Monday, December 11, 2017

Post 3616 - Bevboy's Christmas Tie Extravaganza 2017 - Day Six

Patricia had a night out at the Rebecca Cohn with her book club folks, so I took myself out to dinner. Here I am poised to eat some pasta.

And here is my server, or one of them: Janelle, although I may be totally mangling the spelling of her name. My apologies, ma'am. I gave her a blog business card, so there is a decent chance she will see this.

Day six already. What do we do for day seven?

Let's find out, tomorrow.

See you then.


Post 3615 - Two Days Later

Well, that was a fun weekend.

We went to the Valley Saturday morning. Did some stuff around the house. Saturday evening we attended a Wassail concert at the Manning Memorial Chapel at Acadia University. Choral music featuring some songs from medieval times, plus some Christmas tunes you'd find familiar, like "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing", and "Silent Night", which included a stanza in its native German. My, oh, my. We enjoyed that show tremendously.

Today, we had breakfast at the Cora's in Clayton Park. We liked the food but did not like the price. $48 would have paid for a lot of breakfast foods at the grocery store. After that, we went to Canadian Tire in Bayer's Lake and got a few things. I got cable ties for the lights I put up in 2018, so I won't have to use twine.

We got a Christmas tree as well, but we haven't put it up yet. Maybe Monday night.

Tomorrow, we return to work. These damn weekends go by too fast.

Patricia has a thing after work the next two nights. I get to be here with Newbie. We will do our nails or something.

See you tomorrow.


Friday, December 8, 2017

Post 3614 - Friday Night - Late

A day off work. We slept in like we were hibernating or something. Mid-afternoon, we decided to go to Spryfield to get a few groceries and to check out the thrift stores.

One place had two, count them, two, of those beloved GE clock radios. One of them has the blue display rather than the red one I am used to on all the other ones I own. They are the best clock radios ever built. Thirty-year-old GE clock radios can still work flawlessly, assuming you haven't dropped them off a cliff or something.

I gave one to my dad quite a few years ago, for his workshop. After his death, we executors were going through the workshop to see what we could sell for the estate. We found that radio. I dusted it off and squirted a little WD 40 in the tuning dial, and plugged it in. It has worked beautifully all this time.

Anyway, now I have two more of these awesome radios. They sell well on ebay as people covet them. There are a ton of youtube videos on these radios. There are Etsy pages galore about these radios. People revere these radios!!

I also got some books.

Tomorrow promises to be busy. I think I will turn in.

See you then.


Thursday, December 7, 2017

Post 3613 - Bevboy's Christmas Tie Extravaganza 2017 - Day Five

Gee, morose pictures, two days in a row. How much will you pay now?

So, there is a Christmas party at work. I seldom carry cash with me any more. I neglected to purchase a ticket for said party. So, while folks are at this party, having a good time, and while Patricia is doing her Pilates class, I am here at work writing a blog post and killing time until I can go pick her up.

Hence the pictures.


I will try to be happier when this series resume on Monday. I am off work on Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

See you tomorrow, with something else.


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Post 3612 - Bevboy's Christmas Tie Extravaganza 2017 - Day Four

This one is a little sad.

I am standing in front of my Toastmasters club's banner. Tonight was the final night that we will meet at our regular meeting place. The club is homeless. If we do not find a meeting place soon, the club will have to fold, during its 50th year.


I joined TM back in 1991. There were two clubs that met in the same meeting place. In 1998, we joined the two clubs into one. And, over the years, the membership dwindled to the point where we were down to just a few members. The member who has been hosting our club since 2007 can no longer do so, and we have no place to move to.

We may be toast.

I hope that is not the case. I hope we can persevere. But in case we cannot, the club lectern, the banner, and a few other things are now in my possession. My father built this lectern for us back in 2000, and I will not see it go to a landfill or anything like that.

I have devoted nearly half of my life to this club. I would hate to see it fold. On the other hand, nothing lasts forever.

We have some tips that may lead to us having a new meeting space in 2018. We will keep our fingers crossed. If you have any suggestions for a free, or very cheap, meeting space, let me know.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Post 3611 - Bevboy's Christmas Tie Extravaganza 2017 - Day Three

And, here you go:

Taken in the upstairs bathroom before I got nekkid and took a shower.

Patricia says I wear that Dell baseball hat too much. That's why I took off the hat for the last couple of pics.

I think I will have two blog posts on Wednesday. My goodness, how much will you pay now?

Monday, December 4, 2017

Post 3610 - Bevboy's Christmas Tie Extravaganza 2017 - Day Two

And here we are, at day two already. Where has the time gone?

Tonight's pics are courtesy of my webcam. I am home working on my next Frank Magazine article, whose deadline is two days from now.

I wonder if any of you can make out the titles of the books that are behind me?

As soon as the dust settles I will post more covers from books in my collection.  You guys seem to get a kick out of seeing these covers, as well as reading my thoughts about them. You guys are weird.

Gotta get back to work. Talk at ya later.


Sunday, December 3, 2017

Post 3609 - Yawn!

Late Sunday night. Spent the last 90 minutes or so transcribing part of a phone interview I did recently. Lots of good information there.

We had lots of grandiose plans for the weekend, but did nearly nothing. I did set up the Christmas lights I ordered online the other week. They are solar-powered and look pretty good for the cost and the fact that they do not run on electricity. They charge for just a few hours, and remain on all night. Amazing. I am going to order another couple of sets of them, possibly before I turn in this evening.

We did watch some stuff on the pvr. We are caught up with Lucifer, and started watching season two of "Good Behavior". And Sunday morning I watched the four part Arrowverse "Crisis on Earth-X" crossover. DC can't put out a decent movie to save its life, but the DC tv shows are all watchable at the very least.

A four day work week awaits me. Four more Christmas ties for you to enjoy. Are you not looking forward to it?

Guess I'll turn. Right after I order some Christmas lights.

See you tomorrow.


Friday, December 1, 2017

Post 3608 - Bevboy's Christmas Tie Extravaganza 2017 - Day One

Welcome to the ... tenth year for Bevboy's Christmas Tie Extravaganza!

When I started doing this in 2008, I had no idea that this would catch on. I had no idea that people would start asking me in August if I was going to do this again this year. I don't get it, but here you go.

First of all, here are the ties I have to work with.

I chose to put this one on today.

And, you know what? Hardly anybody noticed I wore a tie. On a Friday. Let me repeat this: a non-management civil servant wore a tie on a Friday, and nobody noticed.

I don't get it.

I'm a little hurt.

The weekend is here. No more Christmas ties until Monday. That's the way it work.

See you tomorrow.


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Post 3607 - Another Night At The Archives

Title pretty much says it all.

My Toastmasters meeting was cancelled tonight, so I spent that time at the archives, researching a couple unsolved murders and a missing persons case. Found some good information on one of those cases, and nearly nothing on the other two. It was not a waste of time.

People have been asking me why I do not write a Frank article about the higher profile cases, the ones that get all the press. Kimberly McAndrew. Jason McCullough. A few others.

The answer is very simple. Those cases have had so much coverage, so much ink, that I fear I cannot add anything to them. I want these cases to have some original research, content you can get nowhere else. At the very least, unearth information that hasn't been reported in a long time. I don't have a clue how I could write something about those well-known cases that hasn't been reported many times before, and relatively recently to boot.

My strong preference is to look at the cases that haven't had much coverage for whatever reason over the years. I am not always successful, but when I am, I am proud of how things turn out. The article about Ann Marie Masson, in the issue of Frank that hit stores today, is the longest such article about her and her murder that has ever been done. It's nearly 1500 words. With the pictures, it runs nearly three pages. Most of the other articles run just a few paragraphs and regurgitate the same facts over and over.

My article about poor Newt Boutilier is about the same length. It includes two other murders, both solved, along with information about Newt that had not been reported in decades. Once again, the longest article about him ever published.

The article about Lyndon Fuller, more than a year ago, runs four pages. If there is a longer article about him and his disappearance, show it to me.

You catch my drift.

