Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Post 3568 - Why, I Oughta!

Man, what a long day at work.

First day back after a pretty good long weekend. The weather was terrible. Rained all day. Matched my mood.

I had a dental appointment today at 11. I made sure I was there early because I love to go there so much. I got some... well, let's go with "news". The hygienist told that the previous dentist at the practice had left, and is frig knows where now. The new dentist on staff wants fresh x-rays of her patients. I have a gag reflex the likes of which are hard for mere mortals to contemplate. I fight the hygienists every step of the way. I can't help it. X-Rays are the worst. We nearly come to blows. Once again, I can't help it.

They are urging me to try out another dentist, at least for things like X-Rays. Deal with a dentist who uses something to relax me, maybe even put me out. Not fussy about that. They are putting in a referral, and will call me about that soon.

I don't like how this is being handled. They could have picked up the phone and told me about this issue, rather than wait for me to show up for an appointment that never happened. I psyched myself up to go in for the teeth cleaning or whatever fresh hell they had in store for me. Dwelled on it for days and days. Then, I show up, and they all but kick me out. Makes me want to go to another dentist, if only to spite them.

There is a dentist here in Timberlea. They are open most nights until 8pm. Here is their website. Been there. Seems nice. And I like to support local where I can.

I think I will give them a call. Perhaps I will even drop by after work later on this week. It can't hurt.

Even if everything else about going to the dentist does.

See you tomorrow.


Monday, May 22, 2017

Post 3567 - Three Days Later

Well, hello there.

I didn't write on Saturday because come that evening, I was tired. We had spent hours that day running the roads. Patricia and I attended a talk at the Tantallon library about vegetable gardening. We thought it would go on for the full afternoon but after about 75 minutes it was announced that the session would reconvene at a woman's house, where people would be put to work in the fields. We bailed. I'm sorry. Wrong word. We ran for the door.

We ended up going to Lefty's Bar and Grill for a late lunch. We each had bangers and mash, were most delicious, but started off with Irish Nachos. They are thinner, like a potato chip, and everything was smothered in cheese and onions and bacon bits. We loved them. They were 100x better than the nachos we had had the night before.

Patricia wanted to go to the Lee Valley in Bayer's Lake. We did. After that, we went to Value Village. I found some interesting local history books. For whatever reason, VV is becoming an excellent place to purchase books about local history. People must be clearing out their collections and donating them to VV.

We got home around 7pm. Stayed in and watched episodes of The Outsiders on Crave TV. I am not sure how I feel about season two. One was building toward some kind of war between the town folks and the mountain people, but in season two, they still are. Is it a budgetary thing or something?

Sunday morning, I drove to the Valley by myself. I wanted to mow the lawn at the house down there. In keeping with my policy, I did not announce it here on the blog, my twitter, my facebook. I arrived just in time to see a neighbor finishing a rough mow. The grass was apparently very high. I had not had a chance to go there for a few weeks. I thanked him.

We got to talking about my true crime series in Frank Magazine, which he says he loves. I told him why I cannot do one for every bi-weekly issue. We discussed a couple of the Valley missing persons cases. He asked me whether I had ever received a late night phone call from someone warning me away from writing about these cases.

I replied that nobody had, but perhaps I should have mentioned the time someone threatened to sue me over one of my articles. Nothing ever came from it, and nothing ever will. People often threaten to sue as a way to discourage the so-called offending party, but suing is not something that one enters into lightly. It is not for the faint of heart. It is expensive in any sense of the word. My editor even expressed pride in me for having had my first law suit threat. He told me he felt a little verklempt about it.

Anyway, I went into the house and hooked up a device to the tv so I could get sound from the stereo. The tv only had one of those new coax cables, and the stereo had no such attachment. Had to buy an adapter thingy whose output was the familiar RCA jacks. Works like a charm. Same arrangement as upstairs, by the way.

I went into New Minas. Went to the Value Village there and donated an old computer monitor. Went in and found yet more local history books, and got ones I did not already have. One was by a local... eccentric named Ted Hennigar, who wrote several books in the 1960's and 1970's containing content one could find nowhere else. Local history. Local folklore. Not sure what to make of this guy, but my parents had several of his books, some of which were barely above the level of pamphlet.

