Thursday, August 31, 2017

Post 3644 - Bullies

So, I was on Facebook yesterday and wrote some posts, had a to and fro, with a FB friend. The subject of my having been bullied in junior high school in the 1970's came up.

And those comments were all deleted by the guy I was to'ing and fro'ing with. I didn't know that was possible, but apparently it is.

Grumble grumble.

I will post those comments here, as best as I can recollect, and expand on them. Because I can, and nobody can stop me. And nobody can delete these comments.

I was bullied to within an inch of my life during the three years I attended junior high school. That was between September of 1976 and June of 1979. The school was King's County Academy in Kentville, Nova Scotia.

Hell on earth.

I cannot recall one good day from that period of my life. Not one. I'd go to school every day and expect to be tormented by the same six people or so, and ignored by most of the rest. Those expectations were always met, often in spades. Pushed down stairs. Beaten up. Verbally abused. Mocked. Ridiculed. Is it any wonder I listened to the radio so much, and read so much, and found other things to do that did not require the presence of other human beings?

Weekends were about girding my loins and dreading returning to school Monday morning. I mostly stayed in my bedroom with the door closed, coming out for meals or television or bathroom breaks. My bedroom was right next tot the bathroom. Sunday nights were the worst, as it presaged Monday morning and going back to that place.

To this day, I have no idea what I did to earn their rancor.  What terrible thing I did in a previous life to warrant their treatment of me. What horrible back story each of those people had had that they felt it necessary to pick on me, relentlessly, mercilessly.

By grade 9, I'd hide out in the school's massive library. I would often sit at a table close to where the librarian was so that I could not be bullied as much.

Let's not forget the teachers. A few of them were less than kind to me, too. The gym teacher hated me. I am not exaggerating. He despised me for reasons I still don't know. My former niece had him as a gym teacher a few decades later and reported that he was a nice man. I don't get it.

I left that fine, fine educational institution after three years and went to senior high school at another school, in another town, a place called Cornwallis District High School in Canning. Three comparatively good years of my life followed. Lots of work. Some BS. But at least people weren't beating me up any more.

I still have some scars from that period of my life. I continue to have trust issues. I don't make friends easily. I remain sensitive to the perception of bullying. I feel that I have been bullied once or twice in the work place, for example, and nothing was ever done about it.

It gets better. If you were bullied in school, or are being bullied now, it gets better. Leave where you are, if you can. Try to ignore the bullies, if you can. Find things to do that enrich your spirit. Become interesting.

See you tomorrow.


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Post 3643 - A Day Later

Getting late.

I went to the archives after work tonight. My heart was not on the job, so I quit for the evening by 6:20 or so. I probably should have stayed longer, but I wasn't finding very much about the cases I was researching, so I thought I'd treat myself to an early night.

Patricia had had an appointment downtown. She stopped off at a place that sold samosa's, so she got a few. We ate them when we got home. Absolutely delicious, if spicy and nose hair burning.

We topped off the night watching a few episodes of Trans Parent, the show starring Jeffrey Tambor where he decides to transition to a female, at age 68. The show does not reward binge watching, but rather demands a certain reflection. Two, maybe three, episodes a night, and that is all I can handle. It can be a little weird, too.

Two more work days before a long weekend. Does life get any better?

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Post 3642 - The Dentist

I have survived another visit to the dentist.

I have a new one, at the  Timberlea Dental Centre. Much closer to my home, and much nicer people who have a degree of patience that I find very comforting. They gave me a bunch of x-rays tonight and asked me some questions and checked that I did not have oral cancer.

After an hour, I was out of there, even happier that my insurance covered 100% of the cost. I am scheduled for my next appointment in January. I won't say I'm looking for it, but I am not dreading either.

I had earned a good dinner, so when I got home, I cooked the steak that Patricia had left out an hour earlier.  Threw some fries in the oven and tossed some mushrooms on the barbecue along with the steak. Not bad. Not the best steak I have ever had, but far from the worst.

Patricia has a headache this evening, so I served her dinner in bed. I have had the living room to myself. Now, I have the home office to myself. Which isn't saying much, because she seldom enters this room. Something about how it is a war zone. Or something.

Three more days until a long weekend. Can I make it?

See you tomorrow.


Monday, August 28, 2017

Post 3641 - Run

Another long day. Bed, soon.

After work tonight, we went to dinner. We had many places in Bayer's Lake to choose from, so where did we go? Pizza Delight. There is nothing delightful about that place. The buffet contained food I would not feed to a dog, but we ate it anyway, which says something about that. During the meal, we looked at each other and pinky swore, used all our fingers on both hands, we would never go back there.

