Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Post 3506 - Tuesday

Past 10pm.

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

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

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

See you then.


Monday, February 27, 2017

Post 3505 - Monday

Pushing 10:30.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, February 26, 2017

Post 3504 - Sunday

After 10:30.

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

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

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

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

See you tomorrow.


Saturday, February 25, 2017

Post 3503 - Saturday

Pushing midnight.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See you then.


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Post 3502 - Happy Birthday

Past 10pm.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See you tomorrow.


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Post 3501 - Wednesday

Past 11pm.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Post 3500 - Happy Anniversary (I Think!)

Past 10pm.

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

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

There won't be a next time.

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

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

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

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

Complain. Complain. Complain.

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

See you then.


Monday, February 20, 2017

Post 3499 - Monday

Just past 10pm.

The end of another four day weekend in Nova Scotia. I could get used to them.

Back to work in the morning. After days of sleeping in, it is back to reality. 5:30 will come very early tomorrow indeed.

We got caught up on "Too Close to Home" today, or at least all the episodes I had on hand. I think my IQ dropped 10 points. I need all the points I can get, so curse them. Watched the first episode of "The Good Fight" this evening, too. It is the spin off of The Good Wife, and it was terrific. I can hardly wait to see where they take this show, going forward.

Very little else is going on, so I think I will call it a night. It's a night.

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Post 3498 - Sunday

Past 1am.

Did very little today. Cooked some more haddock. Patricia used the little machine she has to suck the moisture out of the rest of the haddock, and put it in better freezer storage. It is now in the freezers.

Spent hours today watching episodes of "Too Close to Home", a trashy, barely professional-looking, low-rent scripted show that features a very bored-looking Heather Locklear, who likely wants to fire her manager. Just a few more and we are done.

There are lots of far better tv shows to watch, but sometimes the crap, that floats to the top, gets skimmed off and that's what we watch. I can't explain it.

Trying to get material on my next true crime case for Frank. Had a few cases fail to pan out for me recently. Discouraging. Will keep trying, though.

I think I will turn in. Maybe do something productive tomorrow.

See you then.


Saturday, February 18, 2017

Post 3497 - A Sad Day

About 12:30AM, Sunday morning to be precise.

We went to the BFM (Bibles for Missions) thrift store on Saturday. Got some vintage paperback books. Things were picked over. The men's shirts were in short supply. Usually you can find real cheap things like older flat screen computer monitors, but the only one they had took a proprietary power supply, which did not come with the monitor. The last time I bought such a monitor, I had to order the appropriate power supply through ebay, and it was not inexpensive.

We drove through Caledonia Road and out to Waverley. Decided to go to Dartmouth, to Gateway Meat Market. Their main sale today was haddock for $2.97 a pound. You could get a maximum of 10 packages, so that is what we got. I'm told that the items that are on sale, especially a price like that, are sold at a loss, a loss leader in marketing parlance. They must have lost a ton of money during this sale, because the lady was putting out more and more of that fish just during the 20 minutes we were there.

Gateway is designed in such a way that you go in one side, work your way up the first aisle, which is wide and has food on both sides, then to the left where the produce is (once again, on both sides), and then you hang another left toward the cash registers. All the while, you're throwing "just one more thing" on to your shopping cart. It is hard to spend more than, say, 20 minutes there, as the new people just entering push you along. Astonishing way to run a business, but it sure works for them.

We checked out the Sally Ann on Main Street after that. Got nothing. Drove home. I cooked some fish and some steak for dinner. Then we watched episodes of "Too Close To Home" before we tried to watch "Doctor Strange", only it wouldn't load, so we jumped on to a friend's Plex Server and watched "The Secret Life of Pets", which was a pure pleasure. Do yourself a favour and watch that movie.

Got some bad news this evening. A guy I knew named Les Muise died suddenly on Friday. Met him the better part of 10 years ago when we were having coffee downtown. He was at the next table and was chuckling at what we were saying. He just started working his way into our conversations.

