Friday, December 29, 2017

Post 3627 - Friday Night

Did nearly nothing today. Patricia made turkey soup, and it was delicious. We watched "Girls Trip" and "Spider-Man: Homecoming" this evening. It is now past midnight.

In the coming hours, we will have to get up and prepare for our friend Rhea Mahar's funeral service. I don't know what to expect other than plenty of tears. Her sudden and tragic death has kept me thinking about the fragility of life and the inevitability of death. I guess it's about trying to pack as many positive things into that life as you can.

Oh, here is the link to her obituary. 

That's the theory, but plenty of people have lousy, stinking jobs and/or poor education and poorer prospects. It is hard to state that their lives are of good quality, but who am I to judge?

I think I will turn in. Need some sleep and need to think about Saturday's service.

See you tomorrow.


Thursday, December 28, 2017

Post 3626 - A Working Vacation

Late on Thursday night.

I got up early, around 6:30, during my brief vacation, so I could drive to the Nova Scotia Archives and research an unsolved murder. I got there at 8, even though they don't open until 8:30, and I am glad I did, because I took the last of the three free parking spaces. I was told by the woman ahead of me that the lobby opens at 8, and those spaces are highly coveted. I got lucky.

I remained there from 8:30 until nearly 2pm. A couple pee breaks, and a ten minute Kind Bar and water break, but otherwise I was hard at it. I found quite a bit of material for this case, including the person's obituary, which has a wealth of information. I was just now trying to find this person's relatives in Facebook, but did not have much luck. I will try again in the morning.

I got back home around 2:30. Patricia and I watched the final two episodes of "Longmire" on Netflix. My goodness, that was an entertaining program. As some of the cast said, the final season was like a 10 hour movie. I do hope that they bring back the character in some form, and not too long from now. I am curious to try out the Longmire novels by Craig Johnson. I have never seen one anywhere, so I may have a hard time finding them.

I have had a long day. Researching unsolved murders can take a lot out of a person.

See you tomorrow.


Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Post 3625 - Three Days Later

Wednesday night.

I have taken a few days off of writing. I have sat around doing precious darn little the last few days.

Christmas came and went. If not for Patricia, I would likely not bother with it, but I have to admit, it was nice to look over at the tree the last few days. Patricia picked out a lovely one, and she did a great job decorating it. I feel like a jerk for not doing more to make the tree look purty, but I was cleaning up around the house while she was making the tree look nice.

I wasn't at all sure what to get Patricia for the holidays. She had dropped enough hints about one thing that I would have had to be even dumber than I normally think I am to have missed them. So I got her the "five visit" card to Hands on Halifax, so she can practice using power tools. I had already bought her a Halifax-based cat calendar, so I taped that card in the January page.

I bought her a couple other gift cards and stuffed them in the calendar to keep everything in one place. Before I knew it, I had four of five gift cards there.

Then, it dawned on me.

A calendar has... 12 months in it, right? Why don't I... buy a total of 12 gift cards and tape them inside this calendar?

The following weeks, usually on pay days, or when I got a cheque from my Frank work, I would go buy several cards. As recently as this past Friday, when we went to the Halifax Shopping Centre, when Patricia went off to get something for me at a store, I dashed into the David's Tea outlet and got her a gift card. I was gonna get her a gift card at the Starbucks, but there wasn't time. I noticed there was a Second Cup coffee place across from the David's Tea, so I went there and got her a gift card. I was emerging from the store as Patricia was returning to where she had left me 10 minutes earlier. I nonchalantly approached her and we went off to have lunch in the food court, her none the wiser.

I taped each of the 12 gift cards in the calendar, and wrapped the whole thing, and presented it to her on Christmas morn. She was quite pleased.

