These humble, sub-par, slightly pathetic and off-putting words, come to you from my old bedroom at the family home. Behind the computer desk is the window through which I looked many, many, many times over the years when I was growing up. I remember the family cat, JR, who eventually ran off and was never seen again (likely hit by a car, which is why Newbie never leaves the house), climbing on top of some of my father's staging and leaping into the window, waiting for me to let him in. He mostly was a cellar dweller because my mother didn't like cats. I'd sneak him upstairs anyway.

But you don't care about that.

You care about this:

Yep. I found the mother lode.

I have been reading and collecting Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine since my father bought me a subscription to it when I was 11. The first issue in the subscription was the February 1976 one, and I still have it. It was the second one to arrive, though, because the March one landed in the house first. I have that one, too.

Some 40 years later, I have hundreds of these magazines. Nearly 1000 issues have been published since its launch in 1941. I have managed to acquire a few issues from the 1940's, but not that far back. Maybe some day, if I am lucky.

I got a bunch more back issues in 2015, twice, plus 2 months ago, when a man in Dartmouth, in an effort to downsize his life, upsized mine by giving me a couple hundred more issues, very few of which I already had. Lovely.

But, I was missing a stretch of issues, from February 1984 through to the Fall of 1985. I tore this house apart. I tore my own house apart. No dice.

A few days ago, it occurred to me that perhaps these issues might be upstairs in the attic. I don't know why this occurred to me. I have no recollection whatsoever of storing them up there. But either I did, or my father did. I guess it was me.

So, when I got here this morning, I got on a chair, opened the attic access, pulled down the old ladder, and climbed it, peering inside, illuminating the space with a flashlight. Off just beyond my reach was the computer I bought a very long time ago, which I must pull down sometime and take to a depot for disposal. Remind me, okay?

Also, there was a series of boxes. I reached for one of them, opened it, and found some back issues of what I sought, plus 1980's issues of Analog, Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, F&SF. I dropped the contents of this box, a few at a time, through the attic opening, on to the floor. Went back downstairs. Sorted through them, setting aside the EQMM's, and returned upstairs.

I found a second box with more such mags in them. I repeated the process.

After lunch, I rested a bit. I knew there were more missing magazines. Could they be still in the attic? Why in the hell had I put them up there in the first place?

I went back in the attic. Much darker this time, as it was mid afternoon and a bit overcast inside, which made it even dingier. I made my way over to some boxes. I found the chemistry textbooks that my sister had left here a very long time ago, the gift of a former roommate who moved out suddenly. crawled over to some other boxes, and voila! found many more EQMM's, plus the other mags. I also found a few issues of Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, and Mike Shayne's Mystery Magazine. All of them were dropped down the attic opening.

I went back downstairs. I sorted through the ones I wanted to keep. And I put them where you saw them above.

Later on, I put them in a box, but not before I put them on the kitchen floor and took some pics.

The AHMM's are from before the great format change of 1982, when they changed the layout of the magazine so much I barely recognized it. These ones still have the one or two line introduction to the stories, the sketches/drawings, and even the Hitchcock cameos in some of the drawings. That all went by the way side in 1982, and I was disappointed by the changes.

I also discovered a couple back issues of Mike Shayne's Mystery Magazine that I had long since forgotten about. Plus, 4 more issues of Espionage I had forgotten existed, and which I can add to the ones in the city.

EQMM anthologies from the 1980's.  At first, the "Prime Crimes" series published stories that had never been published in the United States before, and some had never been published anywhere. By #3 or so in the series, it had gone to simple reprints. Probably cheaper to do that than to pay the initial cost of running a new story.

One of these is the 500th issue of EQMM. All these years later, they still haven't hit issue 1000. I think it will come out in 2017. I need to do the math on that one.

Issues from 1986 and 1987. That's Loretta Swit on the bottom right cover. Steve Allen, upper left.

