Friday, April 21, 2017

Post 3545 - A Couple Days Later...

Pushing midnight on Friday.

I am not sure what happened to me. I wrote my blog post Wednesday night after sending in the first draft of my latest true crime piece for Frank. I was keyed up, so I stayed up and watched The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.

I should re-word that.

Trevor Noah was not with me while I watched the show that he is the star of. I was alone watching the program entitled The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. Understand now?

Anyway, after that was over, I turned in, but was still keyed up. I guess spending most of my Wednesday contemplating, discussing, and writing about local unsolved murders took an emotional toll on me. I awoke Thursday morning with a migraine. Eating something didn't help, so I returned to bed. Other than a few trips to the bathroom, and alternating between the bed and my recliner, I didn't get up until nearly 8pm. By that time, my headache was finally gone. Watched some tv with Patricia and slept yet more.

I got up earlier today than I did on Thursday. Cooked breakfast for both of us. My editor read the draft of what I sent him Wednesday night and asked for a few changes, which I was happy to make. I made those changes and sent him the revised article around 4pm, well ahead of next week's deadline. That done, I can start work on my media column, whose deadline will be Wednesday or Thursday of next week. I also need to carve out some time to start writing my next true crime piece. I have two hours or more of audio files that I recorded at dinner Wednesday night. I lost my Thursday. Hope to make up some of that time over the weekend, after I return from my Saturday trip to the Archives.

We return to work Monday morning. No idea where the time off has gone. I mean, I spent 40% of that time off asleep, I guess that accounts for quite a bit of time there.

Here's something. Earlier today I decided to take a really old laptop out of mothballs and try to get it running again. It's a Dell latitude D410. A 12 inch laptop workhorse that started giving me a hard time about six months ago. A TPM error, which I have learned is related to a security module in the bios. I booted it up with some effort and turned off the TPM security, and it reluctantly started up. I ran it for a while, and then shut it down.

It would not boot back up again. I went online with another laptop and learned that if you press the Fn button and then power, it goes into a diagnostic mode. It did, and after a bit more fiddling I got it up and running again. I keep getting the TPM warning message and press f1 and it starts up the OS. I am writing this blog post on that old computer.

I am not sure how to get around the TPM warning or it that is the new normal. The OS I am running is 7 years old, so maybe if I put on a newer distro of Linux, like Mint or something, then maybe the problem will go away. A problem for another day.

I think I will turn in. I have a busy day on Saturday.

See you then.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Post 3544 - A Rough Day

Past midnight, into Thursday.

I didn't write on Tuesday because my body pretty much shut down around supper time. We had run the roads for quite a few hours. Patricia had a doctor's appointment. I had an appointment with my tax accountant in Dartmouth. Trips to thrift stores along the way. Our first trip to Princess Auto was on Tuesday as well. We even ate at the restaurant next door, a place called Smokie's. Pretty good for what it was.

By the time we got home, we were so tired that we decided to take a "short nap", which ended up being the entire night

I got up ahead of Patricia Wednesday morning and resumed transcribing pieces of an interview I conducted a week ago. I finish that task around noon and printed it off. That done, I went through it all and noted the things I found most interesting.

I didn't have time to write the article until later on this evening because we had to meet with the family of a man who was murdered quite a few years ago. They were a delight to meet and provided plenty of good stories about this fine man.

We got a few items at the superstore in Tantallon before returning home. I retired down here to my home office, backed up the audio files I recorded tonight, wrote a few emails, and then wrote a draft of the true crime piece I mentioned earlier. That has been sent to my editor, who has been looking forward to reading a new true crime article from me for a month or more.

Thursday I will start work on the next true crime piece, basing it on the material I recorded this evening.

Hard to believe I am on vacation this week. I promise to have some fun this weekend.

Think I will turn in.

See you tomorrow, my lovelies.


Monday, April 17, 2017

Post 3543 - A Working Vacation

Easter Monday is nearly over.

Apparently, some people are offended by the very notion of the phrase "Easter Monday". They don't understand why some folks get that day off, while others have to report to work. My understanding has always been that since Easter Sunday is a holiday, it is "observed" if you will, the next day. But lots of companies and businesses and retail outlets do not respect that policy.

When I was a student at Acadia University, perhaps because of its Baptist roots, it did not acknowledge Easter Monday as a day off work or away from classes or even exams. I probably wrote some exams on Easter Monday during my time there. I do know that Good Friday would be a day away from work, from classes, and even exams. Then, Saturday, exams aplenty. I may even have written an exam on a Saturday evening between Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

When I graduated university and started working for a living, my company gave us Easter Monday off. I just assumed it was the way things were. Then, I learned that white collar workers at the phone company were expected to work on that day. Radio stations had live morning shows today with the regular hosts. Even CTV, which loves its stat holidays, had their regular two hours of news and public affairs this evening.

I don't get it.

Anyway, we had a relaxing day. I was up until 2 o'clock this morning, so I slept in, but not as late as I could have. Got up and ate something. After lunch, I spent some time preparing for my meeting with my tax accountant Tuesday afternoon. Then, I worked on a true crime article for the next Frank.  Still not done with the prep work on that article. Will finish it on Tuesday and write a draft on Wednesday. Hence the title of this blog post: "Working Vacation".

Tonight we watched a couple episodes of hulu's "Shut Eye" before catching the most recent episode of "Feud". Only one more episode to go. Patricia was asking me if there would be a season two. I doubt it. Joan Crawford died in 1977, about 12 years after the events of this week's "Feud". Bette Davis lived until 1989, and managed to work until nearly the end. I am not sure what they could do for a second season. Maybe they will have a different "Feud" every season. That would be smashing.

Tomorrow will be busy. I plan to get up quite early to take out the garbage, shower, work on the true crime article, and then hit the road mid morning. Good times await.

See you tomorrow, my lovelies.


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Post 3542 - Easter Sunday

Hi. Two am on Monday morning, the 17th.

Didn't write on Saturday. We ran the roads, ending up in Spryfield where Patricia got some nice clothes at the Sally Ann and the Frenchy's. The other thrift store in Spryfield was not open. I have to wonder what kind of banker's hours they keep, anyway.

We watched some shows on Plex and Netflix that evening. Turned in.

Slept in Sunday morning. We spent some time this afternoon and into the evening watching the most recent episodes of "Feud", about the hatred between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. Excellent show. Then, we watched the last episode of season one of The Good Fight, The Good Wife spinoff. In many ways, it is better than The Good Wife. Then, we watched the first three episodes of "Shut Eye", the Hulu show about some psychics who may have some abilities after all. It is a little hard to classify, so we are not sure if we like it yet. Ask me in a couple of days.

Then while Patricia was on her phone, I watched 1933's "Wild Boys of the Road". It is known as  "Pre Code" film, meaning that even a film code had been implemented a few years earlier, it was not enforced until July 1, 1934. Before that, film depictions of sex, adult relationships, and so on were quite normal. The movie is about some teenagers whose families fall on hard times and decide to leave home to find work, reasoning that their families will have one less mouth to feed. Apparently, during the Depression, that was a relatively common thing. Rather than find work, they find trouble.

The film is about their downward spiral. In 2013, the film was added to the US National Film Registry, as it is deemed to be of some cultural significance. It is on my Plex Media Server, so if any of you are hooked up to it, why not take an hour and ten minutes from your lives and watch it? If you want further incentive, this is the film debut, sort of, of Alan Hale Jr, who many years later went on to play the Skipper on Gilligan's Island.

Movies like that reinforce for me that I have been relatively lucky in life. I have not had a moment of unemployment since 1986. Either I was working, full-time, or I was a student, which I don't really count as unemployment. Even as a student, I had part-time work. Others much smarter and more talented than I am, have had to struggle to find and keep work. I have been lucky. Other times, I have kept my mouth shut when my instincts told me otherwise.

You can tell those times when I kept my mouth shut at work by reading blog posts for those days, by the way. Most of those posts are about my cat, Newbie. Read between the lines.

Monday, when I get up, I have to do some work on my next Frank true crime article and prepare for a meeting I have in Dartmouth on Tuesday afternoon. So, no binge watching tv shows on Monday.

Well, maybe a little bit.

See you later on today.


Friday, April 14, 2017

Post 3541 - Good-ish Friday

Just past midnight. It's Saturday, actually.

My body conked out Thursday night around 9pm. That is twice now that we were trying to watch the most recent episode of "Billions", and we dozed off. It's a good show but our bodies were telling us to take it easy. That's because...

We're on vacation!!

We don't return to work until April 24th. Because of the long weekend, and an earned day off on Friday coming, we only have to take three vacation days to get 11 days off work. We can't ignore that, so off we went.

Good Friday, we both slept in and did something close to nothing. Just didn't feel like doing much on Friday, so we sat around and watched Netflix stuff. Watched a couple movies, one with Keanu Reeves as a lawyer, and a film about the final days of noted atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair.