I returned to the house and whipper snipped around the property. The anti-histamine I took made me groggy and I fell asleep early, after watching just one episode of Netflix's "The Keepers", one of those long-form murder mysteries they do so very well.

I got up this morning. Made coffee and breakfast. Did some cleaning up. And packed my bags and returned to the city.

Been doing not that much since I came back. I am always tired upon a return trip from the Valley. I am not sure why.

Anyway, that's where I am at. Another three day weekend is behind me. A shortened work week yawns before me. And I think I will yawn before it.

You guys have a good night. Talk at you tomorrow.


Friday, May 19, 2017

Post 3566 - A Pleasant Evening

The long weekend is here. Yes!

After work, Patricia and I strolled around the Public Gardens for a few minutes before deciding to go further downtown and grab a bite. We ended up on Argyle Street, at a place called East of Grafton. They opened at 5:30 and had half price appetizers. We ordered the following:

That's a strangely-wrapped thing of nachos, which we had never seen presented that way before. Some chicken wings in the middle. And a few soft pretzels on the left.

The nachos were not only presented in a strange way, wrapped in paper, but were skimpy in terms of the stuff that was on them. There was some cheese, but not the quantity one would typically expect. The salsa and the guacamole in the foreground were what you were supposed to dip the nachos in prior to stuffing them in our pie hole. The salsa in the above picture looks like uncooked hamburger. The guacamole was not smashed up enough. There was a big chunk in the middle that Patricia mashed up on her own using her brute strength (of character). The salsa was okay. The little ramekin on the left was some damn thing or other that didn't taste like anything I would want to put in my mouth.

The pretzels were fine. Nice cheese sauce to dip them into. But with only three of them, we had to cut one in half to be equitable.

Patricia found the chicken wings too spicy. Only ate one. I managed to finish them. Acceptable.

She had a glass of Tidal Bay Wine from Pete Luckett's vineyard in the Valley. She reported it was fine.

There are, well, a lot of wineries in the Annapolis Valley. Pushing 20 last I heard. That part of the province is hoping to be like California's Napa Valley, I suppose, but my knowledge of wine is so scant that I will never be able to be in a position to judge. I fear, however, that the area can only support so many wineries, so I wonder how long they can keep building new ones before some of them fold.

The bill came to just over $30, so it would have been nearly twice that amount (the wine is discounted by two dollars a glass during happy hour) for what we ate. Not nearly worth that much, but at half price, I could live with it.

We drove home. Watched some tv. And around 10, we both started to doze off. I woke up long enough to write this blog post, but already my eyes are getting heavy.

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


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Post 3565 - I Wonder Why?

Okay, so, after  work I had to hang around for a while because Patricia had Pilates. I heard that another murder case had been added to the province's list of awards for major unsolved crimes.

I found a bit of online information about this person. Located his obituary. Found some family members. After some digging, I found his sister on Facebook. Messaged her.

About an hour ago, whilst washing dishes, she wrote me back. Says she's interested in talking to me about her brother. I told her to go check out the most recent issue of Frank, as my latest article is there, right on page nine, and is three pages long.

Every time I think I have hit a brick wall with this true crime series, something happens. Something falls in place. And I get a lead on another story.

Why do other news media not do this again? Too much work? They have five other stories to do that day? Unsolved murders are not a priority to them? They can't be bothered? It is just easier to go to the police website, get the information there, and "present" it as a new article?

I wonder why? You tell me.

See you tomorrow.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Post 3564 - A Wonderful Night

Got home from a pretty good Toastmasters meeting earlier tonight. Not that many people, but we had two guests, which is only a good thing.

We had a debate. The resolution was along the lines of whether a political candidate's social media history should be a determining factor in whether that person should seek political office. We have had three such people be forced to drop out of the Nova Scotia election campaign in the last week or so, because of tweets or FB updates that they wrote years ago.

Nobody is without sin. We have all said and done things we should not have. Have we set the bar so high that A) nobody can vault over it; and B) nobody would even want to bother trying? It's the second one that scares me the most. If you get people of high quality who would really make a good difference in Nova Scotia, but they wrote a dumb dumb tweet six years ago, should they bear the burden of that mistake for the rest of their lives? Or if they didn't do that, but just don't want the scrutiny into their private lives that seeking a political office seemingly requires, then we may be missing out on some really good representatives. Not sure if I am stating it very well. It's late.