One of these is the special "International Issue", which EQMM publishes the odd time, and has been since the 1940's. The current issue, May of 2016, is another example, by the way. I got it in the mail just this week. Nice to find that old one from 1968 or so, today. Other issues in the following picture are from the 1950's, a couple from the '70's, and the rest from the early 1980's.

A paperback book reprinting some stories from EQMM. Published in the early 1960's.

You'll be pleased to know that I have found every one of those issues from 1984 and 1985, plus ones from 1986 and 1987 I hadn't realized I didn't already have.

I love the cover from June of 1984. It's the one on the upper left, below. Guy in a wife beater, watching himself on tv, while someone wielding a knife is about to bifurcate him. I have an anecdote about that issue. One morning, before I began my job working in the library at Acadia University, I showed up at the Student Union Building and decided to kill a few minutes before work by reading a story from that issue. Off at the other end of the room there was a professor I recognized, reading a story from the very same issue! I wish I had gone over and introduced myself. But maybe he would have thought I was trying to bifurcate him, so it is just as well.

I like this one, too:

Somehow, the folks at EQMM had a budget to hire actual stars to pose for pictures, or got publicity photos you can't get anywhere else. The above is a 1987 issue with a much younger Roseanne Barr. This was before her eponymous tv show, back when she was still on her way up, working the stand up circuit.

Other covers have Steve Allen on them, or noted writers of the day.

I am thrilled to have these issues now. And when I return to Halifax tomorrow, I will integrate them into my many EQMM/AHMM/MSMM/Espionage back issues. That will be lots of fun. Not.

I think I have earned a rest. Maybe even half a beer.

See you tomorrow.


Friday, April 15, 2016

Post 3239 - Friday

I sit in my recroom. Laptop is on the flat surface I use to keep the laptop from overheating. Newbie is on my actual lap. And I will be turning in shortly.

Been a very long day. The weather was crappy when we left for work, so we took our time driving in. We arrived in one piece, which I know would be disappointing to my detractors. You know who you are.

I have been making plans for the last couple of weeks to go to the Valley for the weekend. This time, the weather gods seem to be smiling on me, or at least, maybe they have gas, because the forecast  looks good enough for me to go down there to check out the family home. But, fear not, effendi. I will be blogging while I am down there. I know you  have come to expect content from me every day, and I aim to provide that content, every day.

I watched the latest episode of The Blacklist this evening. I have been watching the show since day one, and the 18th episode of season 3 was on last night. They have apparently killed off one of the co-stars of the show, and I am not referring to James Spader. His character was always more interesting than his co-star's, but I did not see this coming at all. When asked if this character was really dead, Spader's response was so artfully obfuscatory that it should be enshrined in the museum of double speak. Not even former Halifax mayor Peter Kelly, in his most fevered dream, could concoct a more convoluted response. Here it is:

I think it’s most prudent not only as just myself and what I know or don’t know for that, but also in terms of the character of Reddington: Elizabeth Keen is dead.

Now, what in the hell does that really mean? A simple "yes" or "no" would have done the trick very well, but instead, we got that response. Which means that somehow, her "death', which took place during a commercial break for the viewer, off screen in other words, might have been faked. After all, Reddington made it very clear that his people would take "Lizzie" away to the mortuary, and not anyone the police called. Sure enough, one of his handlers is walking with Reddington's people as they lead Lizzie in to the back of the hearse and drive her off.

We won't have long to wait. Four more episodes, and the show is done for the season. And one of those episodes will be a backdoor pilot for the Blacklist spinoff, which doesn't have a name yet, but which will star Famke Janssen and Ryan Eggold, Tom from the parent show.

Hmm? What's that? You don't care? Fine, then.

I'm gonna turn in now, since you don't care and all.

See you tomorrow.


Thursday, April 14, 2016

Post 3238 - More On Missing Persons


I got a very enthusiastic tweet from constant reader A.J. all-but begging me to write more about Nova Scotia missing persons cases. And a guy at work today mentioned the blog as well, in such a way as to give me the impression he wouldn't mind seeing more posts here about missing persons.