The Ann Marie Masson article contains information you will find nowhere else. I urge you to go out and buy this issue of Frank and you will see what I mean.

I think I will turn in.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Post 3606 - Yawn

Is it the weekend yet?


Too bad.

Another long day at work. Tonight, I cooked dinner. To make room in stand-up freezer, we took a small bag of haddock out. That is what I cooked tonight. There are left overs for another day. Why don't you come over?

I have already got some nice feedback on the cold case article in the issue of Frank that hits newsstands on Wednesday. The article is nearly three full pages long, so it is easily the longest article about the life and death of Ann Marie Masson ever done.

If I were just a guy, a reader of Frank, these articles would be the first ones I'd read. The fact that I get to write these articles makes it all the more rewarding.

Please forego coffee for a couple of days, or make it at home, and use that money to purchase the new issue of Frank. You can thank me later.

Another Toastmasters meeting tomorrow. Those meetings come up so frequently.

See you tomorrow.


Monday, November 27, 2017

Post 3605 - What? A Blog Post Two Days In A Row? Go On With Your Bad Self!

The post title pretty much says it all. I am writing a blog post two days in a row. I have missed many days lately. I feel terrible about it. Sick to my stomach. Like, projectile vomiting time. You know, the way girls acted toward me when I was growing up.

How was your day? A regular day at work was nearly a vacation after the last few days. Crazy busy.

My latest Frank Magazine article is up. Now that it is, I will tease you with a bit of the story. It is about the 1986 murder of Ann Marie Masson, who was found dead in a rooming house on Robie Street in Halifax. There are plenty of twists and turns with this tale. She died at age 27, and was a mother of four. I was lucky enough to speak to all four of her children last week. I spoke with one of them, Thursday evening, which made the sidebar article very nearly late.

I haven't seen the online issue yet, so I can't tell you just how long the article is, but there is enough wordage there to justify two pages, without any pictures. With pics, it probably runs two and a half pages, maybe even three. Why don't you go to a store that carries Frank Magazine, come Wednesday morning, and find out for yourself? Then, we will both know. Sound like a plan?

I have begun some tentative work on my next cold case article. They are not easy to research, or write. I am not sure what piece will shake out next. I work on several articles, at the same time, until one case starts to lead the pack, shall we say.

I am still loving my model M keyboard. I feel sorry for you who have to use traditional keyboards, like the lousy stinking ones that came with whatever computer you bought recently. These mechanical keyboards take me back 30 years. What a joy to type on them. I had forgotten what I was missing. I wish I had a few more of them. I will keep looking around for them at yard sales and the like. I might get lucky.

I think I will turn in. I have to get to work on my next blog post. Which you will see... tomorrow night!

See you then.


Sunday, November 26, 2017

Post 3604 - Three Days Later

Hello. Did you miss me?

I'm sorry I haven't written much lately. I worked really late Thursday night on my latest Frank article. It is about a cold case murder, with many twists and turns. Information was still coming in on Thursday evening.

I worked on Friday. Friday night, while Patricia was at her book club meeting, I was dozing off on the living room chair, so I turned in.

Saturday morning I was up at 5:30 to drive to the Valley. I had an appointment with a gentleman. He showed up at 9, and left around half an hour later. I ended up staying the night because I was exhausted and didn't think I could drive back.

This morning I cleaned out some stuff down there. It will go out in the garbage here in the city on Tuesday morning.

Patricia and Newbie greeted me with their usual indifference this afternoon, so that was nice. We have spent a quiet number of hours together in harmony. Which is to say, I slept for quite a spell.

Back to work in the morning. Where do these weekends go, anyway?

See you tomorrow.


Thursday, November 23, 2017

Post 3603 - Two Days Later

Didn't write Wednesday night. I was toiling toward a hard Frank Magazine deadline, late into the evening. Finished the first part of that deadline during my lunch hour today. Then, some more information came in this evening. But there is no time to think about that, because the second part of the deadline is this evening. Much shorter piece this time, but I think I need a nap before I confront it.

I will try to write more on Friday. Sorry to be so circumspect.

See you soon.


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Post 3602 - Drat!

I cannot find my digital camera here in my house.

I need it for a specific purpose.

I hate when I can't find something.

Does that ever happen to you? You can't find something, and you go looking for it? But you don't find it. Instead, you find things you couldn't find the last time you went looking for them. I wish I could project myself in the future and look for yet another item, not find it, but in so doing unearth my digital camera.

I am sure some science fiction writer has written a book of three about this paradox.

At any rate.

I am charging the batteries for my video camera, the one I bought on Kijiji last year. I haven't used it in over a year, since investigating one of my cold case articles for Frank Magazine. The batteries have sat in the little pouch next to the camera since then, and slowly discharged. In the coming hours, I wil charge them again, and use the camera to shoot some video of the thing I want. Then, I will use an app to play back the video and press the short cut to "slice" off a digital picture or two. Not the best approach, but the only other one is to use the camera app on my phone, which I do not expect to produce the results I want.

So, drat!

I think I will turn in.

See you tomorrow.


Monday, November 20, 2017

Post 3601 - Well, Well!

The tip that Frank Magazine got on Friday morning that Don Connolly would announce his retirement on today's Information Morning, turned out to be right.

His last day is... about 10 weeks from now.

He said that he had planned to retire in early 2016, but an injury a year earlier derailed that, ironically enough. He was off work for a few months. He wanted to return to work with full vigour and have at least one year where he was able to give it his all. That turned out to be two full years, apparently.

Like I said last night, it is not big news when a 70 year old man decides to call it a day. It should be remembered that the previous Don, Don Tremaine, retired from the CBC 30 years ago, when he was about 58. Connolly has hung on a very long time.

The question is, who will replace him? A Facebook friend opined it could be Ian Hanomansing from the National. That program is going off the rails with four hosts, him being one of them. I think the CBC is already looking for a way out of that. Offering Ian a good morning show post would be a good move for them, but not a good career move for Ian. He could only see it as a demotion.

I think that Louise Renault, Don's current co-host, could easily elevate to the main position. She is terrific at everything she does. I don't know what her knowledge base is on things like politics and so on, but she could get up to speed easily.

Otherwise, who? Norma Lee MacLeod, perhaps? She is wasted on Maritime Noon every day. A harder news show would right up her alley.

Or, maybe the CBC will look to another market for a successor to Don.

I have no idea. But it will be interesting.

What are your thoughts?

Man, I have to get that full, unexpurgated Don Connolly interview dusted off and published here. Frank Magazine only ran about 40% of it a couple of years ago.

I think I will turn in. Lots to do and think about.

See you then.


Sunday, November 19, 2017

Post 3600 - The 3600th Post!

Well, we had our tenth anniversary party the other night. I had dearly wanted post 3600 to be also the tenth anniversary post, but that did not work out.

This is not really the actual post 3600, anyway. Over the years, on several occasions, I have lost count of the blog post, sometimes adding or subtracting hundreds in the numbering system. Sheer carelessness on my part.

At any rate, I hope you had a good day. We both slept in until quite late. This afternoon, I moved our barbecue, and some lawn furniture into Patricia's "she shed" in the back yard. Said she said is now pretty much full up. I cannot imagine getting much more in there, but at least the stuff is out of the back yard and off the deck, which looks barren and cold for the impending Winter.

I cooked both breakfast and dinner today. Who says men can't cook? Well, Patricia says I can't, but she eats it anyway.

Before I forget t mention it, if you have a mind to, I suggest you listen to Information Morning in mainland Nova Scotia Monday morning between 7:30 and 8. Frank Magazine received a tip on Friday morning that Don Connolly will announce his retirement then.

Anytime a 70 year old man calls it a day it is not news, but plenty of people will miss listening to Connolly in the morning.

I am not counting on this announcement to happen. Frank is skeptical, for example. I am, too.

But I will be listening.

I think I will turn in. Long day tomorrow.

See you then.


Saturday, November 18, 2017

Post 3599 - A Day Later


I went to the Archives today. Spent several hours looking for information about a particularly difficult missing persons case and found nada. Then, I looked into a pretty old unsolved murder case and found quite a bit I felt good when I left around 3pm.

