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.

Bevboy

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.

Bevboy

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.

Bevboy

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.

Bevboy

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.

Bevboy

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.

Bevboy

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.

Bevboy

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.

Bevboy

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.

Bevboy

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.

Bevboy

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.

Bevboy

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.

Bevboy

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.

Bevboy


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.

Bevboy

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.

Bevboy

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.

Bevboy




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.

Bevboy

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.

Bevboy


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.

Bevboy



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.

Bevboy

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.

Bevboy

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.

Bevboy