So, I will.

But, let's back up first.

When I write these missing persons stories, they will be as factually accurate as I can make them. I will only deal in rumours if they are persistent. If suspects are named in these rumors they will not be named here. I don't want to be sued at the very least; at the very most, I don't want to drag someone's name through the mud who maybe doesn't deserve it.

If I fail to mention a particular missing persons case, it may very well be that I have not heard of it. I can't remember everything I read, and some things I never read. If someone went missing in 1943, there is a good chance I don't know about it. Send me some information about the case and I will research it further and report it here. Okay?

And I am not sure how much information to provide. One of my fave websites about missing person is The Charley Project. Meaghan runs the whole thing by herself as a labour of love. Do you want a folksy, anecdote-based narrative, or a "just the facts" one like what Meaghan provides? Let me know.

While I am at it, here are a few other missing persons websites. Let me know what kind of detail you want me to put in. More like this one, and less like that one? That kind of thing.

Can Am Missing, clearly a Canadian-government-based site.

Dear Marie Pyle, which is devoted to "missing angels".

For the lost.  I don't visit here much.

There are two major websites (that I know of) about Iowa's missing persons. There used to be one, but there was behind-the-scenes stuff going on and threats of lawsuits happened, and one woman took the cases she had written and researched and started her own. Two sides to every story. Here's one. And here's the other.

Less a website and more a reader's forum, and chatty, and a little too gossipy for my tastes, this is the place I have to beat if I am to be serious about documenting missing person's cases in Nova Scotia. Wish me luck.

Well, here's another one, and if it were updated more often, it would be pretty good. Mostly about unsolved murders, though.

There are so many more. I don't want to overwhelm you with details. Google "missing persons websites" and you will find hundreds of hits.

Get back to me with your thoughts.

See you tomorrow.


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Post 3237 - A Recommended Show


I discovered a new tv show today during lunch. It runs in the States on Investigative Discovery and is called "Disappeared", true stories of people who have simply vanished. I watched the most recent episode this evening, and I am hooked to the point where I am downloading every episode I can find, which is probably half of them.

For some reason, missing persons cases fascinate me. Perhaps it is their seemingly-random nature, the "if not for the grace of God go I" aspect. I am not sure.

 We have had more than a few missing persons cases in Nova Scotia. The most famous is likely that of Kimberly McAndrew in 1989, but there are many more. In the Valley, there was a man from Canning, Mark Clarke, not far from my hometown, who got a ride to Kentville, not far from his hometown, went for a walk down one of the main streets, and vanished.

A young man named Allan Kenley Matheson was attending Acadia University in 1992 when he, too, disappeared, a few weeks into the school year. In the nearly 24 years since, no trace of him has been found. There was supposed to be a documentary film about this case to come out in 2015, but it is apparently not finished yet. I chipped in some bucks to help with the production and am entitled to a digital copy of it when it's done. I look forward to seeing it. I am Facebook friends with Allan's sister. The man who's making the documentary is named Ron Lamothe. On the Kickstarter page for the film, Lamothe said he had once asked a private detective what case kept him up at night, which case was so mysterious, so baffling, so lacking in answers. The P.I. stated that it was the Allan Kenley Matheson case.

Going back to 1988, this one is especially troubling. A mentally ill young man named Lyndon Howard Fuller leapt from his third floor hospital window, ran into a wooded area, and disappeared. He was only wearing pajamas at the time. It was a cold night, and by all rights he should have been found within minutes. But, here it is, April of 2016, and nobody knows what happened to him, or if he is, nobody is talking about it.

There are so many more. Perhaps I will write some more posts on this subject, if you want me to. I already have a "MissingPersons" label so I have written about this subject at least once before. But if you want more, let me know. If there is a next time I will tell you about the Halifax business man who loved to hunt. One day, he went out hunting and... was never seen again. Afterward, I will tell you about a connection between that case and my present job.