Saturday we plan to do go over to Spryfield. I will tell you about all that tomorrow.

Think I will turn in.

See you.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Post 3540 - Ha! No! Really! Ha!Ha!Ha!

Past 11pm.

Just put my Frank Magazine media column to bed. More exclusive content in there. How much will you pay now?

So, we were driving home tonight. We usually take the Bicentennial and then the exit to the Bay Road, to Timberlea. But tonight, we need to get a couple groceries so we decided to drive through Fairview, up Lacewood to the Sobeys in Clayton Park.

We encountered this young man on a scooter or moped of some kind. He was hauling some kind of cart behind him. He was just booting along. The moped was making that little noise like a laboured lawn mower. He would have to peddle from time to time to keep momentum. We passed him because he was in the way. As we passed him, Patricia held up her arms as if she were driving a moped and made noises similar to the moped. We laughed because, well, mopeds.

A couple of minutes later, as we were approaching the lights at... Dunbrack I think it is. The lights there just before you reach the RBC and the Sobeys? We heard our little friend behind us. He went up on the sidewalk, highly illegal. As he passed us, he gave us the finger on both hands. Then he made that little gesture as if he were touching himself. At the intersection, he parked and glowered at us as we drove past. Fingers were raised at us. We returned the favour.

Rather than upset us, it sort of made my day. I giggled a few times at Sobeys. I nearly burst out laughing at the checkout, which didn't make Patricia very happy.

On the way home I kept thinking about that little twerp. Why had we ticked him off so much that he would ride up on the sidewalk and risk getting caught just so he could glare at us and give us the finger? Is his life so empty, so devoid of incident, so eventless, that he had to take his frustration out on us?

Yeah. I guess it is, which is why he did.

Doesn't make it any less funny.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Post 3539 - Getting Late, So Here Are Some More Scans

It is pushing 11pm. I have had a long and trying day. And I spent two hours this evening interviewing the mother of a man who was murdered some time back. Those interviews drain me, so I haven't much left for you guys. Sorry about that.

Got some interesting comments on the scans I put up last night. I put them up on the Vintage Paperback Covers thing on Facebook. I put up 8 more just now. Here are a few more...

The Lamparski "Whatever Became of" series was extremely popular. I can only imagine how much effort it took for him to track down these once-popular folks. And it was popular enough to cause at least one copycat book, by Patrick Agan, "Whatever Happened To...". Remember, this was before the age of google.

The Thieves' World series began in the 1970's and went through many changes and publishing schedules. I think it came back a few years ago. I haven't read them, but the premise is neat. It is a "shared world" where many authors write stories of characters in this world where people are thieves and crooks. The editor did his best to create some kind of continuity.

And the Wollheim Best of from 1975 shows that George R.R. Martin was writing long before Game of Thrones commenced.

Now 11pm. Very long day tomorrow, so if you'll excuse me...

See you tomorrow.


Monday, April 10, 2017

Post 3538 - Obligatory Blog Post So I Can Say I Wrote Something Today

There. Is that a descriptive enough blog post title for you?

Around 10:45.

I spent some time tonight lining up a couple interviews for upcoming true crime pieces in Frank. I am hoping that these plans do not fall through at the last minute. It has happened before.

Just uploaded a peck of book covers to the Vintage Paperback and Pulp page on Facebook. You really must check it out. Sometimes they get a little saucy, and their minds go off in the gutter, but someone snaps them back and then they resume discussing these really old covers.

I mean, who wouldn't like this?

Or this?

Or even this?

Frig, what's wrong with this, even?

I bought the above EQ novel in the early 1980's when I was trying to get into the Ellery Queen novels. I still consider them vastly overwritten with a pompous tone. The short stories are usually fine, if gimmicky. The ironic thing is that one of the two guys behind Ellery Queen, Fred Dannay, of course edited Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine from its founding in 1941 through to his death in 1982 (although Eleanor Sullivan took on more and more of the editing duties through the 1970's). Dannay firmly believed that no short story existed that could not be shortened further. But he had blinders on when it came to the EQ novels that he either edited, co-wrote, rewrote, or supervised. I have always wondered why he was always so forgiving of his own brainchild.

Anyway, that is the kind of silly thing that occupies my time. Fun, but not earthshaking.

It is now 11pm. I think I will turn in. 5:30 comes all too early.

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, April 9, 2017

Post 3537 - Sunday Slowdown

Past 11pm.

Slept in because Sunday. Got up. We discussed going out for breakfast, but decided to stay in. I cooked steak and eggs and brewed coffee. After lunch, and doing some laundry, we ventured into Bayer's Lake to get some groceries.

The people who "own" Bayer's Lake, whoever these developers are, are keeping things pretty quiet, when it comes to the vast expansions planned for the next couple of years. They have cleared a tremendous amount of land behind where stores like Staples and Dollarama and the others ones on that side of the park. I have read somewhere that the existing Wal*Mart will move to that new area, and become much larger. There is talk of other stores that presently do not exist, opening up there. But even so, there is a tremendous amount of land that is being cleared and not all of that land is spoken for. What have you heard?

We got back to the house and watched this week's The Good Fight, which is the penultimate episode in its first season. Not sure how they will resolve the plot threads by next week. We watched some other stuff to clear space on the pvr. I had my shower, so I am good for another fortnight.

Another weekend is over. A four day work week this week and next. A fella could get used to that.

See you tomorrow.


Saturday, April 8, 2017

Post 3536 - A Day At The Archives

About 10:45pm.

A little housekeeping. I somehow got the name of the Maudie co-star mixed up in my head. I have no excuse. I should have checked it, but I didn't. Mike Cranston pointed out, here and on my Facebook, that it was Ethan Hawke. Of course, he was right, and I was wrong. I will leave my original mistake on the post, but Mike's and my comments on yesterday's post will show the correction.

And a couple people have suggested I supply a  prĂ©cis of these blog posts when they go up. That, I cannot do. I use a software package called (get it?) that polls the blog every 15 minutes or whatever it is. When it sees there is a new blog post, it produces a tweet pointing to the new post. That tweet, in return, feeds my Facebook timeline. also updates the Bevboy's Blog Facebook fan page. Unless they have changed the parameters of, there is no provision for it to summarize the blog post content.

I automated the whole thing to save me time. For years I would write a blog post and then manually create a tweet and then a Facebook update. When I learned I could tweet and that would populate my Facebook, I was elated. When I discovered that I could automate the entire process simply by linking the blog to, and have it take care of the notification process, it was like I was 12 years old again, if you catch my drift.

The best I can do is follow the suggestion put forth by a couple of people, which is to use post titles that are more meaningful than, say, the day of the week. I did that recently for the "Halifax Shame" posts, which reached a significant audience, especially after Tim Bousquet at the Examiner liberally quoted from it in his Thursday Halifax Examiner edition.

So, that's what I will try to do, going forward. Better blog post names.

Anyway, how was your day? I got up not long after I got the wrong answer on CBC's Weekend Morning's "Mystery Vocalist" contest. A couple hundred thousand people heard me. I have been wrong before, and will continue to be wrong, until I am right, at which time I will win another fabulous prize consisting of whatever is stuck to their shoes and hasn't gone out with the recycling yet. They need a bigger budget.

After breakfast, I returned to the Archives. Got there around 11:45 and stayed there for four hours. I spent most of that time researching some unsolved murders. One of them yielded a treasure trove of articles. I had forgotten about this poor man's murder, but when it happened over 30 years ago, it was a huge story that occupied both daily papers for days and days.

Another unsolved murder was one I had not searched for information about in the Daily News, just the Herald. In the 1980's and into the 1990's, they covered crime like nobody's business. If it bled, it led. But by 1996, the time of the second unsolved I researched today, the paper had been sold to Harry Steele I think it was; and he had proceeded to make cuts to the paper. They barely had any reporters left. Where once they would have been all over this particular story, today I only found a couple brief pieces which were unsigned, which tells me it was just rewritten wire copy. One article, they had the wrong date on the header for that page. Just pure sloppiness.

The Daily News limped along for another 12 years. They started covering crime again, but the paper had an ever-increasing emphasis on columnists, who I'm guessing were either freelance or paid a crap salary. Very few reporters. What a damn shame.

Anyway, I also looked up a few other things during my four hours there. I looked up from time to time. A couple of times, I saw Dan Conlin, who is the guy who runs Pier 21 now. For years he was the main guy at the Maritime Museum.

I quit for the day around 3:45 and went down to the locker to retrieve my coat. Dan was there, getting his. We chatted for a few minutes. I had last seen him at a Kingsport Gala Days a couple of years ago. My Frank binder has the Bevboy caricature on it, and he remembered me from that, plus a few exchanges we had had over the years. He asked if I had found out anything else about Theda Bara since we had last communicated. I told him what little else I had discovered, and he told me a few things about the social aspect of those who lived in that section of the province during the 1920's. Lots of rum runners to the States, thanks to prohibition. Maybe that's what helped attract Theda and Charles Brabin to summer here for 20 years.