The PRO side won the resolution, by the way.

I may be beat to heck, but even after 25 years of Toastmasters meetings, I always feel better after a meeting is over than I did before it starts. It is the strangest thing. 

After TM was over, we went to the Superstore on Young Street, which is where my pharmacy is. I had left work early today to go see my doctor. He renewed some meds for me, so I picked them up tonight.

Watched the season ender of "Designated Survivor". It ended on a pretty decent cliffhanger. I look forward to what they do in season two. I just hope they do something about the pacing issues on the show. We started to watch an episode of "Bosch" on Crave, but Patricia was getting tired, so she toddled off to bed.

Patricia has Pilates after work tomorrow. You can guess how excited I am about that.

See you tomorrow. Keep smiling.


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Post 3563 - Much, Much Better

Here is what I looked like about 12 hours ago:

Then, I walked across the street and now look like this:

I also purchased the following hair care products:

My glorious tea tree oil. How I missed thee.

I feel much better now. The hair was becoming hard to manage. I was using ever more product to keep my glorious locks in place. Now, I can dial it way, way back. What do the kids say these days? "Awesome sauce". Yeah, let's go with that.

I look so serious in the second picture because it is deemed a military haircut. I wanted to get in character.

Some women who read this blog may have some idea of what I am referring to, but I find it so challenging to find someone competent enough to do my hair. The lady who takes care of me at Helen's on Kempt Road is quite good, and I will continue to go to her.

So, what do you think of my hair, folks? Do you like it? How much? Tell me. I want deets.

Time for bed. See you tomorrow.


Monday, May 15, 2017

Post 3562 - Don't Be Cruel

So, I read a lot of crime fiction, in particular, short crime fiction as published in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine and Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine. The editor of "AHMM" was interviewed a couple of years ago and noted how many stories crossed her desk that started off with a weather report. Kinda brought things home for me.

When someone noted last week that I was starting off many of my blog reports with what time it was, it really hit home for me, too. I am working really hard not to mention that, but work with me, will you?

The new issue of Frank went online this morning. My humble contributions this time come in at seven pages, which surprised me. I was doubly surprised at lunch time when my editor wrote to inform me that my cheque was ready for pick up. Patricia, who works downtown, close to the Frank offices, picked it up for me.

I have written about this before, but I can remember times in my life when it seemed that getting paid for my efforts would result in near fisticuffs. Once or twice, I felt I was inconveniencing those who were paying me. Putting them out.

My dad never forgot the people for whom he did work who never "got around" to paying him, sometimes mentioning them years and years later, with ever-increasing bitterness. He would have to pay his men, and the businesses that had sold him the supplies necessary to do this work, but the so-and-so's never actually paid him. And then there were the people who took their sweet ever lovin' time to pay him. They were always the ones who had the nice cars and houses. Doctors. Lawyers. One man strung Dad along in the early 00's. Guy with the same last name as one I hear on the news from time to time. An unusual name. Wonder if they're related? Makes me not want to trust him, just by association.

I never forgot those experiences, when Dad would have to almost beg these people to pay, and the excuses they employed to delay doing so. So, when it came time for me to start earning my own money, I was particularly sensitive to what he had gone through. The few times it happened to me stung me as much as his experiences, stung my father.

This has never been the experience with Frank. They pay me on time every month. Sometimes, it is literally the last day of the month, which is fine, but I get that money, and it is broken down by each piece that I submitted that was published. This media column has X number of words at Y cents per word, working out to a certain amount. That true crime piece with Q number of words also at Y cents per word, working out to another amount. That kind of thing, covering my contributions for the full month, which is usually two issues. Add up those numbers, and that is the amount of my cheque. Easy peasy. And very much appreciated.

I'd be interested in your stories of getting paid late, or not getting paid at all, for work you performed. 

Anyway, we got home after a quick trip to Costco. Had some more of those astonishingly-good salmon fishcakes. There are enough for tomorrow night's dinner, I hope, so that is six meals we will have had using stuff we already had on hand. We finished the night by watching two more episodes of season one of "The Outsiders", which I know is canceled, but let's hope that there was some kind of resolution. Don't tell me what happens.

It is getting late. We were up extra early this morning to get the car to the dealership to have the Winter tires swapped out with the regular tires. So, we are extra tired tonight.