On Friday we had gone to Gateway Meat Market in Dartmouth. Among other things, they had a sale on haddock, which is our fave fish ever. It is a food group to us. Stored it in a costco bag over night in the car, as it was cold enough. I brought the bag in before heading out this morning. When I got home, I cooked some of it for dinner. This evening, I used the machine we have to compress the remaining packages of fish in place so it can freeze without incurring freezer burn. Ditto for some chicken.

We watched some tv this evening. And I have been down here in my home office upgrading my dropbox account. I now have 1TB of storage, which is easily 10x more than I will ever need, but it is the smallest package they sell. Once I had done that I uploaded some stuff to it. I use Dropbox a lot.

Got a nice quick email from Max Allan Collins this evening. He was pleased to learn that I write about unsolved murders and missing person cases, and that my interest in crime fiction is what sparked this interest in true crime. He will link my blog post from the other to his own blog this coming Tuesday. I will likely get hundreds of extra hits on that blog post in the coming days. I promise I will not forget the little people who put me here.

I have worked hard the last couple of days. I think Sunday I will do very little. I need a day off.

See you tomorrow.


Friday, November 17, 2017

Post 3598 - Happy Tenth Anniversary To Bevboy's Blog

First of all, read this.

Yep. That was the first blog post, which was ten years ago to the day.

I had very much hoped that post #3600 would be tonight's post, but I wasn't feeling well enough today to write throughout the day. We ran the roads and that tuckered me out. Slept much of the evening away. Post 3600 will be here in good time.

So, anyway, the tenth anniversary.

I started this blog after I felt unwelcome on a message board run by a man named Tony Isabella. He all-but accused me of exulting in the death of another man who had died suddenly. This man died of the very thing that nearly killed my father in 2000, so what Tony wrote cut me to the quick and made me realize that I did not want to hang out there any more.

And, yet, I felt a need to express myself. I decided that, since everybody else had a blog, I might as well have one, too. Since people have been calling me "Bevboy" since 1988, to distinguish me a woman in my office also named Bev, and since I like alliteration, I decided to call it Bevboy's Blog.

Originally, I was using the actual digitized photograph of myself when I was 11 years old. By 2009, I had hired a caricaturist to take the photo and produce the current Bevboy image, the one that is on this blog, my Facebook, and on the thousands of Bevboy's Blog business cards I have on hand and which I have handed out to folks over the years. It remains the case that I will mail a fistful of these business cards to anybody, anywhere in the world, if they but ask me to do so. No charge. Write me here, tell me who you are, and what your address is. You will get Bevboy's Blog business cards toot sweet.

The blog began slowly. I was trying to find my way. I was trying to understand what to make this blog about. I wanted it to be a blog of general commentary about my life and the things that happened to me while I lived it. The question was, could I do it? The nagging self doubt would not go away.

I had interests in radio and have written many blog posts about what was happening in the local radio scene. For years I would interview local radio folks and run those interviews here. I eventually caught the eye of the editor of Frank Magazine, who hired me to write a column about the local media scene. Being hired to write stuff in exchange for actual money was something I didn't dare dream could happen, but because of this blog, it did. And, now, I write about unsolved murders and missing persons for Frank, and it is some of the most rewarding work I have done.

I have written about my fear of metaphors. Those things scare me to death. I don't like them. They lie and cheat and steal, and I wish they did not exist. Similes, on the other hand, are an underutilized narrative device, and I wholeheartedly endorse their use.

I have questioned for years the logic behind "women and children first", and wrote about it here, which I know ticked some people off who don't like such fundamental questions being asked. I don't care. I believe that fundamental questions need to be asked about any subject. Just because something has always been done a certain way, doesn't mean you have to keep doing it that way.

I could go on.

The blog has been good to me over the years. I have written about the deaths of my parents. They helped me get through a bad time in my life. I did the "year in review" series, where I would write about a given year in my life in as much detail as I could recall. People still tell me how much they liked it.

I have worked hard, day in, day out, over the last ten years to produce the best work I can for you. That 4.7 of you read it every day, makes me feel good.

And you know what?

I am not done yet.

I don't know if blogs will still be a thing in 2027. I don't know if I will still be a thing in 2027. I just know that I still have things I want to say, and this is the place to do it.

I hope you will come along for the ride. It gets a little lonely up here, on my soapbox, talking to myself.

See you tomorrow.


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Post 3597 - Ugh

Yeah. I know. It's late.

Feel terrible. Went to bed very early. And, a few minutes ago, about 3:30, I was physically ill. I am not sure what brought this about, but I don't think I will be going very far on Friday.

Special blog announcement on Friday if I am up for it.

See you soon.


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Post 3596 - Yet More Books

Hmm? What's that? You want me to write about more books I own and like?

Okay. I think it's a little weird, but here you go.

I have been reading, collecting, and enjoying the work of Max Allan Collins for over 30 years. I first heard of him in the pages of Ms. Tree, a comic that he co-created and wrote in the early 1980's. I soon learned that he wrote crime and detective novels, so I started seeking them out.

I now have dozens of his books, probably about two thirds of his works. He has probably made enough in royalties from my purchasing his books to take his wife out to dinner at a nice restaurant.

These are some of my faves, although one of them I haven't actually read. There are only so many hours in the day.

"No Cure For Death" features MAC's character Mallory, a writer in Iowa who solves mysteries on the side. He has stated more than once that he finds Mallory boring, and abandoned the character some 30 years ago. I disagree with Collins on this opinion. I can tell you that "No Cure For Death" is one of my favorite novels of the 1980's. I read it in the summer of 1987 when I was living and working in Sydney, Cape Breton. The final paragraph on the last page made me smile, and still does. It was a perfect ending to what I thought was a nearly perfect book.

The Nathan Heller series is likely MAC's best known, after the Road to Perdition series. Heller is a private detective whose career spans many historical moments in American history. Collins and his researcher learn everything they can about a particular time and a particular case, and insert Heller into that storyline, extrapolating and speculating on the solution to that unsolved murder or missing persons case. The one from above tries to solve the murder of Elizabeth Short, best known as the Black Dahlia. Another looks into the disappearance of Amelia Earhart.

James Ellroy also wrote a Black Dahlia novel quite a few years ago. It is nearly incomprehensible, and it begat a nearly incomprehensible movie directed by Brian De Palma. He should have based the film on MAC's novel!

I love the Quarry series. Quarry is a former marine sniper who becomes a professional hitman following his return from the Vietnam war. MAC retired the character several years ago but continues to write Quarry novels that take place during earlier parts of the character's career. There was a "Quarry" tv show in 2016, which you should check out.

To make it easier for readers, the current Quarry novels all have "Quarry" in the title. "Primary Target", published in 1988, was retitled "Quarry's Vote" several years ago, as were the earlier Quarry novels. Quarry's been retired for a decade as our tale begins, until circumstances force him to jump back into action. I read this book when I first saw it, in 1988. I still remember snatches of dialogue!

"Spree" I also read in 1988. I recall reading chapters of it on the Dartmouth-to-Halifax-back-to-Dartmouth ferry going to and from work during a period when we had to work a bunch of (unpaid) overtime. It is a continuation of the "Nolan" series. Nolan is a professional thief, getting on a bit, who wants to do "just one last job" and retire. Each last job ends up leading to another one. Once again, Collins abandoned this character, after this novel. Once again, I think this was a mistake.

People call this "The Disaster Series". Collins used various disasters like the above, or Pearl Harbour, or the London Blitz, as a backdrop for real-life people to solve fictional murders or mysteries. "The Titanic Murders" features mystery writer Jacques Futrelle, the creator of the Thinking Machine character, who solves a couple of murders before the Titanic sinks. Futrelle died on the Titanic and is all-but-forgotten today. "The Problem of Cell 13" should be required reading for anyone who likes to read a good puzzle story.

By the way, Futrelle was not French. He was a Southern gentleman. I can only speculate that he had some Cajun roots in him, which led to his name.