I speculated that they sold the property, which they called Baranook, because by 1941, when they sold it, their heyday was long behind them. Theda had not acted in years and years. And Charles, a film director, was all but unhireable after some career missteps in the early 1930's. They may have sold it because they needed the money. I don't know. Just guessing.

We talked a bit more. Gave him a blog business card. Parted ways. I grabbed a couple slices of pizza at a place in Fairview on the way home. Hello, Velos Pizza guy. I went there quite often when they were on Almon Street, but they shut that place down a year or so ago. I took a slice home to Patricia, who ate it with the enthusiasm of a person who no longer has to cook dinner.

We talked about getting some groceries tonight, but stayed in. We watched "Office Christmas Party" tonight. At some point, I fell asleep but woke back up during the actual party, which resembles no Christmas party I have ever attended.

Spent some time trying to find something else to watch tonight, but we were both getting tired, so I came down here to write this blog post before turning in.

So, that was my day. How was yours?

And, what are you wearing, anyway? I could use the context.

See you tomorrow.


Friday, April 7, 2017

Post 3535 - Friday

Past 11pm.

Patricia is upstairs watching Game of Thrones. I am down here, typing away. Are you grateful that I am doing this for you?

Well, I haven't been just dwelling on 50 year ago Halifax travesties. I have been living my life, too. Thursday, after work, we went to Fredie's Fantastic Fish and Chips in Bayer's Lake. We had not been there since the renovations. It is, I don't know, maybe 30% bigger, but they are already bursting at the seams. The food is as good as ever.

After that, we went to see a movie I had won passes to. "Maudie" is about the life and times of Maud Lewis, the Nova Scotia folk artist who's apparently world-renowned, but my American readers have likely never heard of her, unless they follow folk art, and they probably don't.

It was a very good film. Ewan McGregor plays her husband Everett. Perfect casting, if only because Ewan McGregor has owned property in Nova Scotia for many years now. Apparently he accepted the part without even reading the script.

We went home and went to bed and got up and worked all day. Tonight, we watched a film that had been previewed in front of Maudie. It is called "I, Daniel Blake". It is a British film, so I had a hard time wondering what the hell people were saying. But it is also very good. It is about an older man who has a heart attack and is trying to collect benefits to support himself until he is able to return to work. The Kafkaesque bureaucracy in the U.K. is only slightly less impersonal and uncaring than it is in Canada, and the film traces his downward spiral to gaining a measure of dignity. You really should see this film.

I explored the movies in my plex and landed on "Abandoned", starring the late Brittany Murphy. Had never heard of the film before, but we were in a generous mood so we watched it. A decent little thriller. What I would have called a 99 cent rental back when we rented movies from Blockbuster. As Leonard Maltin once noted, people can be very forgiving toward a movie they watch at the cottage when there is nothing else to do. Tonight, we were forgiving toward "Abandoned". See if you wish. I have seen far worse.

Tomorrow is Saturday, and I think I know what I'm gonna do. It just depends on whether I have the energy to get up and do those things. I am... hopeful.

Will tell you about it then.

See you tomorrow.


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Post 3534 - Halifax Shame Follow Up

Well, that was fun.

I wrote the blog post last evening about the parts of Halifax razed to accommodate Scotia Square and the Cogswell interchange. Tim Bousquet read my humble post and quoted a good chunk of it in his Halifax Examiner post this morning. Go ahead and read it, and then scroll down to the comments section. Some people sort of agree with me, while others strongly disagree with me.

I thought about putting in my rebuttal there, in the comments section. But this is my blog. I can write what I want. And I can write it here. Tim is free to quote this in the morning if he wants.

I stand by my comments that Halifax has a near pathological disdain for the poor, and has for a very long time. The fact that they booted all those citizens off of Jacob and Starr and Hurd and the other streets speaks to that. If the city had booted them off, moved them to temporary housing, and then built low-income housing in the vacated area, before moving them back to that newly-built low-income housing, then I wouldn't have a leg to stand on. Didn't happen. They built Scotia Square instead. I don't see many poor people there. Do you?

Some of the commenters think that I am totally out to lunch about condominiums in Halifax. There are million dollar condo's. If it is true that the average price of condo's is a mere $350 000, then I have a news update. Most people can't afford that, either. Another person pointed out that there are new builds at the bargain basement cost of $200 000. Yeah, I know. There are some of those opening up this year at a place called Monaghan Square, on Young Street. The cheapest of them are at that price point. But the commenter left out something. Those condo's have no bedrooms. They're glorified bachelor apartments, for that kind of cash layout. You can still buy a semi detached house in the 'burbs for quite a bit less than that. That house would have two, maybe even three, levels of living, along with a small front and back yard. Which would you rather have? And, once again, lots of people can't afford $200 000. Not that these commenters give a rodent's rump about those who can't.

A commenter wrote that much of the housing in that area was "atrocious and unfit for habitation." That is what the city fathers said to justify the demolition of Africville a few years later. Their track record sucks, and I don't believe it. And like I wrote last evening, are you telling me that every single house in that neighbourhood was blighted and worthy of demolition? All of them? Really?

What about the businesses in the area? What about the police headquarters? Blighted, too? Tear 'em down. Who cares about the displaced? They're poor, anyway. Let's put up this cool shopping mall and office tower, instead. Urban renewal, don't you know?

The people who got kicked out of Africville all those years ago finally got a half-hearted apology from the mayor, about 5 years ago. Why are the people who were booted off their properties before that, not offered the same level of respect? Riddle me that.

See you tomorrow. I'll try to be in a better mood.


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Post 3533 - Halifax Shame

Pushing 10pm.

Here is the post I have been promising for the last few days.

Here. Read this first. Let me know when you are back.

So, Cassie Williams wrote a pretty good article about the neighborhoods that once existed in the part of the downtown presently bounded by Scotia Square and the Cogswell Exchange. I wish she had also mentioned the old police headquarters, but otherwise, it is not a bad article at all. It is also the kind of article that there should be many more of.

There is no way that a city could get away with the disgusting expropriations of people's properties, in this day and age. The city continues, 50 years later, to take heat for how the people of Africville were treated. But the people who were displaced, the businesses shut down, the families and friends ripped apart, never had that same kind of voice. They had to put up with it, and shut up.

There are some pictures in the Halifax archives showing that quite a few of the properties were in very poor condition. But that doesn't mean it is acceptable, even morally right, to take away all the damned houses around it for the sake of some weird gentrification fetish.

Many of the buildings looked funky, cool even. The "pentagon" building looks like one I'd like to live in.

Over the years, more than once, I have heard how city aldermen 50 years ago purchased many of these houses on the cheap from people who would otherwise have had to carry the cost of demolishing their own homes. Some kind of deal was worked out so that the aldermen would be compensated for these purchases, and thereby make a tidy profit from people's misery.

Where did these people go? They ended up in some of the remaining poorer communities like Spryfield, or some of the public housing that sprang up around that time. Others, I hope, got the hell out of Halifax, out of Nova Scotia, where they were not wanted anyway, and started fresh lives somewhere else.

I have been trying to understand why this continues to vex me so. I think it is because, in a different time, my family might well have lived on Hurd Lane, or Jacob Street, or that old portion of Barrington Street. We were in that economic strata. We would have trusted our city to represent us as we should be, and treated with respect. We would not have expected our aldermen to push to evict us and send us on our way, to be told that we did not belong there, that we could not live there any longer. Get out. Get out.

I like Halifax. I have lived here for nearly 30 years now. But it has a deeply-rooted racist history, and a nearly pathological disdain for poor people. The condos springing up all throughout the city represent housing that most of us can never afford, or even aspire to. That there is a condo in the downtown, not terribly far from where these old neighborhoods were, that will literally sell million dollar units, shows that there is a huge problem, a tremendous disconnect, between what people can afford, and what these developers think the market will bear. It is insane, what is happening to my city. I don't like it. Not one bit.

Let's make sure that what happened to Africville, and the people of Jacob, and Hurd, never happens again.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Post 3532 - Tomorrow

Yeah, so it's 11pm. I have to get up for work in six and a half hours. Toastmasters tomorrow. Won't get home until 8pm or so. Writing the blog post tonight that I promised last night will require more thought and concentration than I can muster at the moment.

I have downloaded the pictures I am going to use. I just have to put it together in a way that I like. And that will happen on Wednesday.

See you then.


Monday, April 3, 2017

Post 3531 - Monday

Past 10pm.

I'm sorry I didn't write on Sunday. It was a literal day of rest. I wasn't feeling well at all. I slept in late and nodded off during lunch. I went upstairs for a nap and slept until 4:30 or so, at which time I went downstairs to the recroom where I rested for a lot longer. Then, I went to bed.

I felt fine today.

Go figure.