Turning in.

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, May 14, 2017

Post 3561 - Where Did The Weekend Go?

I mean, seriously. Where did the last three days go?

The weather outside has been wild and woolly for the last six hours or so. Thank goodness for television and Netflix and Crave TV on demand.

We had salmon fishcakes for dinner tonight. My goodness, they were delicious. I had made dinner Saturday night, of haddock with mashed potatoes. Patricia cooked some salmon and mixed the remaining haddock with it, before adding that mixture to the remaining mashed potatoes. Added some herbs and stuff. Then, I fried them and near-instant ambrosia.

I am showered and shaven and ready to turn in. Back to work in the morning.

Yay. Work.

See you tomorrow.


Saturday, May 13, 2017

Post 3560 - Oh, My!


Sorry I haven't written the last couple of days. Thursday night, by the time we got home around 7pm, I was so tired, that it was all I could do go to bed. I slept all night long and well into morning.

We were off on Friday. That morning, we went out to breakfast. We had grandiose plans to go to breakfast at the Westin in the downtown, but by the time we got going, that mealtime was about over, so we ended up going to Smitty's on Lacewood, which I just realized I don't know whether it's part of Bayer's Lake, or part of Clayton Park. At any rate, we ate there.

Then, we went to see Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2. Because it was a day time viewing, on a Friday, there were very few people there. Maybe a dozen. I don't know how they make money on those viewings. I didn't like it as much as the first one. There was a whole middle act that sagged like an overloaded diaper. But the final act was excellent. I got most of the in-jokes. And we stayed until the very, very end to see the final vignette. It really puts Stan Lee in a different light, seeing him talking to those other characters like that. I will leave it at that.

We were not content to see just one movie. Because of the timing of the next movies, the one that fit out schedule the best was "Boss Baby", the animated film featuring Alec Baldwin. It was a cute, fun little movie best for young families to watch. Why we went I am not sure. A scheduling thing.

We hung out at Chapters for a spell. I finally bought the missing Steve Berry thriller to complete my collection, at least in paperback. I know it's weird. Just work with me.

Patricia had a book club meeting not far from the house, so she walked to that. Got home around 9 or so.

Turned in around 11.

Today I washed the dishes.  This afternoon I cooked an early dinner. Tonight we watched some stuff on the PVR. And because I hadn't written much of anything on the blog in a few days I wanted to let you know I was still alive.

I spoke to my Frank editor today. The boy never takes a break. He tells me I will have three more articles in the next issue, which goes on sale this coming Wednesday. My media column, another unsolved murder piece that he said was one of my best, and something else. Just check it out and you will see for yourself.

Sunday awaits. Housework awaits, too.

See you tomorrow.


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Post 3559 - Zzzz

Well, I won't give out the time because I was teased about that. Let's just say it's late. I have spent the last couple of hours putting my latest Frank media column to bed. I filed it a few minutes ago. Like with most parades, I start working on the next one, tomorrow.

Once again, there is content in this column you will find nowhere else. And some different content this time.

Patricia has Pilates tomorrow night, so I will hang around work until six or so. We are off on Friday. I have promised to take her to a nice place for breakfast on Friday morning, so if you can suggest a place in Halifax that's nice, maybe a step up from Smitty's or Cora's, then let me know. Gotta spend some of that extra Frank money on something like silly old bills.

It has been a long day. I get up for work in six hours and do it all over again. So, please excuse me.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Post 3558 - Well, Well, Well!

Why, hello, you!

Last night I wrote that I was getting far too many notifications with certain Facebook updates. A couple of my Constant Readers took the time to tell me that you can just click on the little down arrow by any FB notification and select the option for turning off notifications. Thank you, Ken and KellyAnne.

Ken also supplied some prospective blog post titles. Here they are:

-Lord it's hard to be humble... about my hair.
-The saga of my hair continues.
-Valley born & maybe proud of it.
-So, what is this thing called hockey?
-I'm going to call it a night...  never mind
-It's pushing 10:00.
-Live & direct from Newbie's house.

I will use all of these titles, except maybe the one about what time it is. I hadn't noticed that I was putting the current time in my blog posts to such a degree that people would notice. I am now aware of this, in the same way that someone at  Toastmasters points out a nervous tic or walk or wink that I may effect.