Until next time pleasant... dreams?

Bevboy, stealing the end of both "Inner Sanctum" and the "CBS Radio Mystery Theatre"

P.S. Are you sure you locked your door?

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Post 3236 - Tuesday


I am freshly showered and shaven. I am in the... sixth week, I think, of using the first razor blade out of the package of five. I know that for those of you who use the Gillette Pro Glide Force 10 from Navarone Mach 3 BvS cartridges, that you can do things to prolong their usage, as I do with these razor blades. People can get several months from one of those cartridges, which makes buying them in bulk from a place like Costco that much more reasonable. I get that. I did it for years. But I am getting some of the best shaves of my life with this safety razor and that cheap ass razor blade, now that I am getting the hang of using them. And the cost per shave, now that I have the safety razor and can factor in its one-time cost, is still going to be lower for me than it is for you. At least, I tell myself that. Give it a chance, guys. Worst thing that can happen is that you go back to the Gillette Pro etc cartridges.

Ah, my face feels so smooth. Tell you what, guys. Walk up to me tomorrow at work and... feel my face. You have 10 seconds to have your way with me. Even 12 hours from now, it will still be baby-bottom smooth, and you will be so impressed you will switch over to safety razors and thank me, and then let me feel your face.

We watched this week's Lucifer last night. Enjoyed it immensely. I know it's based on a comic. A friend at work unloaded his Lucifer trade paperbacks on me last week. Trying to downsize his life by upsizing mine. Thank you, Adam. He tells me that the comic is far different from the series, as the iZombie comic is much different from the tv show, and as the porno version of Iron Man is somewhat different from the movies starring Robert Downey, Jr. I look forward to reading the Lucifer books, once I make my way through the Jas. R. Petrin stories in those back issues of Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine. That is the sole pleasure reading I do these days.

Another long day tomorrow. Have to hang around after work while Patricia does her Pilates class. Whenever I go there to pick her up, all these 50+ year old women come on to me, and make me feel like a piece of meat. At least they're age appropriate, I tell myself.

See you tomorrow, assuming I survive their entreaties.


Monday, April 11, 2016

Post 3235 - Monday


Back to work this morning. As always, being Monday and all, it was a little hard to get up. And get dressed. And drive to work. And do much of anything, for that matter.

I spent part of my lunch hour finishing a Jas. R. Petrin story. One of the editors of Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine wrote me on Facebook today and told me that she would love to see the finished interview with M. Petrin once it has taken place and I have transcribed and edited it. I know they won't publish it in the pages of AHMM, because a typical issue consists of 95% fiction with the rest taken up with a column about the latest books, some editorial content, and the like. The best I can hope for is to get mentioned on their website or perhaps the readers' forum. So, the blog may get some press from a source it hasn't been in yet. I'll keep you up to date, of course.

We watched the season finale of "Billions" this evening. My god, the show got better and better throughout the season, but the finale was 10x better than any of them put together. I won't ruin it for you. Canadians can see the full season through Crave TV. Americans can see it from its home broadcaster, which I think is Showtime.

Think I will turn in. Newbie is giving me that come hither look. Better than that "hie thee hither" look, which is totally hurtful.

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Post 3234 - Sunday


Productive day. Most of the clothes that were languishing on the back of the couch in the recroom are now upstairs and put away where they should be. I have 2 plastic bags of stuff to go out on Tuesday, along with a few bundles of bound-up cardboard.

I don't know about you, but our fridge is an excellent means by which to generate compost. We have the best of intentions: don't waste food. But certain food items get pushed to the back of the fridge, and are forgotten about until they become aromatic and remind us they're still around. So, we bundle them up and throw them in the green bin. Maybe, with a bit of luck, that piece of rancid steak will be consumed by a raccoon and it will get sick and die. A fella can hope.