Maybe you heard about this, but this week, Cineplex Odeon theatres in the country are offering the Tuesday night movie prices, every night. Here. Read about it.

We decided to see the new Ryan Reynolds/Samuel L. Jackson flick, "The Hitman's Bodyguard". A buddy movie, only with the violence and cussing ramped up to 11. I liked it, but I heard Patricia roar over and over. I think she liked it more than I did.

Will we go back this week? Hard to say, but I doubt it. Will Cineplex Odeon repeat this? I have a feeling it will. Too many people are balking at the cost of seeing a film in theatres, opting instead to stay at home and watch them on a streaming service. I don't blame them. That is what we usually do.

Is it Friday yet? I want it to be Friday.

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, August 27, 2017

Post 3640 - Even Better

Another day later...

Plex is running just great. All the television shows' meta data downloaded over night. The movie meta data is still downloading. Will do the same for the albums I ripped from CD's tomorrow.

And this evening I got the Samsung ML 1915 drivers working. My laser printer. I use it quite a bit for my Frank Magazine work, writing and editing and so on. The usual source of driver no longer seemed to work for me. I got frustrated. Then, I thought that maybe, just maybe, Linux Mint had the drivers installed already. I searched in the printers app, and there it was. I shared that printer with the network, and now I can print from the other desktop computer I have here in my home office, about five feet from here.

(Yes. Two computer desks. Two desktop computers. Two usb-powered scanners. Plus a regular desk my father built for me a long time ago. Constructed ingeniously. I would never part with it. Plus, a crap ton of books, and other stuff, all in a relatively small room.)

I feel much better this evening, after the evenings of frustration I went through. Now, I just have to get the fax machine I got a couple of weeks ago up and running. I bought two. I have determined that a couple buttons on one them don't work, so I think it will be useless to me. The second one, which I got for five dollars, looks much more promising. The seller even included a help page that contains most of the assistance I should need to send faxes (I don't need the ability to receive them, so I don't care if that feature works or not.) I will get that working this week. Just need to access someone's fax number so I can send a test fax or two, to see if the thing does a decent job.

Back to work in the morning. Yay.

See you tomorrow, my friends.


Saturday, August 26, 2017

Post 3639 - That's Better

A day later, and things are better, no thanks to the guy on the Plex forum.

I got up and tried to get it working before I went to the Archives, but I could not. More frustration like last night. After a few hours at the archives, I returned home and resumed this exercise.

While at the archives, I began to toy with the idea of coming up with a new Plex account, see where that would take me. Trying it at home just hopelessly confused Plex. So, I decided to take it to the next level.

After backing up some things on another drive, I reinstalled Linux Mint, overwriting entirely what was there before.

Several hours later, I have downloaded most of the apps I like. Got Dropbox up and running and synchronized with other computers. And, praise be, got Plex reinstalled and running.

For the last few hours, it has been running and trying to get new metadata for the media content I have. I imagine it will be fetching that information all night.

I should not have had to do what I did today. It was patently ridiculous to do this. But it appears to have worked.

Calling it a night. Emotionally beat.

See you tomorrow.


Friday, August 25, 2017

Post 3638 - Sisyphus Would Be Frustrated

Oh, my goodness.

Oh, my sweet goodness.

Oh, my sweet swollen members of goodness.

Give me strength.

24 hours later, I still haven't got Plex back up and running. I have had a near meltdown on the Plex forums. The guy there is trying to be helpful, but I sense he is becoming frustrated with me.

The latest salvo was that I should actually uninstall Plex and then re-install it. It is not good enough to delete the contents of the corrupted library/database. So, I uninstalled it a few times now. Rebooted each time. Ran the supplied unix command to delete the contents of the library.

Here is the bestest, goodest, cooliest way to remove Plex, from a terminal:

sudo apt-get purge plexmediaserver

That worked, all four times I ran it, after each time I re-installed Plex.

So, anyway, I rebooted the computer and fired up another terminal session. Like I said, four times.

Ran this:

sudo rm -rf /var/lib/plexmediaserverv/Library

Which is supposed to delete the contents of the plex library, no questions asked. Instead, it did nothing. It just sat there and mocked me, like a sullen teenager on the couch playing video games while I go off to a job that pays for those video games and the food he stuffs into his maw.

I reinstalled plex, using the package manager and the .deb file I downloaded Thursday night that began this hell. Then restarted the service:

service plexmediaserver start

Then, I just go into my browser and click on the link that is supposed to start Plex. And, just to frig with me, it shows me the contents of the damn-it-to-hell library that is corrupted, and which will not run anything I ask it to.

Words fail me.

Well, polite words fail me.