So, there you have it. A very few of the Max Allan Collins novels I have. I adore this man's writing and wish more people would sample it.

All too often, people turn their noses up at mystery fiction, not realizing how rich and vital and fascinating a genre it is. It has held me in thrall for most of my life. My interest in it has made researching and writing Nova Scotia-based unsolved murders and missing persons cases all the more rewarding.

So, what are you waiting for? Start reading!

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Post 3595 - More Books

Well, well.

Dozens of  you wrote me. #BevboyDiscussesVintageBooks is trending on twitter. Plenty o' private Facebook messages hit me.

You want me to discuss a few more vintage books.


I had to read this book in university. It was a course about fantasy and Arthurian legend. The professor's interest in King Arthur bordered on the fetishistic.

The first thing we had to read, though, was The Lord of the Rings trilogy. My.God. To this day, I cannot remember being more bored by anything I have put in front of my eyeballs. People find the series engrossing, enchanting, whatever. To me, it was monotonous to the extreme. In order to keep up, which I barely did, I had to buy another book that told me who all the characters were, and what their motivations were, and so on. I would have failed the course otherwise.

My experience with "LotR" was so negative, that it has been impossible for me to even try to read another fantasy series. People go on about Game of Thrones. Haven't cracked them open. Robert Jordan's "Wheel of Time" series is in... what? 13 huge volumes. Jordan died before he could finish it. Can't read them. Haven't tried. Scared of the overwhelming ennui that awaits me.

I may be wrong. I might love those series. But that damn "LotR" series I had to read in 1986 was nearly the death of me. I told the professor how much I despised that series when I ran into him at a science fiction convention back in 1986. He acknowledged that the series is not for everyone.

There were some positive aspects to that class. In addition to the man who would go on to become a judge of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, I also remember the pretty girl who sat behind me in class. She borrowed my notes once and called me at the house to help her interpret my hieroglyphics. Talked to me before class. When I put myself down one day, she launched to my defense, which was nice, because that made one person in a row who ever did that. Probably stared at the back of my neck and sent me love thoughts during class. I never noticed her until the day of the final exam when she sat in the row ahead of me, to my left and wished me luck on my exam. It finally dawned on me that she might be interested in  me in at least the way a dog is interested in a table scrap, but I had another exam directly after that one and couldn't hang around afterward to follow up. I have never seen her since. And I don't know her name.

Anyway, this series is about books. Let's talk about some.

So, I hated Lord of the Rings. Still do. When the first movie came out, Patricia wanted to see it. I took her. I so expected to be bored, falling asleep, that I was surprised when I was able to stay awake. I believe we saw the next two movies in theaters, too. I tolerated them.

The professor then made us read several King Arthur-related novels. "The Sword in the Stone". "The Dark is Rising". Uh, "Kingdom of Summer". Maybe one other book, and then "Arthur Rex" by Thomas Berger.

Now, we're talking.

I still have the actual paperback I read back in 1986, around here someplace. I loved the book. Loved it. Laugh-out-loud funny. Screamingly funny. Like, I had to put the book down at my desk at home so I could control myself.

Before class, while Ms. I-Don't-Know-Her-Name was eyeballing me, I'd talk with the guys about the chapters we had just read. We were all laughing while trying to discuss the book.

The women in the class, however, found the book less funny. They found the story sexist. They thought that Berger was a cruel-looking, ugly man who hated women because his characters appeared to be misogynistic.

We guys didn't see it that way at all. This book remains the funniest novel I have read in my life. After the class was over, I went back to the university bookstore and bought as many of the remaining copies of the book I could afford and mailed them to friends, likely none of whom read it. I ran into the professor that year and thanked him for including the book in his class.

Thomas Berger's "Arthur Rex", as I mentioned, remains on my bookshelf. In 1993 I acquired a first edition hardcover of the novel, which is on the bookcase next to me. I love this book, and challenge all of you to go out there and read it.

Just don't ignore the pretty girl in the row behind you, okay?

See you tomorrow.


Monday, November 13, 2017

Post 3594 - A Day Spent Doing Nothing

I like these days. Just sitting around not doing much. Watched some television .Washed the dishes. Patricia made a wonderful chicken dinner with roasted Brussels sprouts, that I enjoyed more than the chicken. The chicken was awesome, of course.

We brought back a lot of food from the cottage yesterday. Stuff from the freezer, mostly. Several packages of chicken (some of it cooked today), some hamburger, more than a few packages of sausages we got for half price at Sobeys this Summer, some coffee, some other stuff. When we got back around 6:45 last night, I had lots of fun finding room for it all in the freezers. We now have enough food to last us for several months, as long as we are organized and take stuff out ahead of time to thaw so we can cook it.

I also grabbed a few books I was keeping at the cottage, and brought them back here. All my Michael Connelly Harry Bosch novels are under one roof now. I know you don't care, but I care, because I care about such things. You have to accept my quirks, people. We have been together for 10 years now! It will go so much easier for you if you just go along for the ride.

Last week, I went through my disorganized book collection and found what I think are all the other Connelly books in my collection. In doing so, I found quite a few other books I had misplaced. A particular favourite are the stories of Mr. Joe Gores, whose work I became familiar with in the pages of Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, and which I enjoyed very much. I soon learned that the man wrote novels, many of them featuring the repo-team of DKA, or Dan Kearney and Associates. Gores himself had spent many years working as a private investigator specializing in repo's. It was the San Francisco firm of David Kikkert & Associates, which he thinly disguised for his eventual series of novels and short stories.  It may sound boring, but these stories were anything but.

Here are a couple vintage covers from these vintage novels.

Okay. About the cover of "Dead Skip". You have to realize the time. It was published in 1972. Plenty of pictures of scantily-clad young women were used to sell books back then. I'm not saying it was right, but that it happened. And I don't think that the guy who wrote the cover copy meant that deadbeats who don't pay their bills are slept with. "Shagging" clearly had a different meaning in 1972 than it does now. I gather it has something to do with the sneaking around that's necessary to be successful in repossessing people's things when they don't keep the payments up.

Damn, I loved those DKA short stories in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine when I read them as a youngster. I am sure they are still over there in the bookshelves I have set aside for EQMM. I was elated to learn that Joe Gores had written actual DKA novels. And in these days of bloated, overwritten novels that could be twice as good if half as long, these novels were only a couple hundred pages, or less.

If you like, I can scan in covers from some of my other vintage books in my collection. Let me know. This was fun. I have even started a "VintageBooks" label to help you find them, should you want me to do more.

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, November 12, 2017

Post 3593 - Ugh

A very long day. A day trip to the cottage and back, with time in between devoted to removing the battery from the lawn tractor, emptying out the freezer and fridge, a lovely dinner at Sharon's Place, and then a return home.

We are both very tired.

The blog turns 10 on... November 17th I think it is. My goodness. How will we celebrate?

Let's put on our thinking caps and discuss it tomorrow,

See you then.


Friday, November 10, 2017

Post 3592 - The Weekend Is Here. And It's A Long One

My goodness, I'm bushed.

A very long work week. And what is our reward? Well, a day trip to the cottage on Saturday to shut the place down for the Winter. We may elect to stay over night, but then again, we may decide to come back tomorrow night. Depends.

After work this evening we decided to have some fun, so we went to the Casino for the buffet dinner. It was pretty good. The salmon was much better than we expected it to be. The carvery beef was delicious. The mussels tasted like more. The chicken in gravy was to die for. Only the bread pudding was disappointing. We later learned that the man who had made bread pudding as part of his job for 30 years, retired recently. The people who picked up the mantle have, well, a bit of room for improvement.

We waddled out of there and played the slots for a few minutes. I had a five dollar bill in my pocket, and that is exactly how much I gambled with. When it was gone, I stopped playing. Patricia wanted to play a second five dollar bill, but the machine would not accept it. So, we validated our parking and left.