(Do I sound bitter? I hope not)

I had another lovely shave tonight. I have been using that first razor blade for over a month now, and each shave is a wonderful experience. Honestly, fellas, why spend all that damn money on the Gillette Pro Glide Mach 3 Plus Quattro Ultra Supreme cartridges, when you can get a simple safety razor and associated razor blades and get the same close shave. 

Another 3 day weekend has come and gone. I don't know where the off time goes, except into the ether like everything else.

I am listening to CBC radio's "Inside the Music". It's where popular recording artists step behind the mic and play their favourite songs. Tonight, Serena Ryder is the host. And, god help her, and me, one of those fave songs is "Wrecking Ball" by Miley Cyrus. I have to admit, I like the song, too.

But, I think I like this version a bit better.

You're welcome.

See you tomorrow.


Saturday, April 9, 2016

Post 3233 - Saturday

Nearly 10pm.

Did not a lot today. We watched a bunch of episodes of "Mom". I have been ignoring this show since it started in 2013. But I had heard increasingly good things about this show, and decided to start at the beginning. Not hard to do that, in this day and age.

We have plowed through the first 12 episodes of season 1. Episode 16 of season 3 was broadcast two days ago, so we have a ways to go.

It is funny, and honest. It's about a woman in her thirties who's a mess. She was a teenage mother who did every drug and slept with a succession of men. Her mother is also a mess, having done drugs and gone through men like tissue paper. The daughter, played by Anna Faris, chided her mother, played by Allison Janney, that she once caught Janney's character licking cocaine crumbs out of a shag carpet. "It is not a sin to be thrifty!", she reminds Anna Faris.

Anna Faris's character's daughter is pregnant, which will make her a grandmother. The show confronts these issues, plus ones like homelessness, death, drug addiction, and so much more, with humour, which makes the whole thing easier to swallow, until you realize that while the pill was sugar coated, it was bitter inside. You have to see "Mom". Shame on me for not seeing it sooner.

We did a bunch of laundry today as well. Clean undies for the week. Woo hoo. And, even better, we no longer have to ignore the Surgeon General's warnings about using dishtowels for two weeks in a row. We now have a drawer full of clean ones. Can you say party?

Tomorrow, we will decide what of our two tons of clothing we will keep, what we will discard, what we will donate to Value Village.

The lives we lead. The excitement. The danger. The intrigue! How can we stand it, anyway?

See you tomorrow.


Friday, April 8, 2016

Post 3232 - Friday

Past 10pm.

We went over to Dartmouth this morning. After we took care of the errand we had to, we decided to check out Chops Meat Market in Burnside. We walked in, walked around, walked out without buying anything. The place is a dive. It is dirty and dark in there; the prices are not very competitive, and the quality isn't there. We decided to go down the road to the Gateway Meat Market.

Now, there is a nice place to shop. Somehow they have crammed a relatively small space with meat and produce, all of the highest quality and the lowest prices. In a short 8 years, they have gone from an even smaller space with 3 employees to this space, and 40 employees. I just wish they would expand their business to this side of the harbour. Wouldn't it be nice if they moved over to, gee, I don't know, Timberlea? I could get behind that very easily indeed.

When we were lining up to purchase our stuff at Gateway, we told the clerk how disappointed we had been by our visit to Chops. She reported that her boyfriend's company provides product to Chops, and had some stories to tell. She said something that resonated with us, which is that the place is like a haunted house. You go in a certain way and are led from one anteroom to another. All it was lacking was someone dressed up in a sheet and pouncing on you and saying "Boo!". The company behind Chops has instead sunk a ton of money into the Wolfville franchise, called Cuts. But even then, this week's Frank Magazine reports some health code deficiencies. I keep meaning to go in. Now, I am not quite so enthusiastic.