Over the years, he and I became closer. Well, at least until 2011, when I was moved from downtown to Young Street. Just didn't run into him that much. But before that, we chatted a lot about his earlier life as a business man. I once worked with a woman he liked very much, and about whom he revealed a lot to me. She does not know that I know these things about her, and I don't think I will ever tell her. I seldom see her anyway, but seeing her and knowing her, I would never have suspected the things about her that Les told me. He told me with a tone that told me that he really cared for her. She knew it, but did not return that affection.

He told me that he had a volunteer role with the RCMP, which is how he became aware of other people he hinted to me about. He told me about a now-national broadcaster whose shady past may yet catch up with the person. No proof, so no names, folks. Don't ask.

Most importantly, Les encouraged my writing. He frequently left comments on this blog, and you can have fun finding them. A couple of times he said I should be up for the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, which was sweet of him, even though the word "humour" has always bothered me, and I have never found anything written by Leacock to be... humourous. But it was very nice of him to tell me that, and to write that, too. He very much liked the obituaries for my parents that you can find here, too. The "Year in the Life" feature I did here a few years ago was something he liked, too. And I know he was happy that I was writing for Frank.

Les was always a gentleman with me, never anything less that polite and cordial, even friendly. His company was something I had missed, and now, I will have it again. That makes me sad.

I wish I had better words tonight. Les would be disappointed with me. Sorry, bud.

I have not heard when Les' funeral will be. Likely by Wednesday, and likely at the funeral home on Lacewood Drive. I will let you know when I find out.

I think I will ring off for now. I just don't feel like writing anymore.


Friday, February 17, 2017

Post 3496 - Friday

Nearly 12:30am.

We were gonna do heck and all today, but in the end, we did nearly nothing. Patricia wasn't feeling well, and I took a bit of a turn as well. Didn't leave the house.

The most productive thing I did all day was look through the movies list on my Plex media server with the "duplicates" filter turned on. I pruned quite a few duplicates on one of the hard drives. That barely puts a dent in all the dupes that have shown up over the last couple of years. I should probably do, say, 10 a day. After a period of time, they would all be accounted for, and I would likely free up a terabyte or two of space.

Yeah, I know. Why do I download so much? I think it must be my addictive personality. I used to buy all manner of DVD's. Before that, VHS tapes, both with movies on them and the kind I would record stuff on. At least now, I can say that all the hard drives I am filling up with content like films and tv shows are all in on this one computer desk.

I know you don't care about this next part, but I do. I bought a desktop computer in 2009, and still have it. Got a new widescreen monitor at the time, a 19" Acer. Worked splendidly until a couple of months ago, when I had to reboot the computer it was attached to. Must have shorted something somewhere. I tried one last time to get it work on Tuesday, to no avail.

A couple of years ago, at Value Village, I spent six dollars on another flatscreen monitor, because the older ones are smaller, non-widescreen, and not as flat as the newer monitors. Pressed it into service when the first one crapped out. When I tried to get the original one working again, and it didn't work, I had to re-hook up the second one. By the monitor port I saw an input RCA jack. I hadn't noticed before but this monitor has a built in speaker. I think it is just one speaker, but in looking at it now, it appears to have two of them. Not sure what is up with that.

So, for six bucks, I got a perfectly-decent monitor. I barely miss the old one.

Tomorrow, I am not sure what we will do. I will tell you about it after it is over.

Like you care.

See you then.


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Post 3495 - Thursday

Past 10pm.

Another snowstorm over night. The drive in to work this morning was an adventure to say the least. Even with snow tires and the anti skid feature the Soul has, I was slip sliding away.

I had breakfast at the Burger King on Young Street. The parking lot there is huge, and they were using it to store snow. Here is what it looked like at around 7:45 this morning:

Yeah, that's the Soul in the foreground. I can only imagine how much larger the pile got throughout the day.

Lots of people couldn't make it in today. Their roads were impassable or their driveways were too full of the wet stuff, or whatever. Let's just say I didn't have to take a number when I went into the men's room today. Nice.