She got me a bottle of rum from a Halifax distillery, a small bottle of Kraken rum, a portable hard drive that will soon be added to my media server. It is a 5TB drive, so it should last me until a week from Friday before it is full. She got me a lanyard, which I will probably use for my archive visits. It has Deadpool on it. She got me a Subway giftcard. Some undergarments. A couple Michael Connolly novels. Some stuff I use after I shave. Some stuff you add to yogourt and sour cream to make flavoured dip.

We spent the rest of the day watching tv and eating. We were lucky. The power flickered a couple of times, and the power went out for maybe 20 seconds, but we were not among the 150 000 customers who lost power, and had to throw out their turkeys. Felt perhaps a bit guilty.

Boxing Day, we slept in. That did not keep me from taking a long nap in the afternoon. We spent a few hours last night watching the final season of "Longmire". This evening, we watched through episode eight, of ten. We will really miss the show a lot.

Today, we stayed in. Too cold to go out to brave the Boxing Week sales, and we don't want to spend the money, anyway.

Tomorrow, I have some plans for the morning. I will tell you about them tomorrow night.

So, Christmas is over. I have heard repeatedly, mostly from cash-strapped parents, that the holiday is for kids. I have no children. "Just" a family of Patricia and Newbie and yours truly. The holidays have meant much, much less to me since I lost my parents. I wanted to buy them decent prezzies every year as a way to return the favour to them for all the sacrifices they made for us when we were growing up. Now that they are gone, and I am estranged from my siblings, the holidays mostly mean a few days off work, some decent food, and lots of rest. Better than nothing, but nothing like what the days once meant to me.

Is it a little sad? Maybe. But maybe it is just a sign that life is slowly slipping away, that there are fewer years ahead of me than there are behind me, and the things that once were important to me, are much less so today. (I mean, do you care as passionately about the things you once cared about, 30 years ago, or even ten? I don't.)

In the coming weeks, I will be making some changes in my life that I think are for the better. These are decisions that I have been postponing for too long, It is foolhardy to hold on to the past for the sake of the present, or the future. I will share those decisions with you once they have been made, and once the irrevocable consequences of those decisions are set in motion.

I need to get up early tomorrow morning. Yes! I know! I'm on vacation and getting up early. Shame on me.

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, December 24, 2017

Post 3624 - Sunday Night

Patricia is upstairs contending with the turkey. We bought it on Friday afternoon in Wolfville for a good price at that sort-of independent grocery store that always has good deals. It was fresh, too. We stored it in a Costco thermal bag since then, and I threw some ice packs in with it on Saturday. This evening, some of those ice packs were still frozen, and the turkey was very cold.


The last couple of days have been restful. Saturday morning I checked out the new convenience store in Lakeside. Since the Sobeys sold it, the new owners have really made it their own. They have an actual bakery there, and at least two full-time bakers who get up at the crack of dark and prepare delicious baked goods. We got some shortbread cookies and some assorted baked goods and banana bread and cinnamon rolls. Beyond excellent. I also got some brekky at the McDonald's in Bayer's Lake. That's as far as I have gone.

We watched Christmas Vacation on Plex last evening. The movie is easily the best of all the vacation movies, but that is not saying a lot. I have heard so many bad things about Chevy Chase over the years that I can't help but wonder if I can see some signs of his unniceness in his onscreen performances. I have not. He hides it well.

Today, I slept in and except for a quick trip to deliver a gift card to the young man who clears my driveway and mows my lawn, I have remained in my jammies all day. I may do that tomorrow, as well. Maybe even the day after. Depends.

I will write about the holidays tomorrow, and maybe even Tuesday. I have some thoughts I want to share with you.

See you tomorrow.


Friday, December 22, 2017

Post 3623 - Bevboy's Christmas Tie Extravaganza 2017 - Day Twelve

And, this year's extravaganza draws to a close.

We worked this morning. Then, at lunch time, when government shut down for the holidays, we hopped in the Soul and grabbed some lunch at the Halifax Shopping Centre. On the busiest shopping day in the year. After that, we walked around the mall and noticed how much the place had changed since the major reno's.