I can't remember the last time I was more frustrated by something. Something that is supposed to work, and doesn't. Something that should be easy to update and is anything but.

Just now, the guy on the forum left a lovely message:

"At this point, I do not know what is going on with your machine and why the most fundamental commands I've given you do not work.

You're not very experienced with Linux , are you?

If you aren't, and I suspect you aren't, the best advice I can give is to go back to the OS you know better."

Sigh. Double sigh. And it is time to go to bed before I pop a gasket.

Sweet mother of Moses, I could scream.

See you tomorrow.


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Post 3637 - Sigh

Plex Media Server is toast.

I downloaded the new version this evening, and installed it. And... it stopped working.

I cannot play any media of any kind. Just says it cannot play the media.

This is not how I wanted to spend my Thursday evening.

I have logged the problem with the Plex people. They are looking into it.

I hate computers, sometimes.


See you tomorrow.


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Post 3636 - A Wet and Frustrating Day

What a day. Worked all day. Then, I went to the Archives for a few hours. Rained most of the day. Been miserable.

I found a few things at the archives this evening, but not what I am looking for. I am in search of an interesting and unique case. The methodology I am employing is extremely time consuming. I can't help but think that there might be a better way to do it. I need to theorize for a while and see if the idea I am percolating may do the trick. It would be really neat if it could.

Sorry to be so circumspect about this. It is the type of case that could really cause some local headlines if I can track it down. There is a really good chance that it will lead to nothing at all, but maybe it will work out well for me. Fingers crossed.

Tomorrow is Thursday. I am off on Friday. Yay. A three day weekend beckons.

I guess I will turn in.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Post 3635 - A Recipe For Hamburger Hash

The humidity this evening is kicking me arse. Will be turning in early.

Someone asked me how to make this hamburger hash that I wrote about last evening. I never knew a recipe. I just know that my mother made it, so the secret ingredient is love.


Boil some potatoes. Probably cut them in to halves or quarters first, so they are a uniform size. Whatever kind of potato you want. We are using new potatoes this time of year because they are affordable and much more amenable to eating with the skins on, preserving the nutrients.

While the potatoes are boiling, cook some hamburger. I used some hamburger from the valley that will melt in your mouth. A pound should do it. Extra, extra lean, so lean you have to add a bit of fat to help it cook. I cut up a few onions as well and threw them in. Ditto with a few mushrooms, although my mother would reach up from her grave and pull me in to if she knew I used them, as she hated mushrooms.

When the potatoes are boiled to the point where you can pierce them with a fork or butter knife without resistance, drain the water and let them cool off a bit. You can either cut them with a knife into smaller slices, or I suppose you can mash them until they appear to be diced. If you have a food processor, there might be a way to dice them more easily again. Don't over think this.

Drain the cooked hamburger if you need to. Put it aside. Put the crushed up potatoes in the frying pan and fry them for a few minutes, with a bit of oil. Add the hamburger and onion mixture and continue this process for maybe 10 minutes, mixing the ingredients all the while.

Eat. Enjoy. Serve with ketchup. Put some tomatoes and cucumber on the plate if you feel guilty about eating all those carbs and animal flesh.

You're welcome.

See you tomorrow.


Monday, August 21, 2017

Post 3634 - A Total Eclipse (Or My Heart!)

What a frigging day.

I took Patricia to the doctor this morning. He signed her off work for the full week. But did he sign me off work? Nope! Just because she was his patient, I guess. So and so.

I got to work late and left at my usual time. The eclipse was taking place this afternoon, but I didn't see much of anything. I mean, it may have seemed a little less light than usual at that time of day, but otherwise, I noticed nothing untoward. Sorry.

I got home. Checked in on Patricia. And then I made dinner, a Valley specialty called hamburger hash.

Be nice.

I grew up knowing "hash" to be diced up fried potatoes. Hamburger hash is the fried potatoes with cooked hamburger thrown in. We grew up eating the stuff. After I moved out and got on my own, and visited my folks, my mother would make it for me, much to Dad's dismay, because he was sick of it. After he died, Mom would occasionally make it, and I would eat three, even four plates of the wonderful concoction.

So, anyway, I made it tonight, trying to keep in mind how Mom made it. But I added onions and mushrooms. I had a full plate of it, and Patricia had two full helpings. There is enough for her lunch tomorrow.

Here it is.

Doesn't that look awesome? Couldn't you just bury your face in that and motorboat your way out? Or am I thinking of something else? Whatever. But my point is, this is quality food, folks. The very best. There is no better meal out there than hamburger hash, especially from Valley-raised beef. 

We also took out a turkey breast for a meal this week, along with a package of haddock for a fish dinner, likely for Tuesday night.