We returned to Halifax, ending up in Bayer's Lake. We visited the guy who sells fish in the back of his truck. He had a special: 10 pounds of haddock for 50 dollars, a very good price. We decided to chill out across the street at Chapters before deciding to get that fish. Patricia got some cash at the Irving in Beechville, we doubled back to the fish monger, and relieved him of 10 pounds of haddock.

I cooked some of it for lunch today. We are cooking a lot of fish lately. Maybe too much. I don't know. But this stuff today was transcendent. Ambrosia. Mother's milk. The flour-and-egg-mixture was not necessary, but I used it anyway. I cooked it for an even shorter period of time. Didn't matter. The fish turned out to be so good. Between mouthfuls, Patricia said she might want to go back to get another 10 pounds of the stuff, on Saturday. We will put most of it in the food saver, and then freeze it, hauling some out when we want a quick dinner.

We have had a long day, with some good food. I think we have earned some rest.

You guys have a good evening. See you tomorrow.


Thursday, April 7, 2016

Post 3231 - Thursday

I have a day off tomorrow. That is always a good thing.



Unless it friggin' rains all day!

My goodness, what is it about the weather in Nova Scotia? Last year, we were up to our eye teeth in snow. This year, it is raining like a frig muffin, and I do not like to use that phrase lightly. You know how disgusting and degrading frig muffins are.

In keeping with the mood, we will get up tomorrow morning and drive over to Dartmouth to run some errands that apparently cannot be run on this side of the harbour. After that, we may decide to go to the Valley for the rest of the day, or perhaps not.  Depends on the weather I mentioned earlier.

Newbie is sitting on my left big toe. It is his way of telling me to hurry up and go to bed. So... I think I will hurry up and go to bed.

See you tomorrow. Wet or otherwise.


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Post 3230 - Wednesday

After 10pm.

A very long day. After work, I had my more-or-less biweekly Toastmasters meeting. We had 6 members and 2 guests, so it was a little on the low side in terms of attendance. But we still had Table Topics and a speech from a newer member. All is good.

After that was over, we had a short executive meeting. We are contemplating a new way to organize and arrange meetings, through a package called Easy Speak. Once you do the initial set up work, members can just indicate what role they want to fill on an agenda. Shortly before the meeting, I could just do whatever it is has to be done, and a PDF file of the agenda will be produced, which I can then print off. It is something that the club members would have to embrace. If it is something that will just double or even treble my workload, with not noticeable payoff, then I don't see the point of it. Time will tell.

After the meeting, I drove out to the West End Mall Annex, to the HS hair place. It is the new branding of Head Shoppe. Patricia was getting her hair done. I said, "My God, Patricia. That hair looks amazing!" about 6 times. I'm told that etiquette dictates that a fella is supposed to say it at least 7, so I am in the doghouse now.

One of the staff showed me around the joint while Patricia was paying. I have to say, if I was a girly, a girly girl, like if I didn't have a masculine bone in my body, I would positively love it there. There is a spa where people can get manicures and pedicures. There are beds where you can lay out and get manipulated in a way that results in relaxation. And there is plenty of makeup for sale. There is now a product called "Lip Crayon". I have no idea what that is relative to other products such as lip stick, lip liner, lip gloss, and I'm sure there are other products related to a woman's lips that I have yet to learn about. Why are lips so damned high maintenance, anyway? Mine are just fine, and I don't use anything on them. 

We got home around 9pm. Newbie met us at the door and behaved as if he hadn't had anything to eat in 3 weeks. He rubbed up against us both in an effort to trip us and break our necks, so that he could then feast on our bodies because that is what cats will do when their food source goes away: they improvise.

I had a shower and a shave tonight, too. I have been using that first razor blade in the package of 5, for a full month now. The shaves are still close and smooth. I think I am in love with simple safety razors and razor blades!

I think I will turn in. Another busy day tomorrow.

See you then, my lovelies.


Monday, April 4, 2016

Post 3229 - Monday


Long day. Patricia a medical appointment this morning at 9, and I felt my place was there with her, so I took the morning off work for that purpose. It proved to be an informative session for us both. I am glad I went.