Patricia stayed home today. I got a few groceries after work and drove home and made dinner. Haddock again. This time, the package was small enough that we ate nearly all of it for dinner. Side salad and veggies and Cavendish fries. Brownies with frozen yogurt for dessert. We have been waddling around the house ever since. If I were just a few years older, I'd probably have spent the evening passing gas, so I am glad I am not there just yet.

Tomorrow is my earned day off. Monday is the February holiday. So, I get two, four day weekends in a row. A fella could get used to that.

I think I will turn in.

See you tomorrow.


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Post 3494 - Wednesday

Pushing 11pm.

Just filed my most recent media column for the next issue of Frank. Ahead of deadline, which is the way I like it.

I am not sure what it is with this laptop. It works well, but my damn palm slips or I do some gesture and I find myself sending an email or a tweet or something when I do not mean to. It is all very frustrating indeed. I accidentally sent two emails to my editor tonight. The first one was sent when I was half way through writing a sentence and before I had added the various attachments I had to include. So I sent the second email with the attachments. I feel like a dummy.

We had our bi-weekly TM meeting tonight. Not many members there. Between the snowstorms and the teachers protests, there was no place to park in the main part of the downtown. Whole blocks with parking meters on them are covered on one side with snow, and most of the other sides are already in use. I ended up parking on Barrington in front of the Lt. Governor's mansion. I got so frustrated at one point, I nearly gave up.

After the meeting, Patricia was at the car. I had a couple TM'er with me, and we drove them home, in the Clayton Park area. We got something at Wendy's and drove home. I started rewriting my Frank column article around 9:15. I sit her in the living room while Patricia snoozes on the couch next to me.

I don't get too involved with politics here. I am a provincial civil servant, and nothing good can come from getting too political. But I need to state something about the teachers.

They have to shut the hell up and move on with things.

A couple of years ago I interviewed Don Connolly. A good chunk of that interview ran in Frank, and I have yet to run the full version here. I really should do that. But at one point, I asked Don about a time when he hung up on a guest, other than Al Goldstein of Screw Magazine fame.

He told me of a time in the 1990's I guess it was, when the teachers were in the news about something. They got a new contract or something. The hue and cry to the Information Morning phone lines was remarkable. He said something like how, most civil servants get a fair break from the public, many people have a deeply-seeded resentment for teachers. As he summed it up, "The teachers? Fuck the teachers".

I think it goes back to when we were all in school. We can all, every one of us, remember a teacher or three who was hateful, vile, disgusting, and just there to collect a bloated paycheque. I remember a teacher who spouted his religious nonsense at us, and we didn't dare disagree with him, because he was a jerk who did not like contrary opinions about things. He was our history teacher in senior high. He found ways to work his religious beliefs into his classes. The little turd went on to become Vice Principal, and I am sure he was the most efficient VP that school ever had. That is not a compliment. How I hated that man.

You can think of a jerk teacher or two, too. Don't lie to me.

Anyway, the teachers do not have a tremendous amount of good will. What they have, is running out quickly. You hear about parents supporting teachers in their quest for yet more money, but I feel that their fervor is lessening.

After the government passes that bill next week, the teachers will not stop fighting. They have to, or they will lose whatever support they have left. And that is not much.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Post 3493 - Tuesday

Hi. Sorry I haven't written the last couple of days. We have had the last two days off work due to that terrible snow storm. I have been busy doing not a heck of a lot.

I can report that I will have a true crime piece in next week's issue of Frank. It will be a follow up article from a previous piece as more information has come in.

I live in hope, probably a naive one, that these true crime pieces will shed enough light on these cases to generate tips that lead to the resolution of the case. Then, the police can thank Frank Magazine, and my article, for causing these tips to come in. Yeah. Sure. I can dream about that. Right after I finish that very detailed dream involving Scarlet Johansson and the midgets.

It is back to work tomorrow morning. Work Wednesday and Thursday. Then, off on Friday. Monday is the newish provincial holiday. So, two, four day weekends in a row. I could get use to those.