We have lots of food in our freezers. Time to consume it.

I have a thing downtown Tuesday morning. They are providing breakfast. I promise to be extra hungry for that.

The humidity is killing me, so I will go wring out the folds of skin on my face and try to get some rest.

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, August 20, 2017

Post 3633 - A Valley Trip

Two weekends in a row, I was in the Valley. This time, by myself.

I drove up Saturday morning. Got a couple groceries at that independent grocery store place in Wolfville where they are forever marking stuff half off. The roast beef sandwich was pretty gross, but it was half price. The scalloped potatoes were actually pretty good, and they were half price, too.

The only downer this weekend was that coffee maker. It is a five cup coffee maker I got for next to nothing several years ago. I pour water in at the top like I am supposed to, and a good 20% of it ends up outside the coffee maker, on the counter top. I have run CLR through it a few times now, to no avail. Time to get another coffee maker down there for next to nothing. Sally Ann, here I come.

It was too wet to mow the lawn. I spent some time cleaning up the place a bit, but not nearly enough.

Saturday afternoon, I started to watch Netflix's The Defenders. It was the culmination of their Marvel series: Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and (yawn!) Iron Fist get together to defeat the Hand because they want to take over the world or some damn thing or other.

There were a few minutes here and there of humour. Iron Fist was acknowledged as the weakest of the four series, by a country mile. The actual character of Iron Fist is a bore. When he starts going on about how he dipped his hand into the heart of a dragon, or whatever he did to become Iron Fist, Luke Cage cuts him off, pretty much calling him a liar and a braggart. Which he is. A boring one, at that.

Eight episodes feels like 12. One character spends much of one episode tied to a chair, unconscious. He wakes up at one point, and then lapses back into unconsciousness for some reason that only servers the thin plot. Other characters spending whole minutes of air time explaining to other characters why they need to do this, or not do that. The air is heavy with this kind of exposition, which by definition slows the action to a crawl.

There are fight scenes, several of them in fact. But they take place at night, with very poor lighting. I literally could not tell who was fighting whom half the time.

Sigourney Weaver is supposedly the big villain this time around, but she has little to do other than to intone the ponderous dialogue that pollutes this production.

I did watch all 8 episodes. Those are hours of my life gone forever. Don't make my mistake. Watch something else. Anything else. May I suggest watching paint dry? During daylight hours? At least you can tell what is going on.

After lunch, I returned to the city. Patricia greeted me with enthusiasm, and Newbie, with his typical indifference. Or was it the other way around? Hard to tell any more.

I had a lovely shower. I am rested and ready for another lovely week of work.

Bring it on.

See you tomorrow.


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Post 3632 - A Wonderful Meal

So, my Frank article is done. It is edited, and ready to run. I just look forward to seeing what pictures they use. I supplied lots.

I will reveal the subject of the article, another unsolved murder piece, on Monday.

After work, I had some time to kill. Patricia had Pilates, so I went to the Salvation Army store on Strawberry Hill. Thrift store day, so things were marked down 25% or more.

I walked away nearly empty handed. Short sleeve men's shirts were nearly non-existent. There were plenty of t-shirts, but I don't like t-shirts very much in the summer. I wear short sleeve shirts with buttons down the front, or maybe golf shirts. And some of the prices were not exactly what I would find thrifty. A few were ten dollars or more.

I went to Patricia's Pilates class. After it was over, we were hungry, so we went to a place on Windsor Street. We weren't ignored, exactly. Just not treated as attentively as we would have liked. We up and left and walked down the next block to the Wild Leek. Turns out it is a Vegan restaurant.

I will try most anything. I have eaten Vegan food before. And, my god, this place was excellent. The nachos have some kind of pretend cheese on them that make you forget about real cheese. Lots of veggies on them. The avocado was not ripe, but that is the only draw back.

We ordered a couple of bowls: The bliss bowl, and the Wild bowl. I forget which was which. Mine was chock full of roasted veggies. Big slices of tofu. I ate my fill, and offered the rest to Patricia for her lunch tomorrow. She nearly finished her bowl, too. We shared a strawberry chocolate cupcake.

We look forward to going back to The Wild Leek. You should check it out.

We got home. Brought in clothes we had hung out this morning on the clothes line. It had been windy today, and the clothes got all twisted up. I had to go out on the stepladder and remove the clothes from the line, which was annoying to say the least.

Friday beckons. The weekend is nearly here. Just a question of what we will do then.

See you tomorrow, my lovelies.


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Post 3631 - Yawn!

Very late. Very long day. Worked all day, and then went to the Archives. I was there from about 4:45 until 8:55, five minutes before they closed for the evening. As long as I was there, I could have used another couple of hours. Time goes by very, very quickly when I am there.