My body has worked this way for most of my life. I still remember my first day of Grade Three. I was eight. It was the first year we had to stay the extra hour. I got home from school and collapsed in a heap on the couch. My poor mother! After a nap I felt better. But ever since then, when I have a trying day, or a migraine creeps up on me, the only answer (if I don't have any of those Zomig pills, which I don't right now) is to sleep off the headache, or the exhaustion, until it goes away. They could probably write about my situation in a medical journal, have it peer reviewed, and still think it was so much bull feces.

Today was a typical day of work. Moments when I was run off my feet. Moments when there was a lull. Tonight, I made dinner, after which we watched this week's episode of The Good Fight, followed by the first episode of Feud, about the absolute hatred between actresses Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, especially during the filming of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane. You should be watching this show. Excellent.

I was gonna write about something tonight that really ticked me off today. It is a topic I have covered here on this blog before. But it is getting late, and I would have to download some source materials. I will do that tomorrow night.

Look for it then.


Saturday, April 1, 2017

Post 3530 - Saturday

Past 11:30.

A long day. I spent something like five and a half hours at the Archives today. I managed to find some good information about some very cold cases, including quite a bit of information about a couple murders from the late 1960's. One of them may have been solved, but in order to find out, I will likely have to go back to the Archives and follow up some more.

A woman and her son were at the next microfilm reader. She asked me help her rewind the cartridge, and I showed her. We got to talking. I told her why I was there and she expressed interest. I asked her where she was from and she told me. I recognized that part of the province as being the location for a cold case murder and mentioned the name of the young man who had been murdered out that way. She told me that she works with the victim's sister!

I have been searching high and low for a family member in this case. I could find no obituary for him. The articles in the papers would always quote "the father", without giving the man's name. I'd all but given up. Now, today, I sit next to a woman who works with the victim's sister. Very small world. The woman promised to speak to this sister on Monday. She has a blog business card, so we will see if she reads this post and that jogs her memory.

As they were leaving to rejoin other family members, her son looked at me and asked if I was an investigative reporter. I replied that I suppose I was. His face lit up and he said, "Cool!" and joined his mother.

We will see what comes of today's interaction.

I found some information about a 1999 murder in Dartmouth, including what appears to be the world's shortest obituary. Six lines or something. But even that that provided information like the names of the deceased's siblings and parents. Have already contacted the man's brother. We will see happens.

Got home shortly after 5. Cooked dinner. We watched some television this evening, before I washed the dishes.

It is pushing midnight. I think I will turn in. House cleaning tomorrow.

See you then.


Friday, March 31, 2017

Post 3529 - Friday

Past 10pm.

I didn't make it to the Archives today. That is still on tap for Saturday. Today, we drove to Tantallon because the bracket thingy that held the shower hose and nozzle in place broke, so I had to replace it. The hardware store there had them for about 8 dollars each, so I got it. We went next door to Otis and Clementines, where Patricia got two books, and I didn't get a damn thing.

We decided to drive to Spryfield to get some groceries. We were hungry so we drove around for a place to eat, which turned out to be an excellent place called Station Six. It is where the KFC used to be. Terrific food and ambience. We can't wait to go back.

From there we decided to hit the used clothing stores. We started with the Frenchy's that is below the Canadian Tire. You wouldn't even think it was there unless someone told you it was. Patricia got a few things. I got nothing. We then went to the Salvation Army thrift store up the road. Patricia got a few items of clothing. I sifted through the books and discovered a whole bottom shelf full of books by Rex Stout.

Rex Stout is best known for writing mystery novels featuring his detective Nero Wolfe. I have a few of those books in my collection. Never read any of them, but I know they are highly regarded. They had a passel of them there today, so I got them all. They also had a few Ruth Rendell novels there, so I got them. And they had a copy of "Ten Lost Years" by Barry Broadfoot, for $1.99, although the cashier only charged me 99 cents. I already have a copy here, but I know that this books is hard to find, so I now have a second copy.

We left and wanted to go back up the road to the third thrift store in town, but it closes at 4:30 every day, and it was then 5pm. Crap on a muffin. So we got the groceries we initially went there for, at the No Frills store. Got a bunch of things, and returned home.

Watched the news and Inner Space. I installed the thing for the shower. Watched a couple episodes of "Hap and Leonard" on Netflix. Patricia was on the chesterfield/couch/sofa/davenport/settee sleeping. She toddled off to bed and I came down here to my home office to write this blog post.

Tomorrow, the plan remains to go to the archives. Let's see if I keep my promise.

See you tomorrow.


Thursday, March 30, 2017

Post 3528 - Thursday

Past 11pm.

I am off tomorrow. A three day weekend beckons.

As things stand I think I will be spending at least part of my Friday at the Archives researching more unsolved murders and maybe some media stuff, to boot. Patricia has one, maybe even two, Pilates classes to make up and wants to do some shopping after that, so she can just drop me off and boot scoot around the city. I filled up the gas tank today, so we will see how much petrol she burns tomorrow.

We have spent a quiet evening at home. Both of us dozed off in front of the telly. We had a late dinner. We had sampled some potstickers from Costco a couple of months ago and bought a bag of them. I cooked the contents tonight. They are mostly tasteless. Do you want some?

I think I will turn in. Not working tomorrow, but my dance card is filling up any way.

See you then.


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Post 3527 - Wednesday

Past 10pm.

I just sent off my latest media column to my editor at Frank. There is a fair amount of original research in this column, so there is information here you will not find anywhere else, guaranteed. So when the new issue comes out next week, just march your arse to your local news agent and get a copy, why don't you?

A typically long day at work. Worked on my column during my lunch hour. And, after work, I had to hang around for another hour while Patricia was getting a facial. That gave me another hour to finish my rough draft. After we got home I printed off that draft and revised it over dinner. I took a break at 8 and watched "Designated Survivor" before coming downstairs to my home office where I wrote the final draft. I sourced the photographs, a couple of which came from the Archives, and emailed the pics and the article to my editor a few minutes ago.

The rest of the night is all mine. Mine! Mine, I tell you!

Hmm? It's 10:30, and I have to get up in seven hours?


See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Post 3526 - Tuesday

Past 11pm.

Was gonna do hell and all tonight but did almost nothing. Well, watched "Innerspace" and "Making History". "The Flash", and to top it off, the series finale of "Bones".

I never watched that show on a regular basis. Out of the 246 or so episodes they made, I watched maybe 24 of them. Just never really grabbed me. But I decided to watch the finale just to see where the characters would end up. The answer is, pretty much where they were before the final two parter. Their lives will go on, but will no longer be televised.

David Boreanaz already has a potential new job. If the latest pilot he is in is picked up he will have another job for another 10 years or so. He is one of the luckiest actors out there. Most would kill for a full time job. He has been on the air for 20 years now, except for a break after "Angel" was canceled and before "Bones" started.

Anyway, enough of that. Tomorrow promises to be a busy day. During my lunch hour I will have to be writing my latest Frank column. One of those times when I have more material than I can likely squeeze in, so an item or two may be dropped. There will be material in that column you will find nowhere else. I promise.

I guess I will turn in. Have to get up for work in six hours.

See you tomorrow.


Monday, March 27, 2017

Post 3525 - Monday

About 9:40pm.

I am not sure where the day went. We got up and got ready for work. We worked. After work, I bought fixings for dinner and cooked it when we got home. We watched this week's episode of "Billions". Then, believe it or not, 20 minutes or so of "Dancing with the Stars". My mother loved that show. Every time I chance upon it when I am flipping channels, I smile and think of her.

I think I am fighting something the last couple of days. My throat has been a little scratchy, and I think I am narcoleptic. So, if you will excuse me, I think I will turn in.

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Post 3524 - Sunday

Past 10:30pm.

Sorry I didn't write on Saturday. I turned in much, much earlier than I meant to.

Saturday morning I went to the Public Archives, there to find some articles about unsolved murders and missing persons cases. I found quite a bit including a couple articles about a Halifax who went hunting in February of 1953 and has never been seen since.

I was re-reading Tim Bousquet's "Dead Wrong" series last week, at least the four parts that have run so far. It's been a year since the most recent chapter ran, and I hope that he resumes the series soon. But I digress.

In part four, Tim discusses unsolved murders of women going back to the 1970's. More than once he cites a series that ran in the Halifax Daily News back in 1991. When I realized that the Archives has 20+ years of that much-missed paper, I was a Bevboy on a mission.

After a couple of hours looking through three different microfilms I found all six parts of that series. That is a good thing. They now reside on my dropbox, which is an even better thing.

Turns out that this series from 1991 also reported some stories that I have covered in Frank. The Michael Resk and Vincent Pius Griffin murders are both discussed. I investigated them last year. In the Daily News piece, the writer, Rod Roberts, reported something that had not occurred to me when I wrote about Vincent Griffin. I wish I had.