You guy have a good night. Talk to you tomorrow. And don't forget to tell me what you're wearing.


Sunday, February 12, 2017

Post 3492 - Saturday

Good morning, Monday.

Work has been cancelled for Monday. In all my years of working for the province, I have never seen work cancelled in anticipation of a storm. The forecasts must be so dire that they cannot, dare not, ignore them.

This works for me. I have spent the bulk of the weekend working on a true crime article for Frank. Spent hours transcribing two interviews on Saturday. Today was about reading over the transcriptions and researching some online articles and writing the actual draft. I sent it off to my editor a few hours ago. We will see what happens with it.

In my current media column in Frank I mentioned how a noted silent film actress was apparently in Port Williams in the 1950's and was interviewed by someone at Annapolis Valley Radio. Someone wrote me about that tonight asking me if maybe they meant another silent film actress, one I have written about before, here and in Frank. I wrote back that it would be nearly impossible for that to be the case as this other actress died in 1955, so unless this took place in the very early 1950's, before she got sick, then I don't see how she would have been in the province. She and her hubby sold their property to the phone company in 1941, and I have no idea if they came back to visit after that sale took place, even to visit. So, no, I still think it was the actress I mentioned in my column and not this other one. But, who knows?

I am going to turn in, if only so I can watch a bit of Roast Battle 2. My goodness, that is a rude program!

See you tomorrow.


Saturday, February 11, 2017

Post 3491 - Saturday

Pushing 1am. Technically Sunday morning.

I didn't write on Friday because my body just kinda shut down on me around 9pm. Went to bed early.

Today, I have been busy working on my latest true crime story for Frank. I interviewed a source Saturday afternoon. Before and after I was transcribing portions of an interview I conducted on Thursday evening. I took a break in the afternoon, which delayed my finishing the transcription of today's interview until about 12:40am Sunday morning. I have it all backed up on my dropbox folder. I have printed off both interview transcriptions and will go through them both in the morning before I write the actual article. I have promised my editor he will have it on his desk when he arrives to work on Monday morning.

If he arrives there. We are supposed to get a huge blizzard Sunday into Monday. If it is really bad they may delay our work opening Monday morning. I can only imagine there is some kind of policy at the  Frank bunker that if the weather is abominable they will decide to work from home or something. I wonder?

Anyway, I think I will turn in. Lots of work to do on Sunday.

See you tomorrow.


Thursday, February 9, 2017

Post 3490 - Thursday

You call that a storm?

We have been hearing for days about how there was a terrible storm coming. So far, pushing 11pm, we have had some freezing rain, and that's about it. A walk in the park.

I have spent most of the evening working on my next Frank true crime article, as well as a portion of the next media column. A productive evening. Two interviews. Another interview for the true crime piece on Saturday afternoon.  I have promised my editor that my draft of that true crime article will be on his desk when he gets to work on Monday morning. My home office is next to the laundry room, so I figure I can wash clothes while I'm working here, too.

I have had a terrible time with my Plex Media Server over the last day or so. It keeps telling me, and my clients, that certain shows are not available, that the "media wasn't present". That usually points to an unmounted hard drive, but that is not the case. I have split up the TV Shows library into three smaller libraries and am rebuilding the libraries and indexes now. My goodness, what a pain in the rump roast it can be to maintain this stuff. Why doesn't it just work?

I think the problems are related to the new version of Plex that was released and which I installed, several days ago. That is usually the way. You have an application that works just splendidly, and then they release a fancy update. You have to install it because otherwise they will make your current version, the one that works splendidly, stop working at all. So, you install the new version, and it frigs up your mojo. Happens every time.

Frigging computers, man. Hate 'em sometimes.

I think I will turn in. Likely have to drive in to work in the morning through that really heavy snow that hasn't fallen yet.

See you tomorrow.


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Post 3489 - Wendesday

Hello. Past 10pm.

I haven't written because I took a couple sick days. As per my rules, when I take  a sick day, so does the blog. I have explained why, elsewhere, and don't need to go over that.