When I got home, around 9:20, I spent a bit of time with Patricia before coming down here to back up the stuff I had downloaded to the thumbdrive I use for my archives work. Then, I started revising the Frank article that is due tomorrow. That's done, I think. Just waiting for some information from the police so I can weave it into my article.

Thursday promises to be as busy as today, so I think I will turn in.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Post 3630 - Yes

Yes. It is true.

I have two fax machines in the back seat of my car. I haven't brought them into the house yet. I will do that soon.

I bought both of them in case one was dead on arrival. Frig knows what I will do if they both work. A fax machine is something I will use very infrequently. I could barely justify buying one machine. Having two fax machines is overkill. I may end up selling it, if I can find someone who wants to buy a used fax machine, that is.

Silly me.

I spent much of the evening working on my next true crime piece for Frank. Today, Patricia went to the library and retrieved an article from 1989 which has some information about the subject of my next piece. I read that this evening and incorporated some information from it in my article. I have scanned in that article from the library and now have a digital copy of it for my own archives.

Patricia is off work tomorrow, but I still have to get up. So I think I will call it a night.

It's a night.

Ha ha.

Get it?

I have to stop doing that.

See you tomorrow.


Monday, August 14, 2017

Post 3629 - At Last


Sorry I haven't written much the last couple of days. I had a crazy busy weekend. Let me tell you about it.

Saturday morning we got up bright and early. We wanted to drive down to the Valley to go to Grand Pre to see the Acadians and Mi'kmaw gathering. It was advertised a great deal on tv over the summer. We hit the road by 9 or so, but by 9:30, on the highway, the weather took a sudden turn. Rain coming down in torrents made us reconsider our decision.

We decided to do some other things.

I had some other business down there. I was going to buy a fax machine. Yes. A fax machine. I have a specific need to send faxes from time to time, a task associated with my work with Frank Magazine. I am not comfortable using the fax machine at my work for this purpose, and rather than burden my editor by asking him to send those faxes on my behalf, I thought maybe I could purchase an inexpensive fax machine of my own and use it for this periodic purpose.

(Yes. I know I can use a fax server. But the fax servers I have investigated usually charge a certain amount each month for using them. Maybe they let you send a couple free ones before you have to sign up. The thing is, even the cheapest plan is more than I want to pay, since I will send maybe 10 faxes per year. Cheaper to buy a fax machine and go semi old school)

There were two fax machines I was considering purchasing. One of them was in Hantsport. Because of the rain, it took us longer to get there than I would have liked, but we finally arrived around 10:55am. The lady showed me how to use it, gave me a sheet of paper that summarized the functions a fella would be likely to use. It is a plain paper fax, but received faxes print off on thermal paper, which sucks, but I have no intention of receiving faxes on it. Well worth five dollars.

We went up the road to Windsor and ended up in a bookstore called Reader's Haven. I had heard about that store for a while, but had never been. We walked around there a bit and Patricia got a couple of books. We will return, now that we know where it is.

While there, I got a call from another woman. The fax machine she and her hubby were selling was still available. I decided to go check it out. We drove to New Minas to the main Tim Horton's, across from the Super store. The woman was there waiting for us. I looked at that fax machine, which was bigger than the previous one. Ten dollars. I bought that one, too. Total expenditure: 15 dollars.

From there, we decided to drive to Coldbrook, to Guy's Frenchy's. Patricia found some clothes she wanted there. I found nothing. We decided to drive further up the Valley, to Berwick. There is a Guy's Frenchy's there, too. Tons and tons of women's clothing, but not much for men. Patricia found some stuff. I found nothing.

It is my theory that men wear out their clothes more than women wear out theirs. Women like to swap out their clothes when they get tired of wearing them. The situation is even more obvious when it comes to shoes. I wear my shoes until they start falling apart. That's why there are so many used clothing stores that have far more women's clothing than men's. Ditto for shoes.

We decided to go yet further up the Valley, to Middleton. By 3:30 or so we were there. I wanted to go to Blue Griffin Books as I had never been there. I had purchased some mystery magazines from its owner, Jonathan, but had never met the guy and had never seen the store.

My goodness.

So many books.

Only John Doull's store in Dartmouth has more books. And Jonathan has a basement where even more stuff in it, so maybe he has more books that John does.

I asked to see those mystery magazines again. I saw some I had not noticed in the list he had sent me in June, so I grabbed them. He had a lot of back issues of the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (everyone calls it "F&SF"). I picked out the ones that did not look familiar to me and put those aside for purchase. Two days later, I still don't know if I got some back issues that I already had. Give me time, will you?