The hair ones are low-hanging fruit. Of course I will write about my hair. There is almost no subject I would rather write about. I could go on for hours and hours. And because of Ken's wonderful suggestions, there will be more!

Valley stuff? Of course. In the top five of things I like to write about.

Hockey? What the hell is that? Is it, perhaps, a team sport or something? I must jump on Wikipedia and find out.

And Newbie? Of course. Posts about Newbie practically write themselves.

Maybe I could write a post about the time I had Newbie with me in the Valley while I was doing my hair. Man, that would be a good one!

In all honesty, please keep sending along blog post title suggestions. They will be used in future blog posts. As you can see, I have come up with a new label for this promising series, "Suggested_Blog_Post_Titles.

(Labels in Blogger are the equivalent to hashtags in Twitter, in case you were wondering.)

The excitement all starts tomorrow, folks. Watch this space.


Monday, May 8, 2017

Post 3557 - This Title For Rent

Pushing 10pm.

You know, a couple of weeks ago, a reader suggested I come up with more meaningful blog post names. Since then, my stress level has gone through the roof. You have no idea how difficult it is to come up with a good blog post name, day after day.

So, how about this: you suggest blog post titles. The ones I like, I will use. They may not have a blankety-blank thing to do with the content of the blog post, but the names will certainly be catchy and unique. Let's go with that.

How was your day? Mine was okayfine. This evening I sent off 40 pictures from the top secret story I covered, to my editor at Frank. I alluded to something extraordinary in a couple of pictures I had not sent. He insisted I send those, too, so I did. I hope he is not disappointed.

Say, I know. I will tell you about a recent mistake, one that is still kicking my rear end, days later. By telling you, it will remind me not to make that mistake again. Okay? Okay.

I joined a true crime-based Facebook page a couple of weeks ago. Because I follow true crime. In case you didn't know. One of the posts asked people where they were from. I chimed in, proudly proclaiming I was from Nova Scotia. Like anybody would care.

Anyway, for the last 5 days I have been getting FB notifications from people with their own answers to that fine, fine, fine question. Five. Days. Several times a day, people reply to that damned question. And I am not sure if Facebook notifications can be turned off for a given page, or if it is a FB-wide thing. So frustrating.

So, don't answer questions on Facebook. You'll never hear the end of it.

On that fine note, I will call it a night.

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, May 7, 2017

Post 3556 - A Weekend Gone

It is three days later. I have not had a chance to write.

I was in the Valley with Patricia from Friday afternoon until Saturday afternoon. Returned late afternoon and stayed in last night.

Today we ventured over to Dartmouth. Patricia was buying some stained glass supplies from a woman who was getting out of the hobby. Afterward, we went to the Dartmouth free market or whatever the hell it's called. It's on Canal Street, where the Value Village used to be. Let's go with eclectic.

Met Bill Mont, who's a character to say the least. Lots of stories, some of which I may be able to work into my Frank media column.

We returned home. Patricia resumed watching "13 Reasons Why" on Netflix. People who are harping about the show and how it glorifies suicide have not seen it. It was renewed for a second season today.

What we did in the Valley will be revealed in the coming days. And once again, when I go to the Valley I no longer announce it here on the blog. I think you know why, but if you don't, and write me privately, I will tell you.

I think I will turn in. Ten pm. 5:30 comes early.

See you tomorrow.


Thursday, May 4, 2017

Post 3555 - The Weekend Is Here (Again!)

Pushing 11pm.

I just spent the bulk of the evening transcribing another interview for my editor at Frank. The family of a deceased broadcaster in the Valley let me look through some of the cassettes he left behind, which were full of interviews. The current issue of Frank has an interview with Vera Lynn, conducted in the Spring of 1978. The one I just sent off to my editor was a few months early, September of 1977. It is quite long. I am not sure how much of it he will want to run. I will let you know.

Tonight was my window for working on this interview because we will be out of town on Friday, a vacation day. I will tell you all about it when we get back, but we likely will not be back until Saturday afternoon. And by the time we do return, it will be time to start work on my next media column. That should prove to be another interesting column. Just read the one that is in the current Frank and you will see what I mean.

I have found there are a couple sure fire ways to rile things up on Facebook. Mention religion. Doesn't matter the context. Be in favour of it, or against it. People on each side of the debate will rise up and express their opinions, to sometimes comedic effect. My goodness.