Then the fun began.

We drove to Wuffle. Went into the Larche store where Patricia got a cutting board that she wants to incorporate into a portable butcher's block type thingy she wants to build after the holidays. Got some food at the IGA-type store there. Then we went to the Just US! coffee shop just in time to catch Zakary Miller, a talented local musician who focuses on folky, roots-based music. Never heard of the guy before, but now I am a fan. And he was kind enough to pose for some pics with me.


A very nice young man. If he comes to your town, please go see him. You won't regret it.

So, from there, we went to the house for a couple of hours. I had to retrieve a couple ice scrapers from the garage. When a chain store closed in 2013, I bought a bunch of ice scrapers for dirt cheap, and most of them are hanging down there, waiting for me to use them. If you want a deal...

We watched the news. Cindy Day has made her farewells on CTV. She repeated on air that she is remaining in town. The poorly-kept secret is that she will be going to CBC after the holidays.

We returned to the city around 8:45. I cooked some scallops and we consumed them, and have decided we don't want them again for quite a while. They are not the kind of food that a person should eat very often. It is not just the cost. It is a rich food that does not reward frequent eating.

We are still bummed about the death of our friend Rhea Mahar. We anticipate that her funeral will be between Christmas and New Year's. We plan to go. It is upset us both.

And, this brings to a close the 10th annual Bevboy's Christmas Tie Extravaganza. I have no idea whether I will do this again in 2018. I keep saying I have no other places to get my picture taken with these ties, but every year I think of a few. We will play it by ear.

I think I will turn in. Our vacation is here, and we need a rest!

See you tomorrow.


Thursday, December 21, 2017

Post 3622 - Bevboy's Christmas Tie Extravaganza 2017 - Day Eleven

Not feeling it tonight, folks.

I just learned that a good friend died in a car crash Tuesday night. Here is the link

Killed was Rhea Dawn Mahar, a neighbour of mine whom I met in 2004 when she joined my Toastmasters club. I didn't know she was a neighbor at the time. One of those kismet things. Over the years, we'd hang out. When Paticia was sick in the hospital in 2008, and it was touch and go for her, Rhea made sure to invite me over to their place for dinner and some fun, even though I felt guilty as hell about being away from Patricia's hospital bed. 

In 2014, I hired her and her crew to build me a new front and back deck. They did a great job.

Rhea was funny. She loved nature and the outdoors. She loved her kids, and grandkids. I loved her laugh, and I loved her house, as it abutted on to a lake. And she was scrupulous about building things that were green. She would not use pressurized wood on my deck. It was up to me to make sure I stained it to protect the wood from the elements. So, every year, I spend perfectly good money to do this. Which is fine.

I had hoped we would have many years together as friends. 

We are into the time of year when people get together who may not like each other too much. I am estranged from family members, myself, and cannot see my way clear to co-exist with them. We are told that we should forgive and forget, but that is not always possible, practical, legal, or sensible. But what is possible is to keep in touch with those who are important to us, and to tell them how important they are in our lives. We don't do that nearly often enough. It's a damn shame. We are only here for so long.

I will really miss Rhea.

I hope to be in a better mood on Friday.

See you then.


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Post 3621 - Bevboy's Christmas Tie Extravaganza 2017 - Day Ten

So, we have a holiday potluck lunch at work every year. It was today. I bought a family-sized Caesar salad and mixed it. Others brought some hot dishes. Sammiches. A nice punch. Plenty of sweets.

And, of course, I had to pose in front of it, didn't I?

Of course, I did.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Post 3620 - Bevboy's Christmas Tie Extravaganza 2017 - Day Nine

Short and sweet, just like me. Not.

A friend of mine, Mel Sampson, runs a company on the side where she makes these little bookmarks and other crafty, etsy-related things that, as a man, I cannot fully appreciate. She does it super well. Patricia bought me one of Mel's bookmarks for Christmas last year.