After all was said and done, and Jonathan had counted what i wanted to purchase, I had selected 97 magazines. Because I was getting so many, he knocked down the per issue cost to 35 cents, from 50. When I added in the two books Patricia wanted to get, the total cost was $45. A great deal for me. And a decent sale for Jonathan.

Turns out that he owns the building that the store is in. He lives upstairs in a three bedroom apartment. He has an office up there where he runs the publishing part of his business, which is about reprinting public domain Nova Scotia-based history books. He prints off a few copies of a book at a time to keep costs down.

We left shortly after 4. We were starving, not having eaten since breakfast. We hopped back on the 101 and drove for 30 minutes to Soonhan's Sushi in New Minas. We had several sushi rolls, stuffing our faces past the point of comfort. Damn, I love the food there.

We went to the house for a few minutes, to check the place out. Then drove to Wolfville to get some reduced items at the grocery store there. We always get some good deals on meat there. Saturday was no exception.

By the time we got home, we were exhausted. We turned in early.

Sunday morning we got up around 8am. We dithered for a bit and then decided we would return to the Valley, and make a bigger effort to go to Grand Pre.

We arrived there around 11:30. We were directed to a dirt road where there was still some parking. We made our way to the main entrance at Grand Pre.

We had not been there in years and years, since before it was declared a Unesco World Heritage Site. They spent some money on the place. They were running a 20 minute film about the 1755 expulsion of the Acadians, so we decided to watch it.

I studied the Expulsion back in elementary school and then again in junior high school. I always walked away from those accounts thinking that the English were so-and-so's to expect the Acadians, who were French-speaking, to swear allegiance to the British, back when France and England were at war. The English could not leave well enough alone and drove these peace-loving people off their land, where they had lived for 150 years. Then, they destroyed every house, every church, every farm building they could find. Then, they invited fellow Brits to move on to that vacated land, where they became known as Planters. Some of those families still live on that land, many generations later. The Acadians were eventually allowed to return to Nova Scotia, where they settled along what we now call the French shore. And to this day, it is a provocative act to ask an Acadian to sing God Save the Queen, and rightly so.

We wandered around Grand Pre for the next several hours. I got a few snaps. Here are some of them.

The highlight for both of us was the Mi'kmaw man who spoke about the many berries and plants that can ward off illnesses. We had to use the Mi'kmaw terms. I made the mistake of calling something snapdragon, and he affixed me with a baleful glare and half-jokingly threatened to kick me off the walking tour. I shut up after that. It was pretty interesting learning what these plants are for. Even things like blueberries can be mashed together and baked into something that has a ton of nutrients and which can feed folks in the winter.

By 4pm, it was all over, and we returned to the city. We cooked burgers and steak for dinner, stuff purchased Saturday night in Wolfville. By Sunday night we were so tired we turned in early.

Monday came too soon.

So, there you have it. A crazy busy, but crazy fun, weekend. I wish they could all be that way.

Is it the weekend yet?

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Post 3628 - Tomorrow. I Mean It!

Another busy day. Back to work tomorrow. Will seem like a vacation after this weekend.

Too tired to type. Will tell you all about it tomorrow.


Saturday, August 12, 2017

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Post 3626 - Almost

The weekend is nearly here. My goodness, I love these short work weeks.

We are nearly caught up on episodes of "Wynonna Earp". Less than a week ago, we thought that the show sucked. The pilot was tiresome and derivative, but the rest of the episodes of season one rocked. Season two has been more uneven, but still worthy of watching.

I posted a link to an article on Variety dot com today. It was about how the film industry is in big trouble. People are voting with their wallets and staying home in increasing numbers. The studios respond by producing yet more sequels,  more superhero films, more explosions. Television, meanwhile, has quietly gotten better and better and better. They have lower budgets but can focus on storytelling and character, and have a much richer canvas on which to paint their narrative. Film has what Stephen King calls the sitting on a suitcase syndrome, where you stuff that suitcase so full that you have to sit on it in order to close it. Too much information, too much story, too much detail, forced into a 2 hour movie, so the result is a mess. Television has lots of room, in theory, so it can hold much more. It is a more satisfying experience than film today.

When Video Difference closed last year, one of the owner's complaints was that people were moving away from renting films, even watching films, in favour of binge watching tv shows. Films by and large have become lazy, bloated, boring, and far too predictable. The whole industry has a problem.

Patricia wants to go to a film thingy tomorrow night after work. We will see if the previous couple of paragraphs still hold true.

But who cares about all this dreary stuff? This is Bevboy's Blog.