Donald Trump is another way to get people going. Just the name. You could write your FB status update with just his name and walk away and see the feces hit the fan. Good times. Good times.

A third way is read my current Frank column (issue 766) and see how that might cause some vituperation. It just hit newsstands on Wednesday, and already I have been taken to task over part of what I wrote. I am not a controversial guy. I hear things and comment on them. Try to present both sides of the story. Try to be fair. But not everyone sees it that way. You cannot win. My goodness gracious. And that is the only comment you will see about it, any time, anywhere, ever. Further, affiant sayeth naught.

I think I will turn in. We will have a busy day tomorrow.

See you then.


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Post 3554 - Something to Consider

Pushing 11pm.

I just sent off a draft of my next true crime article to my editor at Frank. It's more than a week before the final deadline. I'm happy to have it under my belt. Assuming it is okay, my editor will be happy to have it done and locked and loaded for the next issue.

I will be transcribing a 1970's era interview for the next Frank, too. I'm told that lunch hours are a good time to kick back and relax and eat something. But it is about the only time I will have to do this other work.

And, of course, Friday is the special assignment day. Taking a vacation day and everything. Looking forward to it.

There is a guy in town named Robert Devet. He has an online publication called the Nova Scotia Advocate. Lots and lots of SJW stuff that becomes tiresome after a while. Patricia knows the guy. Recently they were advertising on Facebook for freelance writers. They pay real money and everything. They went on to state that you didn't have to have any real writing ability. They will take whatever stream-of-consciousness stuff that rolls off your fingertips, decipher it via a method known only to them, write it so that it makes sense to people who know how to read, and then publish it in their fine, fine online publication. After that is over, they will decide what to pay you.

Anyway, Patricia suggested I pitch some ideas to Robert Devet.

I've met him. He seems like a nice guy and everything. I'm sorry that he lost his wife so suddenly, several years ago. But I have no interest in writing that kind of material. And, quite frankly, Frank Magazine is keeping me busier and busier. I have three articles in the current issue, and hope to have that many for the next issue, maybe even the issue after that. I have no time to come up with a pitch for the NS Advocate, and no interest in doing so, even if I did.

But you can. If you live in these here parts and wanna make a little extra money, and feel you can get behind writing about social welfare issues, then write Robert Devet and send him your pitches. There are too few writing opportunities out there for writers, and I am getting more and more work from Frank, so you can rest assured I will not try to go after this market, too. Contact him here.

Tomorrow is my Friday. Looking forward to my day off.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Post 3553 - Tuesday Night

Past 9:30.

I have finished going through the audio files recorded two weeks ago, have typed them up, printed them off, and marked the most interesting aspects of the conversation, so I can now start writing the next true crime article in Frank.

The hardest part of these articles to write is the opening paragraph, even the opening sentence. I want that sentence to be something that if someone is skimming the article in the grocery store, or has a copy of it at home and is trying to decide whether to read the article at all, decides in the end to read it on the basis of that opening line or two. It is the approach I use to my leisure reading. If the author can't hook me from the opening why should I stick around to the bitter end?

After a half dozen false starts, I think I found one that works. I may throw it out tomorrow, revise it, or build on it. Not sure, yet. Will let you know.

Our work week is half over. We are taking Friday off to do a super secret excursion. Will tell you about it in a few days.

Toastmasters is tomorrow night, too. Those meetings sneak up on you.

I think I will turn in. Need to get up early, and lots to do tomorrow.

See you then.


Monday, May 1, 2017

Post 3552 - The Last Few Days

Pushing ten pm.

So, the last couple of days.

I went to the Valley Saturday morning, by myself. Left Newbie and Patricia behind. Wanted to check out the house. I no longer announce when I will go down there. I have sound reasons for not announcing this. I don't want to get into them here. Sorry.

If you want to hook up with me when I'm in the valley, let me know beforehand and I can work it out with you.

Anyway, the house was fine. I ran a few errands but was settled in for the night by mid-afternoon. I started working my way through the audio files associated with the next true crime article for Frank Magazine. I had a couple of beer while I was working away. Even though I was using the headphones, I still had the radio on next to me at the computer desk, tuned into the K-Rock Saturday night all request show.