We went to the Chapter's in Bayer's Lake to look around. I bought the current issue of Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. I used to have a lot of back issues of "IASFM" but gave nearly all of them away a couple of years ago, even the early ones edited by George Scithers, which may have been a mistake. I got the one tonight because it was the 40th anniversary issue. 40 years. I remember reading ads for the magazine's first issue when I was a much, much younger Bevboy.

I adored Asimov's writing back in the day, even the stuff that should have made me wince. In light of the recent news about Louis C.K., Charlie Sheen, Kevin Spacey, and all the others, people writing about their boorish behavior 30+ years ago should have made me take notice, but usually didn't.

Asimov, revered as a science fiction icon, and who died in 1992, also wrote quite a few mystery stories, of the puzzle variety. Someone would die, or have something stolen, and some smart arse character Asimov had created would solve the crime and make us feel stupid for not having figured it out ourselves.

He was revered, but in recent years, there have been persistent stories of his behaviour toward women, pinching bottoms, groping, that sort of thing. He would also admit to some of that crap in his writings. "I dropped off the latest Black Widower short story to the EQMM offices and chased [editor] Eleanor Sullivan around the desk", was something he wrote about with no trace of shame or guilt. The tone was jaunty if anything.

Other writers have done some things they shouldn't have. I am still not sure if the time writer Harlan Ellison groped writer Connie Willis' breast at a science fiction convention was his idea of schtick, or what it was, but Willis didn't like it very much at all. Her latest novella is in the issue of IASFM that I bought this evening, by the way.

There are so many more examples, most of which I don't know about, and will serve as a surprise if and when they do.

I also know of some things that have happened in government over the years that should not have happened, like the time a woman was informed by a male manager that her maternity leave had been "excessive", despite the complications associated with her pregnancy; or the time another woman suffering from severe migraines was reprimanded for taking too much sick time. These things both happened years ago, but those managers would likely be embarrassed if word got out about what they said back then, today. They could not get away with that stuff today.

(No. I'm not giving out names. My sources are second and third hand at best. I have no proof.)

We live in interesting times, don't we?

Time for bed. Bevboy seepy.

See you tomorrow, or Sunday.


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Post 3591 - Short And Sweet

Another very long day. Another short post.

Worked all day. After work, I went to the Archives for the better part of three hours to research some missing persons stuff. I think I may have made some progress with a very mysterious case. Following these threads through to their conclusion is very time consuming. I will have to go back again next week and continue. The archives are closed this weekend and I can't go any other day, due to my regular job.

After that was all over, I met up with Patricia at the Halifax library. She had been enthralled by Alexander McCall Smith, the mystery writer best known for writing the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency novels. He was in Halifax today. Wolfville, on Thursday. New York on Friday. And frigging Houston, Texas on Saturday. This is a punishing schedule for anybody, let alone an elderly man such as Dr. McCall Smith.

(By the way, he has a two part surname, which is why I referred to him as McCall Smith

Anyway, here are a couple of pics from tonight:

And, I'm back.

We got home around 8:45. I have been down here working on a cold case article for Frank and adding the results of tonight's archives search to my Dropbox.

I think I will turn in. Tomorrow promises to be an even more hectic day than today was.

See you then.


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Post 3590 - What? Three Blog Posts In Three Days? Impossible!

And, yet, here it is.

Three blog posts in as many days. Am I turning over a new leaf or something?

How was your day? Mine was busy. One of those days when you put your head down when you get to work, and the next thing you know, the work day is over, you've peed yourself three times because you forgot to go to the men's room, and...

Wait. That has happened to you, hasn't it? Worked so hard, so single-mindedly, that you neglected to take care of your bathroom needs? No. Oh. Okay. Never mind.

Anyway, after work, we grabbed something on the way home because nothing was out, ready to be cooked. That happens a little too often around here. We just got finished watching "Innerspace" on the Space Channel. We like the show a lot, but they recently moved it to 7pm ET from 6ET. We could watch the evening news and then jump over to the Space channel. Now, we have to wait an hour, which often means we don't see the show live anymore.

At Patricia's work they're having a big book sale in the next week or so. To raise money for the United Way. Last week, she asked me if I might have any books to donate to the sale. I thought about it and realized I had plenty such books. I have quite a few duplicates, books I have acquired more than one copy of over the years. Sometimes the cover changed, and I got confused and bought the second copy. Other times, I would just forget I already had a book, so I'd get another one. I have a lot of books.

I gave her a Sobey's bag of books on Monday morning, and two more books this morning. This evening I pulled a decent sized box out of the closet in my home office that had plenty of duplicate issues of my beloved crime fiction magazines, Ellery Queen and Alfred Hitchcock. They are digest sized magazines and contain plenty of good stories. I am hopeful that they will all sell. I am also hopeful that if they don't sell that they find a good home and do not go out with recycling or something. I hate to see good reading material go to waste.

I am sure I have more duplicates in my collection. It means that I really should sort the books according to author, thereby revealing their presence to me, so I can put them aside for trade, sale, or donation.

Tomorrow, after work, I will be at the Archives. Haven't been there for a while. Do I still remember how to research? I will let you know.

I think I will turn in a bit early.

See you tomorrow.


Monday, November 6, 2017

Post 3589 - I Love GE Clock Radios.

And here I am, a day later, writing a blog post.

Wow. A blog post last night. And one tonight. What will they think of next? How much would you pay now?

A long day at work. We have a deadline to get a certain series of tasks done, and it is keeping us busy. After work, we drove home and have been taking it easy ever since.

I was looking at my wardrobe this evening. I have purchased a lot of shirts in the last couple of months, nearly all of them from either one of the Salvation Army stores in town, or the BFM thrift store in Lower Sackville. They were purchased cheaply. About half of them were purchased during a sale when such items of clothing were two dollars each. They look great and were cheap. Everybody should buy stuff at thrift stores. It seems excessive to purchase new clothes any more.

Some of you care about this stuff, so here goes. I have replaced two of the five radios here in my home office. I brought back two smaller clock radios from the Valley yesterday. Don't worry. I still have twelve of them down there. The two I replaced were both Sony Dream Machines.

Most of the Dream Machines induce nightmares. They sound like crap, and are nearly impossible to set up.  These two sounded quite good, and were relatively easy to set up. Not as easy as all other clock radios are in this world, but by Dream Machine standards, nearly intuitive. But one was starting to act up. The radio would come on at the time I wanted it to, but the space on the bar between radio and alarm was so narrow, that I would get a combination of radio and alarm in the result, which is weird.  That radio will go to an environmental depot in short order.

The first Dream Machine is now in the upstairs bathroom, replacing a true piece of junk radio that sounded horrible. It allegedly projected the time on the ceiling, but it seldom worked. It is gone, destined for the same environmental depot. Replacing it is the Dream Machine from here. A vast improvement in every way.

So, down here, in the home office, are two GE clock radios, small and compact, that have pretty decent sound and work great. I hooked them up Sunday afternoon. They are both here at the computer desk I use for most of my blog posts.

I really must do a post or three about General Electric clock radios. The ones they made in the 1980's were real workhorses, especially the ones with the wood grain finish. I have several, and picked one up just last month. Usually just a few dollars, because people don't appreciate the quality of what they have.

I gave one to my dad quite a few years ago, to keep and use in his workshop in the house. I don't think he ever used it. After he died, we were going through his things, and found this clock radio. It was choked with dust and grime. I cleaned it off, squirted a titch of WD40 in the slot where you tune the radio to different stations, and added an even smaller amount to the place where you adjust the volume, and plugged it in. Worked perfectly. Seven years later, it remains in that workshop, and continues to work flawlessly. It is probably 30 years old, and unless someone throws it against a wall or something (which I would fight to prevent!), there is no reason it cannot last another 30 years. There is a pretty healthy market for them on ebay.

Ah, radios. Just love 'em.

On that glorious note, I think I will turn in.

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, November 5, 2017

Post 3588 - Where Was I?

Hello there, you little devils you!

I am sorry I haven't written the last few nights. Friday was a pretty busy day at work. That evening, during the news, I dozed off. I was pretty much down for the night.

