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.