Tim Bousquet says that to this day he considers Roberts' pieces from 1991 to be some of the best and most detailed coverage of unsolved murders in Halifax. I mostly agree with him. The first four articles are full-page affairs. The remaining two pieces are much shorter. Even the second article, about Michael Resk, uses a couple of overly-large pictures to fill a full page. I think Roberts was unable to find much information about some of those cases and had to resort to a few tricks to fill pages.

I can tell you that this is not unusual. It is very difficult to investigate these unsolved murders and do it in a way that provides new information and original research, which are two goals that my editor and I want to do each and every time. That's why I can't do one of these articles for every issue of Frank. Sorry, folks. I do my best.

Anyway, after four and a half hours of researching this stuff and finding a few odds and sods for my media column, my stomach was grumbling. I didn't realize it was after 2:30! Time just flies by when I am focused on finding this stuff. I ended up going to the Hali Deli on Agricola Street. We have been there a few times. It is not a fully authentic Jewish deli, but it is the closest to one we likely will ever have in Halifax. As I understand it, true Jewish deli's do not serve milk products, so the vanilla shake I slurped up would be a dead giveaway. I also had a smoked meat sandwich. If there is a better place to get a smoked meat sammich in Halifax, please let me know. I am standing by waiting for your response.

It is past 11pm. I really should hit the hay. Four day work weeks seem to feel like six day ones.

See you tomorrow.


Friday, March 24, 2017

Post 3523 - Friday

Past 10pm.

The weekend is here. The weeks go by slowly. Then, some kind of time warp opens up and the next two days fly by. I don't understand it at all.

My plan is to go to the archives Saturday morning and spend more than a few hours there. The Archives now has its microfilm indexes online, so a fella can type in the name of the newspaper he wants to find stuff in, and then search through that resulting list to find the microfilm box number that contains the desired date(s). Saves the time it takes to do that at the actual Archives. That was a wonderful idea. A pip pip cheerio and all that tommy rot to the folks who decided to do that.

Patricia will likely hang back here at the house tomorrow whilst I am off researching. At least when I am there working alone I don't have to wonder if I am boring another person, just myself.

One thing I learned today is that the old Daily News exists on microfilm there, at least 22 years or so of it. The paper ran through May or so of 2008, and they have issues from 1974 to 1995 or something like that, so a pretty good run of the paper. They always covered crime stories far, far better than the Chronicle Herald ever did. The Herald, for the most part, treated crime as if it were tawdry and beneath them. You wouldn't know there was crime in Halifax by reading that paper. The Daily News changed that, and forced the Herald to start covering crime as well. Competition is a very good thing.

I am excited by the prospect of going to the Archives tomorrow morning. I wish Saturday would just hurry the hell up and get here.

Anyway, after work tonight, I cashed my latest cheque from Frank Magazine. We went to Costco so Patricia could get some meds and so we could get some of the best potato salad this side of Heaven. I wandered by the electronics, as is my wont, and saw they were selling an Acer Iconia One 7 for something like $67. I didn't get it but researched it when I got home. Turns out that this is likely a worse tablet than the Samsung Lite I got in 2015, which is slower than frig and a frustrating experience to say the least.

After that we drove over to Value Village. I always go to the book section. You get five books, and the cheapest one of the lot is free. I got a vampire anthology edited by Otto Penzler, a couple Nova Scotia books, a hardcover book about the 50th anniversary of CBC television, and an oversized paperback about Curly Howard, of the Three Stooges. Nearly unprofessional looking, but it contains lots of family photos and interviews with at least one of his daughters. The five books cost me around $21.00.

Got home. Got in our jammies. Watched the Fifth Estate, which after too many years of spending a full hour on one story has gone back to having two or more stories during its hour. There is much less padding in the stories now, and that is a very good thing. The second story was especially compelling, about a missing persons case that is finally being considered a homicide. At the end of the program, they announced that their youtube channel has a special focus now on the many missing persons cases they have covered over their many years on the air. I must watch them while they're up.

Here's a link to the channel. You're welcome.

Think I will turn in. See

See you tomorrow.


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Post 3522 - Thursday

Past 10pm.

Didn't write last night because my body pretty much shut down quite early. I attended my Toastmasters meeting last night. It ran over time. Driving home took more out of me than normal. Managed to watch Designated Survivor before pretty much collapsing.

Today was busy. My backup is on vacation, so that means I can have tasks stack on top of each other. That hasn't happened yet this week, but the work week is not over yet.

Can't believe that tomorrow is Friday already. Where has the week gone? My goodness, are we heading into a time warp or something?

Time for bed.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Post 3521 - Tuesday

Past 10pm.

I didn't write last night because I wasn't feeling very well. There is some kind of bug going around.

As it turns out there is not much going on. I get up. Go to work. Do the work presented to me. Leave work. Go home. Eat something. Either try to do some stuff for my Frank work or flake out in front of the television. Or some combination of the two.

A couple words about the true crime articles I do for Frank. People think these cases just present themselves. They are the result of hours of digging and scratching and hoping that I can find someone associated with the crimes who's willing to talk to me on the record. You know, a member of the family or close friend or something. I can spend hours and find nobody. Or, I can find someone, and he decides he doesn't want to talk to me after all. It is very disappointing and frustrating.

So, if you know of any unsolved murder or missing persons cases in Nova Scotia that I haven't written about, if you know anyone who might be willing to talk to me regarding such a case, then please write me here. Thank you.

I admire people like Ann Rule or Max Haines or any of the other people who write true crime articles for a bloody living. Well, maybe not Haines. I despise his writing style. But at least they do have to worry too much about coming up with material for their stories.


I think I will call it a night before I start begging.

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, March 19, 2017

Post 3520 - Sunday

Pushing 10:30.

Didn't get up until 10. Had been awake for a while. Laying there thinking about stuff.

I cook haddock for brunch. Washed the dishes while Patricia watched that Atlantis special on the Discovery channel. Later on we watched a couple episodes of Netflix's Iron Fist. I will say this much about the show. Of the four Marvel Netflix series (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist), this is the only one that is holding Patricia's interest. We have watched the first six episodes. These are the same episodes released to critics prior to the release of the whole series on the 17th. Critics have been dumping on the show something fierce. I concede that they should do something about the pacing, and there is a little too much of the kung fu mumbo jumbo, but overall, it is not bad at all. Not the piece of junk that critics are making it out to be.

Another work week beckons. Yippee. Can hardly wait.

See you tomorrow.


Saturday, March 18, 2017

Post 3519 - Saturday

About 10:45pm.

We did a whirlwind trip to the valley today. Had a couple errands to run in the morning.

Afterward we went to lunch at Callister's in Coldbrook. I remember the place being much better a few years ago. Mom and I used to go there quite frequently. Today's roast turkey dinner was disappointing. The turkey had clearly been cooked some time before and then frozen in anticipation of the day/week/month/year it would be required.

We had better luck down the road at Guy's Frenchy's. Patricia got some nice outfits. I just walked around outside and sat in the car and listened to the satellite radio.

After that, we just kept driving, ending up in Berwick. We ended up dropping by Betty and Earle Fuller's place. Their son, Lyndon, went missing in 1988. Last Summer I wrote a 4 page article about his disappearance in Frank. One of the biggest missing persons cases in this province, ever. Betty wasn't feeling well. Earle was at a funeral. We didn't stay. But Betty did invite us to come back again. She is a very nice lady.

So, we ended up going to the North Mountain Coffee Shop not far away. Very nice place. Just Us! coffee is getting tiresome so we may switch brands to these guys. We wandered up the street to the health food store before returning to the car. We had to admit that Berwick had become an interesting, eclectic place. Like a smaller Wolfville. Next time we visit, which will be soon, we will go to the Union Street Cafe for lunch.

We drove back to Coldbrook and went to Books Galore. Patricia got a few books. I didn't get a doggone thing, which surprised us both. Drove back to the house. Retrieved my little kit bag and a few other things and drove to New Minas. Dropped off a few things at the environment depot before bopping over to Wolfville. The grocery store beckoned so we got some things in there. There are always good deals there.

On the way back home we went to the Bayer's Lake Superstore. Got some Newbie food. Returned home. Newbie was nonchalant but pounced all over us within five minutes of being fed. We watched the current episodes of The Good Fight and Billions. And now, after a very long and trying day, we are turning in.

You have a good night, my lovelies. Talk to you soon.


Friday, March 17, 2017

Post 3518 - Friday


Long week. Exhausted. I will tell you about today, and tomorrow, tomorrow.

See you then.


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Post 3517 - Thursday


Patricia had Pilates after work, so I had to hang around my work until after six pm. I got a few extra work things done and just made sure things will be in tip top shape for tomorrow.

I also spent some time on the Facebook page that has really captured my interest in recent weeks. It is the Vintage Paperback and Pulp  Forum. You will find plenty of old covers from old paperbacks that you may or may not recall.

Some of the authors  who wrote stories published in those books are starting to chime in. Just today, Ron Goulart answered one of my questions, about a short story he wrote 50 or so years ago, called "Granny". One of those stories that you cannot quite get out of your head once you've read it. I read it a very long time ago in either an issue of Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, or in a Dell Hitchcock paperback anthology from the 1970's.