Mel is afternoon drive at K-Rock in New Minas, as well as that station's program director. She is a busy lady. Here is a link to the article about her.

And here is a sample of her work.

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, December 17, 2017

Post 3619 - Bevboy's Christmas Tie Extravaganza 2017 - Day Eight

Wow. Three blog posts in one day. How much will you pay now?

What else do you do after being home, sick, for two days? Why, you return to work, of course!

Patricia took me to breakfast at the Subway at the corner of Argyle and Blowers and we shared a foot long sub. I can quite easily consume a foot long sub on my own, but I was seriously off my feed after being sick, so this was like a buffet.

Natalie was our server. She is a very hard working and very sweet young lady who has prepared many a sub for us over the last year or so. She manages the place and gets up supremely early to open the place and get it ready for customers. I grumble and gripe about getting up at 5:30 or so during the week. I'm sure Natalie is up long before that, for a job that pays less than what I make. My hat is off to her.

And now you know what she looks like, you blog readers in the U.S. and abroad.

See you later today... maybe. Possible bonus Christmas Tie event may be in the offing.


Post 3618 - Bevboy's Christmas Tie Extravaganza 2017 - Day Seven

From this past Tuesday.

Here I am at work, probably on Tuesday afternoon. I am sick. My nose is runny. I am suppressing a sneeze. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I went through a couple of boxes of Kleenex that day. I sounded awful. I felt worse.

So, I thought I would share those moments with you.

Aren't you enjoying this blog post?

See you in a moment....


Post 3617 - An Apology

Hi. Relatively early on Sunday morning. At least for a weekend, I am up early.

I owe you an apology. I haven't written in several days, because I have been sick. I started feeling poorly Monday evening. All day at work I was coughing and sneezing and gobbing. I went through three boxes of Kleenex. I got home, and while Patrica was having dinner with a friend (hi, Lynn!), I was abed, mostly asleep. Wednesday, I took a sick day, which is an automatic day off for the blog, for reasons I have already spelled out. I slept nearly the entire day, rising only to eat something here and there. Thursday I began to feel human again, but took another sick day.

Friday, I worked, but went to bed early. Saturday, Patricia had a class on how to use power tools, while I cooled my heels at the Archives. Afterward, we went to the Salvation Army thrift store on Strawberry Hill. (At times, their prices are not thrifty at all. They were trying to sell a couch there yesterday for $375). We checked out a newly-branded convenience store in Lakeside.

Then, we returned home. Still recovering from this man cold, I was feeling tired and weak and achey, so I have been in my jammies since mid-afternoon.

We spent the evening having a nice dinner and then watching some episodes of "Speechless", easily the best comedy on television, and one which critics don't appreciate nearly enough. I turned in early, and got up, and here I am.

I have missed writing these blog posts. I will shortly be posting a couple Christmas tie posts, the one from Tuesday, and the one from Friday. There will not be a post from Monday because I am taking another day off work, this one scheduled in advance.

Anyway, I'm back. And I am glad about it.

More posts in a bit. Watch for them.


Monday, December 11, 2017

Post 3616 - Bevboy's Christmas Tie Extravaganza 2017 - Day Six

Patricia had a night out at the Rebecca Cohn with her book club folks, so I took myself out to dinner. Here I am poised to eat some pasta.

And here is my server, or one of them: Janelle, although I may be totally mangling the spelling of her name. My apologies, ma'am. I gave her a blog business card, so there is a decent chance she will see this.

Day six already. What do we do for day seven?

Let's find out, tomorrow.

See you then.


Post 3615 - Two Days Later

Well, that was a fun weekend.

We went to the Valley Saturday morning. Did some stuff around the house. Saturday evening we attended a Wassail concert at the Manning Memorial Chapel at Acadia University. Choral music featuring some songs from medieval times, plus some Christmas tunes you'd find familiar, like "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing", and "Silent Night", which included a stanza in its native German. My, oh, my. We enjoyed that show tremendously.