Patricia made a delish stir fry this evening. I wanted to eat all of it, but managed to restrain myself. So, we have leftovers for lunch tomorrow. I will not have to steal bites of people's sandwiches at work tomorrow. They will be so glad!

I think I will turn in. Lots on the go tomorrow.

See you then.


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Post 3625 - Don't Read This Post!

Well, sure. Read it if you want. I can't stop you.

Being Wednesday night, the provincial archives were open. I decided to go there and research a particular unsolved crime. It was on my list to work on, but some things came along that bumped it up in my priority. Sorry to be so circumspect. I will tell you what the case is when it is published in Frank in the near future.

Rather than let Patricia languish on the bus for the better part of an hour, I drove her home first, and then doubled back to the archives. I got there around 5:45. It was windy. The folder containing my notes blew out of the car and I nearly lost those notes forever. . The water bottle I sip from, which I keep in the locker they let me use when I visit, fell off the car, twice, on to the concrete parking lot, scratching its formerly-pristine appearance. I uttered a few mighty oaths, not knowing that a little old lady was within earshot. I did not make a good impression on her or her daughter.

I got in and proceeded to work. The next three hours flew by. People don't realize how time consuming, how absorbing, this work is. Load the microfilm. Zip through it to find the articles you want, sourced earlier using a different database. Highlight the article using the application on the computer the microfilm reader is attached to. Save the article to a thumb drive. Repeat as necessary. I've gotten pretty good at that, but still, three hours is not as much time to work on this as you'd think.

I ended up finding nearly two dozen articles about this particular case, and several others about a few other cases on my radar. I drove home.  Ate something. Watched an episode of "Wynonna Earp". Showered and shaved. Came down here and backed up the files I downloaded earlier, and started writing this lovely post.

Two more work days in the work week. Weekend is already shaping up nicely. Looking forward to it.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Post 3624 - I'm Back! With New Friends!

Hello, you furry humans, you!

We returned to the city Monday afternoon, after two days at the cottage. No internet. No shoes. And a hard drive full of movies and tv shows hooked up to a media player hooked up to an HD tv for entertainment. Roughing it, 2017 style.

In our unbridled enthusiasm to return to work this morning, we neglected to take anything out of the freezer to thaw out for dinner tonight. By the end of our work day, we were hungry and at loose ends. We decided to return to Fredie's Fantastic Fishhouse in Bayer's Lake. Third visit in less than two weeks.

You have to understand something about Fredie's Fantastic Fishhouse. The fish and chips are, well, fantastic. They oftentimes sell out of certain products before they shut down for the evening, so it is best to get their early. A couple of weeks ago, we got there as they were about to close. They had almost nothing left to sell to us. The co-owner actually offered me the fish pieces she was going to take home to her family. I declined, so she promptly wrote out a "$10 off" note on a business card. We returned for a delicious dinner the following evening, and got it for ten dollars less.

We are fans of the place.

You also have to understand something else. The place is popular. Very popular. They expanded their business a few months ago, adding seating, but it fills up quickly. They set up tables and chairs outside, but it was raining tonight, so we elected to sit inside.

There are only a few tables and chairs. People routinely sit with strangers. That's what we did. When they left, they were replaced by four others, folks from the States here in town for a photography seminar thingy.

Here they are:

From left to right: Dale, Barbara, Cathy, and Milbren.

When we weren't stuffing our gobs with fish and clams and scallops and fries soaking in vinegar and salt, we got to know each other a bit. You wouldn't know it from their extremely youthful looks, but they are all retired folks. They are up here to take photographs in various parts of the province. By this weekend, they will have been to Peggy's Cove twice, one of the times at sun up.

They are from Georgia, Maryland, California and North Carolina. We felt so boring when we told them we were from the province, born and bred.

We had a lovely chat. Dale is retired from IT and threw around enough buzz words that I knew he wasn't bs'ing me. Cathy was in business for herself, I think. I don't recall if Milbren said what he is retired from.

All too soon, we were done eating, and took our leave. We will see you soon, Fredie's Fantastic Fishhouse. 

There is a certain harmony, a beauty if you will, associated with meeting friendly folks from different parts of the world. Sharing a meal with these folks just puts the cherry on top.

I promised my new friends that I'd mention them on the blog. I have kept my promise. And they each got a blog business card, so they have no excuse but to read this and think what a great guy I am. They're welcome.

Pushing midnight. Up for work in less than six hours. Think I should turn in, huh?

See you tomorrow.


Monday, August 7, 2017

Post 3623 - The Blog Returns Tomorrow

Bevboy's Blog returns on August 8. A few days off at the cottage. Other stuff.

See you tomorrow.


Friday, August 4, 2017

Post 3622 - Another Day Later

Friday night/Saturday morning. Still not at the cottage.