I recently chanced upon a Hitchcock anthology in a used book pick up box at the New Minas Sobeys. They sell used books for 25 cents each. I was rummaging through the box a few months ago and pulled out that book, bedraggled, pages wanting to fall out, but decided to check out the table of contents. When I saw that "Granny" was in it, I got the book. The story still holds up, creeping me out in ways it didn't when I first read it a whole bunch of years ago. And, just today, its author confirmed an aspect of that story for me. Which creeped me out even more.

You will find lots of other books about lots of other topics, some of which you might find challenging to your good taste. Be warned. But if you find it interesting, then be prepared to spend a lot of time there.

If you just can't get enough of looking at old book covers, then you should also check out the BookScans database. You can thank me later.

I think I will turn in. My backup is on vacation for the next week and a half so I will likely be a bit busier than normal for a while. Need my rest.

See you tomorrow.


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Post 3516 - Lethal Weapon Thoughts

Past 10pm.

Just finished watching the season finale to Lethal Weapon. We have been watching the show all season and liked it quite a bit. But, there was something missing.

In the original four films starring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, there was always some irredeemably bad guy in them. Someone who was evil incarnate. Nothing nuanced here. Just a really, really bad guy, with the possible exception of Jet Li in Lethal Weapon IV. We can argue that point if you want.

The tv show had the bad guys of the week, but not until toward the end of the season did we get an idea that there was an overarching mythology associated with the show. Not much carried over from week to week.

They blew all that out of the water tonight.

Not only do we get bad guys we can all hate and scream at as Riggs and Murtaugh fight back, but a character on the show since day one was revealed to be something else. A really fancy bit of footwork there.

If you had any reservations about the Lethal Weapon show, if you loved the films and figured the show would suck, then please banish that notion from your noggin and catch up on the show. Stay home this weekend and catch it on demand.

Oh, "Designated Survivor" was on tonight, too. That was also quite good.

And, I sent in my latest Frank column.

A hat trick of fun.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Post 3515 - Tuesday

Past 10pm.

Wasn't feeling well Monday night. I pretty much slept the night away. Sorry about that.

This is March Break week in Nova Scotia. No schools are open. It means that an awful lot of people are off work with their kids. As a result, traffic is a breeze. Maybe slightly heavier on the way home, but in the mornings, we just sail on through. We didn't leave the house until a moment or two before 7. By 7:30, I was pulling into the parking lot at my work. This was after driving Patricia to within a block of her work and doubling back to where I hang out during the day. A guy could get spoiled.

Plenty of people are off at my work today. This means there is no queue in the men's room. There are far more men at my work than women. I don't have the ratio or anything, but there are more of us than there are of them. The men's room on my floor has two urinals and four stalls. There are times when they are all being used and people are lined up with worried expressions. That is not happening this week. No worried expressions.

I think we have been lucky today in other ways. The much-vaunted storm that was supposed to nail us hard today hasn't been that bad. It is windy this evening, but the snow has already stopped. By the time we get up in the morning, what snow fell earlier will have been washed away by the rain. That means that the young man down the street from me will have to go a little while longer without more of my hardly-earned money. I will make it up to him. Well, maybe not. But you know that thoughts count for something or other.

I have a busy day tomorrow.Work. TM. And finishing my latest media column for Frank. I should probably turn in and make sure I am all pretty for that.

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, March 12, 2017

Post 3514 - Sunday

Past 10pm.

I wish I could say I did heck and all today, but I did very little. The time change kicked me arse. I slept in late, and took a nap this afternoon.

We did manage to watch this week's SNL, though. Scarlett Johannson was the co-host. Many of the skits were screamingly funny. I will never think of Olive Garden commercials the same way again.

Heading into another Frank deadline week. Yikes.

I am still a little drained from the time change. Think I will turn in.

See you tomorrow, my lovelies.


Saturday, March 11, 2017

Post 3513 - Saturday

Past 11:20pm.

Didn't write last night because my body shut down around 8pm. I did awake around 3:00am this morning. I had been corresponding with someone last night about the Twelve Tribes, those crazy religious people who spirit away gullible, naive people and, among other things, turn them into veritable slaves. I am of the belief that they kidnapped a Nova Scotia man some time ago, if not more than one person. One of my better true crime articles in Frank was about this story. There may be some copies left at the Frank Bunker, so if you are interested, contact my editor.

Anyway, when I woke up this morning I clicked on the links he had sent me whilst I was asleep. They were links to old tv shows/newscasts featuring the Northeast Kingdom Community Church/Twelve Tribes. A couple of them were from the old Journal series that ran on CBC television throughout the 1980's and well into the 1990's. Keith Morrison was the co-host, and he has been at NBC for a long, long time now.

Parts of the broadcast were about the church's attempts to establish a colony in Nova Scotia, Barrington Passage. I know they were in Berwick, and knew something about Barrington Passage. I am not sure where else those crazy bastards were when they were in the province.

I watched those videos on my phone. It was pushing 4am. I had seen them away from Patricia so I didn't disturb her, luckily. But by that time, it was hard to fall back asleep. I found a way.

This morning, Patricia had a class about seeds. I spent that time at the archives researching some future true crime stories for Frank. Didn't find that much. I need to spend a full day there digging through more newspapers on microfilm than I was with less than two and a half hours today.

Afterward, we grabbed some lunch and then went to Chapters in Bayers Lake. It was getting busy there, so we returned home. I printed off here the articles I had downloaded to usb at the archives. I think it costs money to print off stuff at the Archives, but you can write to a thumb drive at no cost.

We watched all six episodes of that CBC production, Pure. It was shot in the province during the Summer and Fall. A ridiculous story line. It's about a community of Mennonites who get involved in the drug trade. For some reason, Rosie Perez shows up from time to time to deliver the world's worst Texan accent.

Also watched the pilot for "Taken", which was another Canadian-shot show. I think I can spot a Canadian-shot show. It looks cheap. The story lines are goofy. And everybody looks cold. The CW shows that film in Vancouver try to overcome those qualities, but do not always succeed.

Clocks go forward tonight. With all the clock radios in the house, that is a major undertaking. Think I will get started.

See you tomorrow.


Thursday, March 9, 2017

Post 3512 - Thursday

Past 10:30.

A busy day at work. And a busy one here at home. I have spent the last nearly 3 hours working on an upcoming article for Frank. Just sent in the draft to my editor. Hope he likes it. I will let you know when it runs.

I'm off on Friday, but I have already booked part of my dance card for the day. I have to get up much earlier than I'd like to, in order to run an errand. I will come back here and sleep afterward.

Man, why is the wifi so crappy in this part of the house? It's at like 58%, and the router is just one floor down. It'd likely be a better signal on the top floor. Frigging fibre op.

Tim Horton's Roll-Up-The-Rim-To-Win is likely wrapping up soon. I have only won a single coffee this season. A guy at work keeps giving me his cast off winnings. Some of those potatoes they sell, and a donut. There are terrific prizes this year, but I have not had a sniff of them.

I am wondering, my Canadian readers. What is the biggest prize you have ever won from this contest? The biggest prize a friend of yours has ever won?

Years ago, an old man who used to work for my father, and who died not long after Dad did, won an iPod. He wasn't sure what it was, and hadn't a clue how to use it. I think he was going to give it to a nephew or something. He was perhaps hinting for me to buy it, but I didn't want it. Of course, phones today have all kinds of songs on them. And I still have a Sansa Clip Plus, which has 4gb on board and can accommodate up to... 16gb of additional storage. Can hold thousands of songs. But it also has a built-in FM radio. I use that feature all the bloody time. People think I'm listening to a box of Chiclets.

Do they still make Chiclets?

I think I will turn in. Early day tomorrow.

See you then.


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Post 3511 - Wednesday

Past 10pm.

Hi. Did you miss  me?

I wasn't feeling well on Monday night. I pretty much slept the night away. I took a sick day on Tuesday, so no blog post. And, now, here we are.

Since I last wrote, we did a day trip to the Valley. That was on Saturday. I wanted to make sure I had paid off the man who plows out the driveway at my other house. I also investigated some interesting stories for an upcoming Frank media column. It was getting late after the trip to the Guy's Frenchy's in Coldbrook, so we decided to stay the night in the Valley. Netflix and Plex came in handy.

Sunday, around lunch time, we dipped into Wolfville to check out the IGA store and got some half priced items, and some meats at 30% off. Worked out well.

Sunday, we... frig I don't remember. I remember it was fun. Did we go anywhere? Maybe we just stayed inside. I am sure I will think of it later on. Patricia, honey? What did we do on Sunday?

As I stated, I was feeling poorly on Monday. We got home on Monday and that was about it.

Tuesday, I stayed home and rested all day.

Returned to work today.

Now, you're caught up.