I returned to the city Sunday afternoon. As was in keeping with other visits there, I returned tired, so I napped for a couple of hours before deciding to take the rest of the day off.

Work today was uneventful. I had brought back from the valley the Soul's all season tires. I learned today that it will be a full two weeks before we can get the snow tires removed. What a drag. Mid-May while still driving on snow tires. I am hoping they are not overly damaged. I am told that it is not a good idea to drive on snow tires once the good weather hits. Or is that an old wive's tale?

The new Frank Magazine went online today. I have three articles in there. My usual media column. An article about an unsolved murder. And a neat little interview with Vera Lynn, conducted in 1978. It was on a cassette tape that I dubbed this Winter from the family of the man who used to work in radio in the Valley, who interviewed plenty of celebrities back in the day. I have a full six and a half pages in this issue of Frank, and my editor would like me to keep up that kind of output for a few issues at least. I will do what I can. Strike while the iron is hot. May hay while the sun shines. Et cetera.

All of this content, by the way, will never appear here on this blog. Not gonna happen. You have to take money from your damned pocket and go to the newsstand and buy it. The articles are long enough that you can't sneak peek them at the grocery store while you're waiting to buy your victuals. Besides, they are of such high quality that you will want to keep referring to the articles for years and years.

I think I will turn in. I need some shuteye.

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, April 30, 2017

Post 3551 - Ugh

Not feeling well tonight. I will tell you about my weekend, tomorrow.

I hope you think the wait will be worth it. I am not convinced.


Friday, April 28, 2017

Post 3550 - The Weekend Is Here!

Pushing 10:30.

It's two days later. I spent the last two days attending a computer security conference in downtown Halifax. My goodness, my head was swimming Thursday night. I turned in early.

Today's was nearly as hectic. During one session, I began to nod off. I pray that I didn't actually fall asleep because I was sitting in the second row and the guy could see me if I did. The topic was interesting enough, but the day had grown long, the chair was comfy, and my eyes grew heavy.

There were door prizes. At lunch they drew for most of them. The guy sitting on each side of me won something nice. They drew for the grand prizes just before 5pm. The guy sitting next to me won an iPhone 7. I'm ... happy for them. Yeah. Let's go with that.

The weekend is in a fluid state. I am not sure what I will do tomorrow. Let's find out, shall we?

See you then.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Post 3549 - Another Day Gone

Pushing 10pm.

I just sent off my latest media column to my editor. I told him today that it is either my best column, or my worst one. I am too close to the material and the subject matter to have any degree of objectivity. Read it for yourself when it goes live next week.

At coffee today, they were running the Live with Kelly show at the deli we frequent. They showed that new app that takes a person's face and adds special filters to change it in unique ways. Adam happened to have that app and got a picture of yours truly, running it through those filters. Here is how it turned out.

The upper left is the real image of me. I look haggard, even old. Then, Adam ran the pic through filters. My fave is the smiling one. The teeth look creepy AF as the kids say today.

There was a filter that is supposed to make you look old, but in my case, it made me look younger, so Adam didn't bother keeping it.

That was fun. Real fun.

Tomorrow and Friday I will be at a security conference. There will be panels about various data security topics. I look forward to attending as many as I can. I expect both days to be busy ones.

You guys have a good evening. Talk at you tomorrow.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Post 3548 - Fun Times

Pushing 10:30pm.

Another uneventful day at work. Patricia had a rough day. On the way home, she kept saying she wanted to eat read meat for dinner. Steak. Bloody. We went to Costco and picked up some steaks and went home. I cooked steaks with mushrooms, probably overcooking them, but Patricia ate hers anyway.

I ended up washing the dishes. By this time, it was 9pm. I showered and primped my hair. It looks pretty good tonight. Pretty, pretty, pretty, good.

Unbeknownst to me, my editor at Frank mailed me my cheque late last week. It arrived today, unexpected. It actually reminded me of the time I read an introduction to a set of Stephen King short stories. As a young man, he would write short stories for magazines featuring women who were, as my art professor in university called it, "undraped". As smutty as these magazines were, they also published fiction, mostly horror and crime related; and many up-and-coming writers sold their stories to them. They were an important source of revenue, now almost completely dried up, to many writers back in the day. They paid on publication, not on acceptance, so in many cases, the writers would only know their stories had been published when they got the cheque in the mail.  Stephen King stated in that introduction to "Skeleton Crew" that those cheques came in very handy. He could pay the phone bill or buy medicine for one of his kids or what have you.