Saturday morning I got up early and drove to the Valley. I had some errands to run down there, and promised Patricia I would do some cleaning up at the house. I spent a couple of hours breaking down boxes and lashing them together for the next recycling day in Halifax.

Saturday afternoon, I plopped myself in front of the tv and fired up Netflix so I could finish watching the last few episodes of "Mindhunter". The producers say they have a five year plan for the show, and I hope they get to live that dream.

Today, I got up and puttered around the house before loading up the car and leaving around 1pm. I dropped off to the IGA store in Wolfville and got a few groceries before returning to the house. I was greeted with the usual indifference from Patricia and the cat.

I have spent the last few hours making dinner, washing dishes, and showering in anticipation of returning to work in the morning.

So... let's talk about my productivity.

I regret that I am not blogging every day. I believe that blogs should be "fed" as much as possible, with daily being a goal. But increasingly that has not been possible for me. I get home late from work. Or, I get home at my usual time, but my body shuts down on me ten minutes after I get home. I will try to improve. I am sorry. I am aware that this is a problem and will work hard to improve.

I think I will turn in. Heading into a busy period at work, so I need my shuteye.

See you tomorrow.

For sure.


Thursday, November 2, 2017

Post 3587 - Is It The Weekend Yet?

Thursday night. Late.

I didn't write last night because I was bushed. Work is very busy these days, and by the time I get home, I often need to put my feet up.


I deeply regret missing so many blog deadlines lately. I try to write something every day, but in the last couple of years, that has not always been possible. There are some days that just do not lend themselves to writing these posts.

I had to unfriend a person on Facebook today. I did not take this action lightly. I do not mind it when people disagree with me. I don't mind it when people challenge my thoughts and feelings about things. That is all fine. I don't even mind if people yell at me from time to time. It used to bother me. I admit that. But time has made me care less and less what people think of me.

I mean, I don't want people to hate me. Nobody wants that. But if someone doesn't like me, it is not something that will keep me up at night. Any more.

But, a day or so ago, I posted a link to a CBC article about trespassers. Here it is. People wandering about a man's property, incorrectly thinking that it was some kind of park. Google maps got it wrong. He corrects them and asks them to leave, but the trespassing continues.

This would infuriate me and I mentioned it on my Facebook. Others agreed with me, and some said words to the effect, "Oh, come on, Bev! Get over it!". But this one person went to town on me, all bitter that she did not own her own property, that it belongs to all of us, and so on, and so on. Other disagreed with her. I tried to reason with her, before I gave up.

Then, she told me that if it bothered me so much that I should get a gun and go shoot them.

That crossed a line with me.

I don't mind if you disagree with me, or even take me to task for something. But if you tell me to go break the law, try to incite me to violence, think that I am capable of taking up arms against a person, then you and I are done.

I do not countenance violence. I will defend myself if I have to (poorly, I'm sure). But I am sure as hell not going to go out there and get a firearm and use it to open fire on someone.

So I unfriended her.

She wrote me privately on Facebook this afternoon. Told me it was "low" of me to unfriend her and then have my other friends unload on her. I told her to have a nice day and then blocked her.

It felt good.

I will do it again if someone pushes my buttons enough.

I am going to turn in.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Post 3586 - Two Days Later

Well, hello there.

I am sorry I didn't write on Monday night. I got home from work a bit early. Once we dealt with the guy from ADT, I had to take a nap. I pretty much didn't get up until Tuesday morning.

Today we had a potluck lunch at work. My frig, there was a lot of food. I had my fill, and maybe 10% more. Then, after work, instead of participating in Hallowe'en, we went to a movie. Patricia and I ate at the Canadiana restaurant in Bayer's Lake. I had a couple chicken quesadillas, while Patrica had something a bit more substantial.

The film we saw was "The Foreigner", starring Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan. We both loved it. Highly recommended. Great fun to see a much-older Jackie Chan still be able to fight, even if the effort is much more realistic these days. Yeah, he is able to beat the bad guys, but it takes its toll on him.

We got home. Hugged our neighbour, who is moving across town. And now we are settling in for the night.

Tomorrow I have my bi-weekly Toastmasters evening. It promises to be... interesting, to say the least.

See you then.


Sunday, October 29, 2017

Post 3585 - Sunday Night

Why, hello there, handsome. Miss me?

We did not end up going to the cottage. We got up Saturday morning and had breakfast. Around 8:45, we loaded up the car and drove to the Canadian Tire in Bayer's Lake to get a few things. And once we got there, we both realized that we didn't really feel up to going. We were both struggling with some bug of some description and did not think we had the intestinal fortitude to do the two hour drive.

So, instead, we finished our shopping at the Crappy Tire and then hung around Chapters. We got a beverage at the Second Cup across the street. We decided to go to the Value Village. Shocked by the prices there. It is outrageous how much they charge for stuff that is donated by the public. I bought nothing, but Patricia got a decent art portfolio thingy for five bucks, a good price.

(Even the used books are no longer individually priced at Value Village. There is a sign spelling out the cost, based upon the original price of the book. All books are donated by folks, as I have pointed out before. The maximum price for a book there is six dollars. Contrast that with the prices at the Salvation Army thrift stores, which sell paperbacks for 99 cents each, or five for four dollars; or, $2.99 each for hardcovers, or four for 10 dollars, I think it is. The other thrift store we went to on Friday charged fifty cents for books, and I'm pretty sure they did not differentiate between hard and soft cover.)

We drove from there to the Halifax ReCycle store, up and around the corner. Nearly got a really nice stuffed chair for $45, but left empty handed. From there, we drove to Tantallon and hung out at Otis and Clementine's, our fave used bookstore. Yes, some books cost more than $5.99, but they buy books from people and/or offer store credit, so I do not have a problem with what they charge. Love that bookstore. Love. It.

We returned home and watched some episodes of "Stranger Things" and turned in relatively early.

This morning I helped my next door neighbour load her things into a moving van. She is moving across town in the coming days. After that, we hung around the house and did some cleaning up for Tuesday's garbage collection. Lots of stuff will be going out.

Another three day weekend is behind me. It is back to work in the morning. I don't know where the weekends go. Hardly seems fair.

I think I will turn in.

See you tomorrow.


Friday, October 27, 2017

Post 3584 - A Day Later

Well, hello there, my lovelies.

I will be turning in soon. We have to get up early to drive to the cottage so we can shut it down for the Winter.  Weather depending, we will mow the lawn one last time. By Sunday, we will load the car with the foodstuffs we are bringing back with us and return them here.

We have so much food in the house. So. Very. Much! We have a full fridge, with a good size freezer on the bottom. A full freezer that is nearly as tall as I am, stuffed to the gills. Another freezer down here in my home office, full of freezer-burned items. Now, we have to find room in our fridge, in our freezers, in our cupboards, for the food that is at the cottage. Mother of Moses.

Plus, there is food in the Valley, both in a full-sized chest freezer, and the fridge freezer.

Counting Newbie, it is just the three of us. There is no need for us to have so many victuals, but there you go.

In an effort to use a bit of that food, I prepared breakfast this morning. A Western sandwich, only I used bacon instead of ham.  We hate ham. It is to meat as Bob Dylan is to singing. Bacon with orange and yellow peppers, mushrooms and onions. Add some beaten eggs to the mixture and stir until the eggs are cooked. Serve between two pieces of toast. Plus, McCafe coffee, which you can buy in local grocery stores and prepare in your coffee maker. We don't like Tim Horton's coffee. It is to coffee as acting is to Pauly Shore.

Made several sandwiches.

Mid-afternoon, we hit the two thriftstores in Spryfield. One is run by a local church, St. Paul's or something. Huge thrift store, although the prices are not what I would call thrifty. The Salvation Army down the street was better. All clothing was fifty percent off. I got two Kirkland shirts for about $3.00 each. One of them still had the Costco tags on it; it had cost $17.00 new.

We left there and went to the Sobeys in Spryfield. I had not been in that store in... 15 years or so, I think. Quite a spell. The store is quite nice. And since it is open 24/7, the hours are hard to beat.