First thing Monday we took the car in to the dealership. It was close enough to its 6000 km oil change that we decided to get it done. They were finished by 10:30. They even threw in a cursory car wash. We can once again see what colour the car is!

We have Friday off this week. Just one more day, and I am off for three days. Looking forward to that little break. I plan to go back to the Archives and research some stuff that I will tell you about at a later time.

I think I will turn in, folks.

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, March 5, 2017

Post 3510 - Sunday

Pushing 9:30.

We have had a busy weekend. And I am too bushed to tell you about it this evening. How about I tell you about it, tomorrow?

Yeah. Let's do that.

See you then.


Friday, March 3, 2017

Post 3509 - Friday

Past 10pm.

We are finally back home. We went to Value Village after work. Hung around there until 6:30 or so. Patricia offered to pay for dinner and whispered something about Swiss Chalet. Despite the crowds and the lack of parking, we found a space by the Smitties and wandered over.

We were told we'd have to wait 10 minutes or so for a table. Patricia went to the washroom. I was trying to hook up my phone to the wifi when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I looked up and smiled. It was my old friend Elliott and his wife Sandy.

Elliott retired from my work at the end of January. Patricia joined us and we kept chatting. When our table became available, we invited them to sit with us, and they agreed.

Then followed a couple of hours of very pleasant conversation. He is now happily retired. He looks several years younger. Much more relaxed and happy.

Had an excellent time. We must do this again, and soon.

Around 9pm, we left Swiss Chalet and made our way to our cars and drove home. Newbie was waiting by the door, his tail slapping against the wall, probably wondering where his humans had been all day.

Tomorrow promises to be a very long and busy day. I think I will turn in.

You guys have a good one. See you tomorrow.


Thursday, March 2, 2017

Post 3508 - Thursday

After 9:30.

Another long day behind me.

Patricia had Pilates class after work. I hung around my work until 6:15 or so. I was FB messaging with the father of a missing man, one of the cases I have discussed in my Frank series.

I spent a bit of time as well trying to track down the next case to write about. There is always a next case to write about. Assuming everyone I contact wants to talk to me, I could be writing about Nova Scotia based unsolved murders and missing persons for years.

We got home and ate something. I had a shower and feel clean again. Friday awaits. The weekend is nearly here. I can hardly wait.

I am going to turn in early because Friday promises to be more of the same.

See you then, my lovelies.


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Post 3507 - Grr

Past 10:30.

Just filed my latest (and longest) media column for next week's Frank. Nice to have that under my belt.

We had our bi-weekly Toastmasters meeting tonight. It was a joint meeting, so several people from another club showed up and participated in the meeting. It was very nice to see a full meeting room. We also inducted 3 new members into the club. Another guest was leaving with a membership application.

The Grr thing comes from the parking ticket I had waiting for me when I returned to the car. I ran out of change, so the meter ran out around 5:40, 20 minutes before the parking enforcement folks call it a night. I have the pleasure of paying a $25.00 ticket, $20 if I pay it within seven days.

Fine. I will pay it, but not gladly. I don't like it. I hate going downtown at all. It galls me to have to pay for a parking space, when free parking is in abundance outside of the core. I have to wonder how many others are like me, who resent going downtown and who despise being treated like a criminal when they go there?

That is what the Grr thing is about.

I will pay the ticket in the morning. Too tired tonight.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Post 3506 - Tuesday

Past 10pm.

I was gonna do heck and all tonight. Work on my next media column, mostly. But instead I watched the current episode of Billions and The Flash. A bit late tonight to work on the column.

I got a really neat phone call today, one that will make for a very interesting entry in my next media column, and which may lead to cool spinoffs in the coming months. Keep your eyes peeled for future editions of Frank, and you will see what I mean.

I am going to turn in. I have a million things to do tomorrow.

See you then.


Monday, February 27, 2017

Post 3505 - Monday

Pushing 10:30.

I just re-filed my latest true crime piece to my Frank editor. We spoke during lunch and offered suggestions to make the article better. I made those changes this evening. I look forward to sharing it with you when it goes live in Frank next week. Part with some shekels and get it, why don't you?

I was just reading Tim Bousquet's update on Facebook. He was venting because someone had logged on to the Halifax Examiner  website, accessed some paywall'd content, and pasted it onto his Facebook feed, for all the world to see. Tim was angry because the Examiner is a hybrid pay model, with some free content, and some exclusive content you pay $10 a month to see and comment on if you wish.

I would not describe Tim as a friend, but I certainly see him around from time to time, and he has always been cordial with me. He told me he looked forward to seeing my true crime series in Frank. Whether he meant it, whether he reads it, I have no way of knowing other than by asking him, and I don't really want to do that. The words of encouragement he had for me were enough to get me started.

I do want to focus on the fact that too many people feel they are entitled to free news content. They don't know, don't realize, or just don't care, that it takes time to do this work, and that the people who do that work have to be paid, as any other professional has to be paid for his or her work.

More than a few times, people have asked me to send them my media columns, or my true crime columns. Please stop asking me. Pay for my work buying Frank at the newsstands or by subscribing to either the printed edition or the digital edition. If you do so, you can read my work to your heart's content, plus all the other cool stuff in an edition of Frank. Cut out your fave articles and glue them into a scrapbook. Get a three hole punch, use it, and place issues in a binder. Amaze your friends.

Asking professionals to work for free is insulting and offensive. I would not ask my plumber to work for free. Nor my lawyer. Not my tax accountant. So why ask me to work for free? Stop doing it.

Look: You get a near-daily sample of my work at no cost. This blog, which is 3500 posts strong and which turns ten later on this year. Hundreds of hours of reading if you want to start back to day one. Let me make a buck with the other stuff. K? Thanks.

It has been a very long day. I took a short nap after dinner as I was nodding off during the news. Because of that, of course, my sleep pattern is thrown off, so I will be up awake for a few more hours. I will fall asleep just in time to get up again.

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, February 26, 2017

Post 3504 - Sunday

After 10:30.

I have spent several hours today working on my next true crime piece for Frank. I have produced a rough draft of about 825 words. I will hack and slash at it during my lunch hour on Monday and send it to my editor tomorrow evening as things stand.

This case is especially tragic. You will see what I am referring to when Frank 762 hits local newsstands on March 8th.

I did have some downtime this afternoon. We watched the third episode of The Good Fight. The show gets more compelling every week. We also watched the final two episodes of the trainwreck "Too Close To Home". I have to wonder what the production budget of this show is, but I think there are high school plays that lavish more money on their productions than this show does. They can barely afford professional actors in most of the roles. One storyline is stalled to the point where a character, injured severely during an episode in season one, spent the entirety of season two in one room recovering from those injuries. Huge storytelling issues with this show. I don't think it helps that Tyler Perry (yes, that Tyler Perry) is the show's executive producer, head writer, director, and maybe even is in control of craft services. He is in over his head.

Another work week awaits. Where do these darn weekends go, anyway? A fella could get used to this downtime.

See you tomorrow.


Saturday, February 25, 2017

Post 3503 - Saturday

Pushing midnight.

Didn't write on Friday because my old body crapped out around 10pm. Or was it 9:30? Don't remember.

After work on Friday, we went to the casino. They have a weekend buffet, so we partook of that. Afterward, we gambled away 20 dollars each. In my case, because it was the day after my birthday, I was able to select a card from the lady at guest services. The one I chose entitled me to $20 at the slot machines, so that is how much I "spent". Apparently, the most you can win is $100. The least amount? Uh, $20.

Didn't win anything appreciably. Patricia, using her own money, didn't, either. We drove home. Watched this week's "Supernatural", during which I dozed off a couple of times, and then this week's "Speechless", which I can scarcely recall, before turning in.

Today, we got up late. After lunch, we drove to Tantallon to Otis & Clementine's, which is our fave used bookstore around. I spent the gift certificate Patricia got me for Christmas. Also, I took in a book I had a duplicate of and got a couple dollars in store credit. Spent it all.

We drove as if we were going the long way around to Peggy's Cove, but instead had an early dinner at The Finer Diner. I had the lobster clubhouse, which was quite good. Patricia had the meat perogies, which I had never heard of such a thing before. She said they were good, but I didn't have any. We shared a slice of lemon meringue pie. Patricia paid and swore up and down that it was the last of my birthday prezzies. That's fine.

We drove back here and have spent a quiet enough evening. We watched Netflix and Crave TV. The turn around time between a film being in theatres and hitting Netflix is barely six months now. We watched "Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates", one of those raunchy comedies that didn't have quite enough raunch to make me happy. Whilst Patricia was on her tablet, I watched a "Netflix original" called "Gilfriend's Day" starring Bob Odenkirk. I am not sure if this was even a film. The running time was under 70 minutes. B movies from the 1940's ran longer than what I watched tonight. There are many cameos from people who are probably good friends with Odenkirk. He plays a greeting card writer who is fired because he doesn't have the stuff any more. Then, he is threatened into writing one last greeting card for a new holiday called "Girlfriend's Day". It is about as funny as you might imagine. It is about as engaging as you might imagine. I am not sure why this film was even made. I am not sure why it is even a film at all.