In the aftermath of the appointment I worked in the afternoon, while Patricia ran some errands. I picked her up after work, and we filled her prescriptions at Costco. While there, they had the usual "Costco dim sum", including some perogies that were to die for. We got 6 bags of them, and cooked one of them for dinner. I am still stuffed, a couple of hours later.

I meant to mention this over the weekend, but forgot, so I am doing it now. The Canadian band The Lumineers have a new album out. I dimly recall hearing some of the songs from their previous album a couple of years ago and liked them for what they were. But what has piqued my interest is not just the title of the album, but the person they chose to put on it.

It is called "Cleopatra". And adorning the cover is none other than... Ms. Theda Bara, the silent film icon of 100 years ago, whose perhaps most sought after lost film is "Cleopatra". Her co-star in that 1917 film was Fritz Leiber. His son much later recalled having visited the set as a boy. Junior went on to have a very noteworthy career as a science fiction/fantasy author. Story goes that Senior was vain, even by actor standards. For each film he made, he had a lifesize bust, painting, bas relief, or whatever, of himself made in the character he was playing. Upon his death, Junior inherited the whole mess, which inspired his story, "237 Talking Statues, Etc."

A tiny fragment of "Cleopatra" exists. Here it is.

I hope you enjoyed those 16 seconds as much as I did.

Anyway, 61 years after her death, Theda Bara is making a tiny come back, this time on the cover of a record album.

That is Fritz Leiber Senior with Ms. Theda, above.

I keep wondering if anybody here has any information at all about the 20 summers Theda Bara and her husband, Charles Brabin, spent in Nova Scotia. I know where they lived, that they named the house "Baranook", and have a copy of the deed. But the house almost certainly no longer exists. And there are at best second hand stories out there of people who remembered their long-ago visits to Nova Scotia. This information about Nova Scotia film history is too important to be lost to time.

On that filmic note...

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, April 3, 2016

Post 3228 - Sunday

Well, that was fun.

I cooked a lovely fish dish for dinner. Patricia prepared an equally lovely salad. Now, this evening, I am running to the bathroom, over and over. I took a travel tab/Gravol thing to settle my stomach. The side effect of those things is that it causes extreme fatigue.

We will see how Monday plays out.

See you... tomorrow?


Saturday, April 2, 2016

Post 3227 - Saturday


I had a quiet day. We finished watching season one (or is it just the first half of season one? I'm not sure) of Netflix's "The Ranch". The New York Times says it is unlike any other show on television. It is a blue collar situation comedy, so that in itself is making it unique because I can't think of any other such shows on tv. It is often laugh out loud funny. On several occasions today we had to press pause on the remote because we were laughing so hard and didn't want to miss anything. "Show me the tit on an almond!" should be Sam Elliott's new catch phrase.

Tomorrow, due to public demand, I will be cooking more haddock for dinner. For some reason, Patricia loves it when I make haddock. She feels I have a knack for cooking fish. Maybe she is just trying to get out of making dinner herself. Hard to say.

I think I will turn in. See you tomorrow, my lovelies.


Friday, April 1, 2016

Post 3226 - Friday

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

We spent a couple hours tonight watching the latest Netflix hit, "The Ranch", starring Ashton Kutcher as a washed-up football player returning to the family ranch. He's trying to re-acclimate himself to that kind of lifestyle. His ex-girlfriend has moved on. His parents are no longer together, much. His brother is still a horndog, at 36. They still drink when they're not working. And money is a real issue for all of them. And, it is as funny as all get out. The show has a lot of heart. I want to see the rest of these episodes this weekend, and hope that there will be plenty of subsequent seasons.

Gonna be a busy day tomorrow. Patricia wants to buy dirt soil for the garden. Not just any dirt soil . It's the kind of dirt soil that Halifax Seed sells. Only the best dirt soil will do.

See you tomorrow.