Let's see here. What is going on in my life?

I am trying to get a true crime article for the next issue of Frank. A few balls are up in the air. Two are about to crash to earth unless some minor miracle happens. In both cases, which I will not name, so much time seems to have passed since the murders that the loved ones I am able to track down do not want to talk about them. They have moved on, accepted that their loved ones are dead, that my writing an article about them will not lead to anything positive, so thank you, but no thank you. That makes me a little sad.

I lost my brother to cancer when I was five years old. If instead he had been murdered, or gone missing, even all these years later, I would want, with a furious passion, to know what had happened to him, and would welcome any and all offers from the media to shed some light on his cold case. I truly do not understand why someone would turn down this opportunity. I just don't. But I respect their wishes.

If I can find someone else in those families to talk to me, then I will go that route, but I am not hopeful.

I know people would like me to produce more of these true crime pieces. I write them as fast as I can.  But I need people to talk to me in order for that to happen. And that is not an easy task. Just sayin'.

We got a small storm over night. Of course, schools from Yarmouth to Sydney were canceled, which ticked off an awful lot of people, and inconvenienced thousands of parents and probably hundreds of employers whose staff were distracted by their kids not being where I will say this: even in my day, schools were canceled. Even in my day, some of those cancellations were wonky. It would be crappy at 6am, and quite lovely by 10am. But there was, and is, no mechanism for opening schools at lunch time. Maybe there should be. The very odd time we have our work canceled, we might be told to stay home until, say, 11am, at which time we are expected to report to work. Why can't that work for our schools? I am just wondering. No need to yell at me.

Past 10:30. I have a long day tomorrow. I think I will turn in.

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, February 5, 2017

Post 3488 - Sunday


Another weekend over. Another work week awaits. Yay.

We spent a few hours Saturday morning and into the afternoon at the Nova Scotia Public Archives on University Avenue.

My goal was to find some information about some unsolved murders and missing persons. There was very little information online about these cases. I ended up finding information about two of those cases, out of six. That sounds like a bad score, but it was two more than I had going in. And I found a couple neat little historical things for upcoming Frank Magazine media columns. Those pieces are often hard to find.

I also stumbled on what may be another unsolved murder case, from early 1968. Woman found stabbed to death in her home. I found two articles yesterday but didn't have the time to keep looking for more articles, so I don't know if her murder was solved, or not. Something to investigate at a later date.

Anyway, the two cases I found out about. I found three articles about one case, and just one about the second one. But in each case, I found some crucial information. When all else fails, look for a person's obituary. You will get names of family members, spouses, and so on. That information can be used to search places like Facebook to find family members, some of whom may be interested in talking to you. Nobody taught me this. I had to figure this out on my own. Or, just maybe, I have read so much crime fiction in my life that some investigative tips rubbed off on me.

After we left the Archives, we drove to the Mumford Tim Horton's, to have coffee with Jordan Bonaparte, who runs the Night Time Podcast, which focuses a lot of time on true crime stuff. He wants to have me on as a guest in the next couple of months, to discuss a particular case I have investigated in Frank. I will fill you in with the details as they materialize.

We got home after that and watched some stuff on Netflix. We checked out episodes of Santa Clarita Diet, the new show with Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant. I think it is a scream, but Patricia is giving it a pass, likely because of its subject matter. Drew becomes a zombie and must eat the flesh of human being to continue to exist in that state. I get how that show would not be for everybody.

Today has been about doing laundry and cleaning up for tomorrow and finding things to watch other than the Superbowl. We liked Lady Gaga on the half time show, but otherwise, football does nothing for me at all.

I think I will turn in. 5:30 comes very early.

See you tomorrow.


Saturday, February 4, 2017

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Post 3486 - Thursday


Another long day. Will be turning in shortly.