Anyway, we topped off the night with a couple episodes of "Angie Tribeca", courtesy of Crave TV. Because we threatened to quit our Bell Fibe service last month, they made nice with us by giving us free Crave TV for a year, along with free HBO Canada and the The Movie Network and one other free movie service. I wish I could threaten to quit Nova Scotia Power and get a cool result like this.

I have to get up relatively early Sunday morning. I will tell you why tomorrow night.

See you then.


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Post 3502 - Happy Birthday

Past 10pm.

Yes, it is my birthday today. I am... sigh, 53 years old.

I never imagined I would get this old. I didn't have a death wish or anything. It just seemed like an impossible number when I was a teenager. Anybody who was 40 was old. Someone 40 is like a kid to me, now. It's all relative.

I did decide to attend Les Muise's funeral. Work was piling up, but I thought it could all wait, and it did. The one client who was sort of on my case because I hadn't given him split-second service apologized to me when I told him I had been at a funeral.

Anyway, Les' funeral was nice. Understated, and a little bland for my tastes. The funerals I "like" the most are the ones where family members and friends stand up and talk about the deceased, warts and all. Today, the priest just told a few anecdotes gleaned from the obituary and maybe scribbled on a napkin before the funeral started.

I did learn a bit more about his death. Apparently he was out getting groceries with his mother last week, when he suddenly collapsed. He was like gone before he hit the ground. Just. Like. That. On the one hand it meant he did not suffer. On the other hand, his family had no time to prepare, and it would have been a massive shock to them all. I don't know which way is the best to go. I don't know which one I would choose for myself. Maybe a combination, if that is possible.

I had a couple finger sandwiches and treats at the reception, introduced myself to Les' daughter, signed the guest book, and left. I dipped into Fairview to the "Best Choice Chinese Food" place, because I had not eaten there in some time and didn't want to go back to work on a relatively empty stomach. Pulled into their parking lot about 11:50 and learned that they do not open until noon. I left, and returned to work, and got caught up on the things I had missed while I was gone.

Patricia had her Pilates class after work, so I hung around my work until 6:20 or so before picking her up. We got some food at the Young Street Superstore. I recognized my former neighbour, former Global TV's sportscaster Stacey Jones, and she remembered me. Wished me a happy birthday. That was nice, too. I miss having her as a neighbour. It was neat having an actual tv celebrity just up the street. Jamie Bradley lived at the other end of the street when I first moved here, by the way. Remember him from Street Cents and local Improv groups?

We didn't really do much for my birthday, today. That will happen over the weekend. We will be going to a roast beef dinner at a local church, and then to a movie. I wanna go to Otis  & Clementine's, the bookstore in Tantallon, so I can spend the gift card Patricia got me for Christmas.

A birthday is a funny event. I am older now. My parents are gone. I have nothing to do with my sisters. Or, maybe, they have nothing to do with me. We have nothing to do with each other. Yeah, let's go with that. While that bothers me a bit, it doesn't bother me as much as I thought it would. It feels nice not to have to grit my teeth and tolerate them for all the years I had to when Mom and Dad were alive to rein me in. Life could be better. It could be worse. Middlings.

I think I will turn in. Another record breaking birthday draws to a close.

See you tomorrow.


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Post 3501 - Wednesday

Past 11pm.

The work day ended suddenly this afternoon when the power went out on our street. Some folks were doing some work and clipped the power line outside. I don't know about the Superstore across the street from my work, with all those lovely meats and cheeses going bad, but the metro deli, where I was at the time the power actually went out, probably ended up throwing things out.

I ended up going to Staples to get some reinforcements for looseleaf. I have been going through a pile of those little hole covers since I keep actual paper notes for most of my Frank work, in a big binder, and need to protect the sheets from just falling out.

After that, I drove downtown and was lucky enough to find a parking space. I went to Maritime Centre, where Patricia worked. She took a break and we met up at Dust Jacket Books and then wandered over to the foodcourt. That whole area will become a parking lot in the coming months. All the retail and food vendors will have to move upstairs, into a space that hasn't been configured just yet. They are spending a pile of money to bring the building into the 21st century. About time.

We chatted for a bit, and then I returned to DJ Books. I learned that the owner, Renee Lewis, succumbed to her pancreatic cancer in January. The store itself, her baby, is in a state of flux. In the next six weeks or so the family will make a decision.

If they shut the place down, they have to do something with the, what, 10 000 books or so in the joint, plus all the books Renee told me she had back at her home. Throwing the books into a huge number of recycling bags sounds like a lot of work. Maybe someone will buy the inventory and move the business.

If they keep the business going, or someone takes it over, there is the small matter of where to put the books. As I mentioned, they have to get out of there, along with the food court vendors, the hair place, the nail place, the lottery place, the convenience store, the flower shop, the Capitol Theatre display, and so on. The latter places apparently all have a place to go, are promised a spot in the building. But the bookstore is very likely SOL. And that big a pile of books needs to go some place that can accommodate that much stuff. At a reasonable rent. A tall order.

I bought two books there today. I got the receipt with their name at the top. I grabbed a bookmark from the place. I figure I will never set foot in there ever again. Sad.

Waited for Patricia in the car for a little while. She showed up just as the parking guys were hassling me to move the car. Apparently, between four and six pm, that section of Hollis Street becomes a tow away zone. They were getting ready to tow the car away that was parked in front of me. The one behind me was vulnerable as well. She got in the car and we scooted away.

I hate like hell parking, even navigating, in the downtown. Inconvenient. Construction is eating up many of the parking spaces. Bicycle lanes that nobody asked for take up many of the remaining spaces. The snow piles eat up many more. Is it any wonder why more and more businesses and companies are moving out of the downtown to the burbs or places like Burnside or Bayer's Lake? I don't miss working downtown, one little bit.

Nearly all of the new residential construction is geared toward people several strata beyond my price range. I am not bitter about that. I am just wondering how many people exist in that upper tier who would want to live in the downtown, given all the issues I just listed, and several I haven't?

When Patricia retires, whenever that is, she has told me several times that she would have far less reason to go downtown. I, even less than that.

I just realized something: This is the kind of blog post that Les Muise would have read and responded to in a comment. In his usual upbeat way, he'd chide me and tell me that the city will look so much better in five years once this work is done.

His funeral is tomorrow. Thinking about going. A friend told me tonight that he would know that I was thinking about him whether I went to the funeral or not. But I still think it is more respectful to go than not. I'm sure you know what I mean.

Pushing 11:30. Think I will turn in. See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Post 3500 - Happy Anniversary (I Think!)

Past 10pm.

Well, this is as close to post 3500 as I think I can get. Over the years I have mis-typed, mis-entered, mis-forgotten, the post numbers, more than a few times. I was mis-entering the post number a couple of months ago, for a period of a month or so. I gave up and entered what I thought should be the next number, and here we are. Post 3500. Thereabouts.

The dryer in Casa Bevboy crapped out some time ago. We haven't replaced it yet. We took some towels to a laundromat after work tonight. A place that has "laundromat" of the year in The Coast. The owner gave us a dirty look. It wasn't until we were leaving that he apologized and asked us to read the sign on the window as we left. Turns out that they don't want you to dry stuff there unless you have washed it there first.  We told him we would remember that for the next time we were there.

There won't be a next time.

We got home. Patricia had a glass of wine. I had a rum and coke. Thought about having a second one and decided not to. Watched the second episode of "The Good Fight" and realized that the episode was a full 52 minutes long. When it runs on Canadian tv this weekend, they will have to run it in a longer timeslot, doubtful, or they will have to cut it to ribbons. I noticed in watching the show last night that they had edited out some cussing. The version we saw tonight, besides being 52 minutes long, had plenty of cussing in it, starting with the very first line of dialogue. Cussing in texts sent to one of the characters, too.

Love the show so far, but I think I will stick with watching downloads on my Plex Media Server, so I can watch and see the cussing.

A bit of caution, though. I thought that the show starred Diane Lockhart's Christine Baranski, but there are plenty of scenes where she isn't there. I thought it was an ensemble show, but I think I was wrong, and that mildly disappoints me.

Just finished watching this week's Flash episode. The show is getting very silly. Characters were speaking like gorillas. The word "speedster" is overused. There are too many characters who can run like crazy, but you seldom see them run like crazy. Increasingly, I think they are trying to save money on the budget. You see characters about to run like crazy. Then, the camera shifts to another character's reaction to Flash/Kid Flash/Jay Garrick/Jesse Quick running like crazy before shifting back to the aftermath of the "speedster" having done some... speeding. All in a way to save some damn money. They don't have money for special effects or writers. This whole season has been a disappointment.

Complain. Complain. Complain.

I think I will turn in. Need some sleep. At least we have nice, warm towels after the shower tomorrow morning.

See you then.