This evening we watched a couple episodes of Season Two of Stranger Things. All nine episodes were released today. Episode two ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, so it was a challenge to back away from the tv for the evening. We have an early day tomorrow.

Speaking of which, I have an early day tomorrow. I think I will turn in.

See you... Sunday, I guess.


Thursday, October 26, 2017

Post 3583 - The Weekend Is Here (Again!)

Off till Monday.

I love these three day weekends. I always approach them with a great sense of anticipation. But, come Sunday night, I will wonder where they went. Always the way.

Patricia had Pilates after work, so I was left cooling my heels at work for a while. I got hungry so I grabbed something and just made it to the Pilates studio in time to see Patricia put on her coat. I suspect she was a few seconds away from calling me and wondering where the frig I was. Skin of my teeth.

We got home and just beat the rain. It is supposed to rain like crazy over night, but I haven't heard anything yet.

We have all kinds of plans for the weekend. Best to tell you about them as the time approaches.

See you tomorrow.


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Post 3582 - Two Days Later

Well, that was fun.

I did not write last evening because I wasn't feeling very well. My head was lolling about by 7:30. I came downstairs to rest on my recliner for 30 minutes or so, after which I would work on my next cold case article for Frank.

I was down for the night, pretty much.

My goodness, I slept a lot last night. But I felt perfectly fine this morning and went to work and everything. This evening, Patricia was getting her hair done, so I was able to research some cold case files at the library for a couple of hours. I found quite a bit of information about other cases to write about at a later date, some cases I had already written about, and one or two cases I knew nothing about. I learned about a missing persons case from 2000 I had never heard of before. Good chance it has long since been resolved, but that clippings the library had did not show that, just the initial article.

In the last few minutes, about 10:45, I sent the latest article to my editor. Trying a couple of slightly different things this time. We will see how it plays out.

Very little else to report, so I think I will turn in. Patricia has Pilates tomorrow night, so I will be home late tomorrow night, too.

See you tomorrow.


Monday, October 23, 2017

Post 3581 - The Weekend Is NOT Here

Monday evening. Sorry I haven't written the last few days.

Saturday we drove to the Valley. We were invited to a dinner party at a cousin's place in Hall's Harbour. We went up late in the morning and alighted at Lightfoot and Wolfville, just on outside of Wolfville proper. One of the many, many wineries in that part of the province. An absolutely lovely winery. I don't give a rodent's rump about wine, but lots of people sure do.

We wanted to grab a snack as it would be a later dinner than we are used to. We ended up at Joe's Food Emporium in the downtown. Ordered a couple appetizers, plus water. The water came in about 10 minutes. The food never came. Well, that is not a fair statement. We got up and left after about 35 minutes. We wandered up the street to Paddy's Pub, where we have been many times. Ordered a couple of things, and they were in front of us barely 10 minutes later.

I feel a little badly for the waiter at Joe's. I hope that our bailing on the food doesn't mean she has to pay for it out of her pay cheque. When we were at Paddy's we heard additional things about Joe's: the service is slow at the best of times. Servers are treated horribly. The owner tends to hire younger, attractive women who are skinny, and maybe a couple of guys who are also skinny and attractive.

We will not be going back to Joe's Food Emporium.

We got to the house and lay around until it was time to go to the dinner party. We got there a few minutes late. I took a wrong turn. Because I always take wrong turns. I am incapable of taking the correct turns. Not in my genetic code.

My cousin greeted us warmly. Her boyfriend was there, and a couple other dinner guests.

We had a grand old time. The older dinner guest had zero filters and discussed literally whatever was on his mind, which was shocking and refreshing at the same time.

We left around 11:30 and spent the night at the house. Sunday morning, we had breakfast in nearby New Minas. Rather than go to tried and true Cora's, we ended up at Applewood's, a new restaurant across the street from the Irving Big Stop (a.k.a. the Old Gummer's Restaurant).  We both had the fishcakes and eggs and baked beans special. Delicious. We will go back.

We drove around Kentville for a bit, grabbed our things from the house. and returned to Wolfville. We always get some food at the grocery store there. Some terrific deals on things. Then, we returned to the city.

Back to work today. Researching stuff for my next Frank article this evening. So, it is the circle of life again.

We had a great weekend. The only blemish was the experience at Joe's Food Emporium, but since we are never going back, and are not out any money, it could have been much, much worse.

I think I will turn in. Lots going on tomorrow,

See you then.


Friday, October 20, 2017

Post 3580 - The Weekend Is Here!

How are you doing this evening, my lovelies?

I am typing this post on the desktop computer to which the model m keyboard is attached. I have only had the keyboard for a day, and not typed that much on it, but so far, it is excellent. I have decided I will keep this keyboard. And I wish I had a few more of them. I would love to be able to replace my other keyboards on my other computers with a similar Model M keyboard.

What a joy to use this keyboard. Lovely, responsive keys. Noisy, so you know it got pressed. And I have to wonder how many more years the keyboard has left in it. I think I want to find out.


The weekend is here. We have plans for Saturday night. Dinner at friend's place. Patricia is in charge of purchasing an appropriate bottle of red wine tomorrow morning. I will tell you about it tomorrow night or on Sunday, depending on how late we get home.

I think I will turn in. Been a very long day. These 18 hour days can wear a fella down.

See you tomorrow.


Thursday, October 19, 2017

Post 3579 - Two Days Later

Sorry I didn't write last night. I was exhausted and turned in around 9:30.

Boy, did I get something neat today.

I got an IBM Model M keyboard, manufactured in October of 1989.

For fifty cents.

Here it is!!


Okay. Maybe I should back up.

Keyboards are nothing new. They have been the primary way of getting information into a computer for decades. But for the past 20 years or so, keyboards that have been bundled with newly-purchased computers are, well, cheap. Sucky. Mushy. Not very good.

There are exceptions to the above rule. Old PS/2 keyboards can be not bad at all. But the keyboards I used in university, and into my 20's, haven't been made in bulk for many years. There is a company that makes 2017 versions of these classic keyboards, but they are not as good as the real thing.

The keyboards that IBM manufactured in the 1980's and into the 1990's have a special spring under each key that gives a very satisfying "clack" every time you press it. These "mechanical" keyboards are nearly indestructible and can last for very long time. The one I got today, which is attached to the computer I am typing this blog post on, was manufactured in March of 1989.

Even now, typing this, I am getting back the old feeling of typing again, and I am enjoying the sensation very much. Takes me back to that first job after university where we would clack away all day in an office on these and similar keyboards. I can find and use the home row of keys much more easily. I was a little concerned that the keyboard tray would not accommodate this keyboard as it is quite a bit "taller" than the one I just had here, but the keyboard tray is closing. It fits, if only barely.

My goodness, this is a wonderful feeling, typing on this keyboard. A little noisy, perhaps, but it feels great to use a real keyboard again. I wish I had several more of these critters. I will keep looking.

I bought it today at a thrift store on Almon Street in Halifax. I go in there from time to time. They had a box of keyboards, 50 cents apiece. I sifted through the 8 or so, until I found one that was very heavy relative to the others. I noticed that all the keys were present. I flipped it over and saw the underside of it. Here it is:

Yep. Model M. Manufactured in October of 1989.

I have the option of selling this on kijiji or ebay for $100 or more. I am leaning toward keeping it. I will let you know. If I keep it, I imagine I can get a few more years, maybe quite a few more years, out of this keyboard.

What cool things have you found and purchased at a thrift store over the years?

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Post 3578 - Traffic and Construction


I need a drink.

Maybe two.

Traffic in Halifax is a nightmare. All the bloody construction is driving me crazy. It can take me as little as 20 minutes to drive from my  home in Timberlea to my work.

Took me 65 minutes this morning.

The construction on the St. Margaret's Bay Road has been delayed over and over. Especially disheartening was the news on Monday that the road will not be open again until the end of November. Two major delays. I am not putting money on it being open then. How about Christmas? Of 2018?

But that is only a tiny part of it. There is so much construction in so many parts of the Halifax and Dartmouth that thousands of people are inconvenienced every day. Plus businesses are suffering. I don't know how many of them are holding on. I feel sorry for them.