I don't have kids. My phone bill is paid up. But the money I get from Frank is most welcome and appreciated. And they also pay on publication, but I get paid for my work on a monthly basis. If I write something during the month, and it is published that same month, I get a cheque by the 30th, or even a few days earlier, reflecting that work.

I still remember the time, many years ago, when I had to run around to get a pay cheque at the place I was working for a short time. I felt I was begging for the cheque. And the guy who sifted through other cheques to find mine gave me the impression he was doing me a favour, that I was inconveniencing him somehow. I never felt so debased in my life up to that point, or even since. I will never forget that smarmy little so-and-so.

My latest Frank media column is taking shape. I have had to conduct some little interviews as research for a topic for that column. Another interview subject came forward this evening, and I look forward to what that person has to say on this topic. I am hoping that the subject matter will prove interesting to my readers. We will see.

I think I will turn in. See you tomorrow.


Monday, April 24, 2017

Post 3547 - Monday Night

Well, Bevboy feels foolish.

I wrote Sunday night's blog post, but I forgot to publish it. I apologize for that. I was wondering why people didn't write and praise me for its beauty and elegance. Now, I know.

So, you get two blog posts today. How much will you pay now?

First day back to work, man. A long day. I did hear that my editor was pleased with my latest true crime article. It will likely go up in next week's Frank. I will keep you posted. I think it is one of my better articles, and I hope you agree.

I have begun researching a topic for my latest Frank media column. It may cause me some grief and aggravation when it goes up, but that is something that Frank loves, and the topic is something that I have wondered about for a very long time. Now, I have the sources at my disposal to answer the question more effectively than I ever could before I had the column. I hope to get some answers to that question in the coming 48 hours. You will know what I mean when that column is published next week.

Sorry to be so enigmatic, but that content, you have to pay for. Enigmas are free, though.

I think I will turn in. You take care of yourselves and enjoy the "extra" blog post.

See you tomorrow.


Post 3546 - Another Couple of Days Later

Past 10:30.

I didn't write yesterday, natch. Sorry about that. I spent a full six hours at the Nova Scotia Archives, looking for information about unsolved murders and missing persons cases. I found information about a murder that I had forgotten about. A quick look at the Halifax police website page that lists and discusses the unsolved crimes tells me that this particular case is still outstanding. It is now on my list to track down information about.

I also found out some radio information whilst at the archives. Some historical information, to be exact. Something you will find nowhere else. I look forward to sharing it with you, in the next issue of Frank.

Saturday night, we tried to binge watch a couple of shows, with varying degrees of success. We finished season one of "Shut Eye". There were plot holes in it I could drive my KIA through. The final plan concocted by the main characters worked in spite of their best efforts, not because of them. A disappointment in a show that mostly wasn't.

"Chance", starring Hugh Laurie of "House" fame, was monotonous. Too precious by far, and slower paced than a postal worker on Valium swimming through a vat of molasses. We watched the pilot and we're done.

"Imposters" captivated us. It's about a couple of grifters who make a few mistakes and the ones they ripped off come after them. Throw in another "mark" who is stealing from the grifters' boss, divided loyalties, cons conning each other back and forth, and the law not far behind, and you have a terrific show. We were up until 2:30 Sunday morning watching it. We finished the last three episodes this afternoon.

"National Treasure" stars Robbie Coltrane as an aging comedian who gets accused of sexual assault by much younger women. It was a four part series that should have been a three part series, maybe a two and a half part series. We finished watching it this evening.

My editor at Frank told me last week that he thought I was a workaholic. I told him that there is little else I enjoy more than binge watching tv shows, or reading a book on my front deck.  But if he wants to think this I won't stop him...

Another short vacation is over. Back to work in the morning. The time away from work whizzes by at a rate that is totally unfair. I know that my work day will crawl along at a very unsatisfactory rate.

On that note, I will bid you adieu. See you tomorrow.


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 dlvr.it (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. Dlvr.it also updates the Bevboy's Blog Facebook fan page. Unless they have changed the parameters of dlvr.it, 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 dlvr.it, 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.