I still feel a sense of freedom over last night's blog post. I admitted to forgetting people's names all the time. I saw a guy in the hallway this afternoon. He said, "Hi, Bev". I smiled and said hello and kept going. Damned if I know what his name is. I haven't a bloody clue. John? Paul? George? Ringo? Who knows? But he knows mine, and that is all that matters for the time being. He's a manager, so I should probably attempt to find out his name. I guess. I don't know. I mean, if I found out his name, like I have twice already, I'd likely just forget it again. Because Bevboy.

After work tonight I got myself to the post office to mail the latest issue of Frank Magazine to someone I mentioned in the current issue. He is a business reporter at WCBS Radio in New York, and I make it a point to listen to at least one of his business reports every morning on my way to work. He has some family in Newfoundland. Dunno how often he makes it to these shores. I also threw in some Blog business cards. Because Bevboy.

After that, I parked the Soul on a side street close to where Patricia has her Pilates class. I half slept for about 90 minutes before I met up with her where she has her Pilates. We drove here. Ate some salmon. Realized that we both want more salmon. Maybe during our annual anti-Superbowl party, we will.

Ah, yes. The Superbowl. I have no understanding whatsoever of the sport of football. People run after this ball that doesn't even look that round, and rejoice when they advance three inches in the desired direction. I'm bored out of my mind. The next day, the armchair pundits pronounce that it was an excellent game,and I throw up my hands. I will never get that crap. Ever.

I think I will turn in. Nice to get to bed before 11pm for a change.

See you tomorrow.


Tomorrow is Friday. Can't frigging wait. Been a long week. Need some rest.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Post 3485 - A Confession

Around 11:15.

Just sent in my media column in to my editor at Frank. I can only imagine what interesting tidbits will dribble in over the next 24 hours that I will have to add to the column to keep it as current as possible. As usual, there is content in the column that is available nowhere else.

I will not have a true crime article in the next Frank, not unless the laws of physics stop applying to me, and I can source the article, write it and send it off to my editor in 24 hours. Not possible.

There is not much else to report. We had a good Toastmasters meeting tonight. Five members and as many guests.  Two of them are joining, and the rest expressed an interest to return. Table topics were about what it was like for the participants to meet the person whose name was written on slips of paper. We had a speech that was evaluated. And the meeting was over just before 7pm.

I admitted something in the meeting tonight, and I will admit it here. It has been something that has dogged me through life. Please don't tell anyone. Do we have a secret?

I absolutely stink at remembering people's names.

There. I stated it. I feel better now. Phew.

I can be told someone's name, and forget it within seconds. In one ear and out the other. It is not a function of my growing a bit older, or becoming forgetful. It has ever been thus. As a little kid I couldn't keep someone's name in my noggin for any length of time. The problem has not grown more acute with age. It just is, and I have had to deal with it. I wrote the names of our guests this evening on my agenda as they were introduced, and used that list throughout the evening to keep the names straight. That will avail me naught in two weeks' time when we meet again, and some or all of them show up to greet me. If I am very lucky, I will be able to remember two of them by name. The rest of them, not so much. Already, the names are fading from my memory.

I hope those of you whose names I have forgotten over the years do not take it personally, that you are not insulted or offended. I just can't bloody remember names. From time to time, I forget the names of people at work, at least the names of people I do not interact with on a regular basis.

I am in good company. Stan Lee himself, the guy who co-created many of the classic Marvel superheroes whose films we see to the present day, has a notoriously poor memory. Some 50 years ago, he forgot the alter ego for The Incredible Hulk in a Fantastic Four story. If he had had an editor, he could have reminded Stan, or fixed his copy; but Stan mostly edited himself, so the error made it to print. Bruce Banner became Bob Banner. They retroactively changed the character's name to Robert Bruce Banner. For the 1970's TV show, the one with Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno, the producers thought the name of Bruce didn't sound right so they decided to name him David. The comics complied, calling him David Robert Bruce Banner from them on. And now you know.

I am sure there are many more examples of extreme forgetfulness. Please tell me about them. I will even try to remember them for you. Note the word "try".

Now, isn't it time for bed? I can't remember.

See you tomorrow.