I am sick unto death of municipal politicians telling us to be patient about this work. That things will be so much better once it is over. Be patient. "Shut up" is more like it. I cannot remember the last time I was more disappointed by so many municipal politicians than many of this sorry lot.

Why can't we have politicians at the municipal level who would at least pretend to listen, to give a darn when people complain to them about the traffic and the construction and the frustration? At least say something like, "I feel your pain"?

But no.

They just tell us to keep waiting.

Businesses are suffering. Drivers are getting so frustrated that I am shocked that there are not more accidents.

We just want this to be over.

When, folks? When?

See you tomorrow.


Monday, October 16, 2017

Post 3577 - RIP, John Dunsworth

Well, I just learned that John Dunsworth died. You know, Mr. Lahey from the Trailer Park Boys.

I was only ever a casual fan of the show, which has defied all logic by remaining on the air in new episodes years and years after anybody cared about the show, sort of like a Canadian "South Park". But even though I was not that big a fan, I was a fan of John Dunsworth's, who played Lahey with such abandon and enthusiasm that you couldn't help but watch him.

He had an extremely varied career, and seemed to take on any kind of role offered to him, probably because he lived in Nova Scotia most of his life and acting roles are not exactly plentiful at the best of times.

I only ever met him once. I think it was at the Spatz Theatre at Citadel High School, at the Sons of Anarchy discussion that Kim Coates was invited to. I can only imagine they knew each other, having worked at Neptune Theatre in various productions over the years. Somewhere I have a phone picture of Dunsworth posing with Patricia. I will try and find it.

It's a testament to his acting ability that John Dunsworth played Mr. Lahey, an inveterate drunk and gambler, but did not drink in real life, and embarked on an anti-gambling crusade in recent years that bordered on the over zealous and puritanical.

I have to respect a guy who lives his life the way he bloody wants to and doesn't let anything get in the way of that resolve. I wish I had a tenth of that determination.

Rest in peace, John Dunsworth!

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, October 15, 2017

Post 3576 - An Eventful Weekend.

Sunday night. Back to work in the morning.

Another vacation is behind me. Once again, I do not know where the time has gone. It was just the other day when it started. Now, it's over, and it is back to reality tomorrow.


Had some fun this weekend. Went to the Giant Book Sale, presented by Women For Music, a fund-raising arm of Symphony Nova Scotia. They have been doing these book sales for something like 55 years now. I had gone to one or two of them when they were at the Halifax Shopping Centre, but in recent years they have been in Maritime Hall at the Halifax Forum, a nice space, but they have to pay rent for the room.

I got the following books. Details and commentary to follow:

Okay. It occurs to me that many of you, maybe even most of you, don't know who "Fireside Al" was. I grew up listening to "As it Happens" on CBC radio. Started listening to that excellent program in the early part of 1975. The host was Barbara Frum, with the story intro's by Alan Maitland.

My god, I loved that show. Every week night, Barbara and Alan would interview people from all walks of life, all through the magic of the telephone. When she left the show around 1982 to become the host of CBC television's The Journal, much of the magic was gone from AiH, at least for me.

Barbara had at least two children. Linda used to write those smarmy books about the coolest Canadian universities to attend, which often got her in trouble for her superficial overviews of those universities. I remember a particularly snotty story about Linda when she visited Acadia University that was reported in the university's newspaper, The Athenaeum.

And her son David Frum is a well-known political commentator who wrote speeches for George W. Bush, before writing one of the first books about that administration. He is on tv all the time.

Anyway, Alan Matiland was the other half of the AiH team back when I was initially listening to it. I loved his voice, which is just as well, due to his 1950's era rock and roll roots.

Later in his career, around the holidays, he would read Christmas stories. Other times of the year, as the feature became more popular, he would read stories, as only he could, about that time of the year. I can never forget his reading of O. Henry's "The Gift of the Magi".

Years and years later, long after his 1997 death, maybe even up to the present day, around the holidays, the CBC dusts off one or two of Alan Maitland's story readings and replays them for the AiH audience.

As the feature became more popular, Alan started referring to himself as "Fireside Al" around the holidays for the presentations of these stories. I think, for the summer stories, he was "Porchside Al". I think I have that book.

Anyway, I got the "Fireside Al" book yesterday. And as you can see from the cover, it is authographed by Mr. Maitland himself. Set me back three dollars. I will never part with it. I have a "cell" in one of my bookcases devoted to Christmas books. It will be up there soon.

The Rick Boyer "Doc Adams" books go back to the 1980's. I bought the first one, "Billingsgate Shoal", in the summer of 1986 after I read a positive review of it in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine. I probably bought it at Chisholm's Bookstore in downtown Kentville.

I will confess now that I was unaware of how many Doc Adams books there were, but he wrote them well into the 1990's. The three books I got yesterday, ranging in price from $1 to $2, I did not know existed. I just read "Shoal" all those years ago and recalled it fondly, but had never seen or heard tell of the other books in the series.  Now, I have three more of them.

Boyer also, as a 23 year old, wrote "The Giant Rat of Sumatra", one of those Sherlock Holmes stories that Doyle had Watson allude to in one of the canonical Sherlock Holmes short stories or novels. I got that book for Christmas in 1976 and loved it. Edge-of-my-seat stuff. I am pretty sure I still have that book, down in the Valley, where it has remained on a bookcase all these years. Ah, youth!

Walter Mosley is a writer I have tried to get into, without much success. His most popular character is "Easy Rawlins", the subject of "Devil in a Blue Dress", which became a Denzel Washington movie some years back.

They had a large section of books devoted to the mystery genre, which is a very, very, very big tent. I try to be informed about detective/crime fiction at the very least, and take pride in being able to be familiar with many of the luminaries in that under-appreciated field. So imagine my surprise when I saw the vintage (copyright 1932) "Case for Mr. Fortune". Two dollars. Never heard of "H.C. Bailey" or "Mr. Reginald Fortune" before.  Here. Read about him on wikipedia if you want.

Reading about him this evening, he appears to be a largely-forgotten writer who was very popular in his day, and whose stories take a darker turn that may appeal to me. I think I lucked out.

Anyway, we took our leave of the book sale around 4:45 and proceeded downtown for the annual Nocturne event. We decided to have dinner first. After wandering around Spring Garden Road for a while, we went up Queen Street and checked out the menu at the sushi place there. It is called "Minato Sushi". It has been there for 15 years, winning best restaurant in urbanspoon in 2014. And it was transcendent. Here is the website.

We had the "Tokyo Dinner for Two", 20 pieces of sushi, two salads and two bowls of miso soup.

It is obvious that this is an old house. It had great bones. We ate downstairs, but the upstairs is open as well. There is a little area upstairs that can accommodate parties of up to 12 or so.

People at the next table had been there many times. I think that we will go back there, soon, and eventually beat their record.

After dinner, we had coffee at the Starbucks on Spring Garden Road. By the time we were done, it was dark enough to see some Nocturne art projects.

And the disappointment began.

We looked at the map and the write ups from The Coast, whilst at Starbucks. We started walking down toward Barrington Street. The throngs from previous years were not present. There were a lot of people out, but not as many as we had been expecting. We did manage to crush some bubble wrap as part of some performance art. We  observed a Halifax Dance exhibit while both of us lamented growing up in rural Nova Scotia, where there was no such thing at the time. The Halifax Circus fire show was impossible to see, so we went next door to St. Matthew's Church to see the circus aerialists. That was fun. We proceeded North on Barrington and saw very little, actually. The odd little performance here and there.

Made our way back up to Spring Garden Road to the Public Gardens, which is never open at night, but was last evening. Saw some arty things. We were getting tired at this point, and ever more disappointed, so we made our way home.

Today we lazed about, but did laundry and washed dishes. I made dinner. I am freshly showered and shaven.

And first thing in the morning, before we go to work, we have to take the car for its semi annual oil change. Good times. Good times.

I think I will turn in.

See you tomorrow.