In the morning, 8 or so, we will get up and drive down there. We are not trying to fritter away our long weekend, but we did have a good time the last couple of days.

Friday we slept in, but eventually hit the road to the Bayer's Lake theatres and saw "Atomic Blonde", which was hard to follow. The action scenes were very good, especially the one shot to look like one very long take. It probably took days to film it. But I am getting tired of the grim and gritty nature of so many Hollywood films. The colors are muted, almost non-existent in places. Even sunny days look drab and dreary. Please stop doing that, Hollywood!

Tonight we watched "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." on Netflix. Enjoyed it much more than Atomic Blonde, if you ask me. (And it's my blog, and I don't have to be asked for my opinions on things.)

Just finished watching "Real Time With Bill Maher". Missed the old coot while he was on vacation. The funniest part by a country mile was when he got Obama impressionist Reggie Brown to say the same words and phrases that Trump has uttered over the last couple of years. Check it out on youtube. Should be there by now.

We hope to be on the road by 8 or 9. Gotta get some sleep.

See you in a few days, my lovelies.


Thursday, August 3, 2017

Post 3621 - A Day Later (And Several Dollars Shorter)

Hi. We haven't gone to the cottage yet. We slept in this morning. I cooked breakfast. My editor and I discussed my latest true crime piece for next week's Frank Magazine. And Patricia and I hit the road late in the morning.

We went to a couple of thrift stores. BFM, or Bibles For Missions, is a huge thrift store out Bedford way. Prices are terrific, not like the over priced stuff you get at Value Village. And they have tag days. If the item you want to purchase has the colour of tag that is that day's tag, you get it for half price, with a few exceptions like jewelry. So, a 75 cent book will cost 38 cents, plus 5% GST, which is like 39 cents total. Furthermore, clothing which had a yellow price tag on it was going for a dollar per item. I got a couple summer shirts, one of which was half price, so I got it really cheap. Walked out of there with some decent clothes and barely paid 10 dollars.

The cashier told me they get all kinds of stuff in there. From time to time, someone will contribute a flat screen television. It usually is sold almost instantly, as it is discounted so much, maybe 80 dollars or less. Getting a 40 inch tv for 80 or 100 dollars is a pretty good bargain.

I think I mentioned before that the computer monitor on this media server, which I am writing this blog post on, came from the BFM store. It happened to be blue tag day that day, and this monitor had a blue price tag on it, so it was instantly half off. It was the very same model monitor that I bought 8.5 years ago new, and it cost something like $150. It crapped out six months or so ago. Anyway, I got a replacement 19 inch widescreen monitor, same model as the other one, at BFM for $5.72.

From there, we went to the Guy's Frenchy's which was about a 60 second car drive from the BFM. I got a few more shirts there, and a couple pairs of shorts. That cost me about 20 dollars.

I wanted to go to a couple other thrift stores in town, but Patricia was tired. So we drove to Fredie's Fantastic Fish and Chips in Bayer's Lake and tied one on before returning home.

We have lazed around the house ever since.

I like these laid back days, sifting through the detritus that people discard and finding useful stuff.  We should do it more often.

Tomorow, as far as I know, cottage country.

See you soon.


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Post 3620 - The Weekend IS Here!

Wednesday night. Weekend is here.

Let me explain.

We have booked off on vacation on Thursday. Our earned day off is Friday. And Monday is a holiday. So, five days away from work. Of course, those days will fly by in a heartbeat. They always do.

After work tonight I went to the Archives to research some more unsolved murders and missing persons cases. I found one particular article that I tapped this evening for my next true crime piece in Frank, which I hope will be published next week. Once I found that, I started looking for more articles about other cases that I will be writing about in the coming months. I found quite a bit.

One case in particular that has confounded me is a murder in Dartmouth back in 2012. I finally managed to track down the man's sister in the last few days. But she doesn't want to talk to me. I don't get it. Do they want these murders solved or not? The media can really get the word out about these cases, in a way that the police cannot. They need us as we need them. I'm happy to talk to these people to write an honest article about their loved ones. When they don't want to talk to me, or other media folks, then I am flummoxed.

I picked up Patricia and the Halifax Shopping Centre. I didn't see her at first, so I had to double back, and I took the wrong turn, and I don't want to talk about it any more. Not my finest hour. We got home and I ate something. Around 9pm, I came down here and finished the true crime piece I mentioned earlier. I filed it with my editor about 20 minutes ago.

That done, I can enjoy the next several days. Most of that time, we will be at the cottage, so blog updates will be spotty between now and Tuesday. Sorry about that.

I think I will turn in. Lots of fun on Thursday.