Today, we had breakfast at the Cora's in Clayton Park. We liked the food but did not like the price. $48 would have paid for a lot of breakfast foods at the grocery store. After that, we went to Canadian Tire in Bayer's Lake and got a few things. I got cable ties for the lights I put up in 2018, so I won't have to use twine.

We got a Christmas tree as well, but we haven't put it up yet. Maybe Monday night.

Tomorrow, we return to work. These damn weekends go by too fast.

Patricia has a thing after work the next two nights. I get to be here with Newbie. We will do our nails or something.

See you tomorrow.


Friday, December 8, 2017

Post 3614 - Friday Night - Late

A day off work. We slept in like we were hibernating or something. Mid-afternoon, we decided to go to Spryfield to get a few groceries and to check out the thrift stores.

One place had two, count them, two, of those beloved GE clock radios. One of them has the blue display rather than the red one I am used to on all the other ones I own. They are the best clock radios ever built. Thirty-year-old GE clock radios can still work flawlessly, assuming you haven't dropped them off a cliff or something.

I gave one to my dad quite a few years ago, for his workshop. After his death, we executors were going through the workshop to see what we could sell for the estate. We found that radio. I dusted it off and squirted a little WD 40 in the tuning dial, and plugged it in. It has worked beautifully all this time.

Anyway, now I have two more of these awesome radios. They sell well on ebay as people covet them. There are a ton of youtube videos on these radios. There are Etsy pages galore about these radios. People revere these radios!!

I also got some books.

Tomorrow promises to be busy. I think I will turn in.

See you then.


Thursday, December 7, 2017

Post 3613 - Bevboy's Christmas Tie Extravaganza 2017 - Day Five

Gee, morose pictures, two days in a row. How much will you pay now?

So, there is a Christmas party at work. I seldom carry cash with me any more. I neglected to purchase a ticket for said party. So, while folks are at this party, having a good time, and while Patricia is doing her Pilates class, I am here at work writing a blog post and killing time until I can go pick her up.

Hence the pictures.


I will try to be happier when this series resume on Monday. I am off work on Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

See you tomorrow, with something else.


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Post 3612 - Bevboy's Christmas Tie Extravaganza 2017 - Day Four

This one is a little sad.

I am standing in front of my Toastmasters club's banner. Tonight was the final night that we will meet at our regular meeting place. The club is homeless. If we do not find a meeting place soon, the club will have to fold, during its 50th year.


I joined TM back in 1991. There were two clubs that met in the same meeting place. In 1998, we joined the two clubs into one. And, over the years, the membership dwindled to the point where we were down to just a few members. The member who has been hosting our club since 2007 can no longer do so, and we have no place to move to.

We may be toast.

I hope that is not the case. I hope we can persevere. But in case we cannot, the club lectern, the banner, and a few other things are now in my possession. My father built this lectern for us back in 2000, and I will not see it go to a landfill or anything like that.

I have devoted nearly half of my life to this club. I would hate to see it fold. On the other hand, nothing lasts forever.

We have some tips that may lead to us having a new meeting space in 2018. We will keep our fingers crossed. If you have any suggestions for a free, or very cheap, meeting space, let me know.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Post 3611 - Bevboy's Christmas Tie Extravaganza 2017 - Day Three

And, here you go:

Taken in the upstairs bathroom before I got nekkid and took a shower.

Patricia says I wear that Dell baseball hat too much. That's why I took off the hat for the last couple of pics.

I think I will have two blog posts on Wednesday. My goodness, how much will you pay now?

Monday, December 4, 2017

Post 3610 - Bevboy's Christmas Tie Extravaganza 2017 - Day Two

And here we are, at day two already. Where has the time gone?

Tonight's pics are courtesy of my webcam. I am home working on my next Frank Magazine article, whose deadline is two days from now.

I wonder if any of you can make out the titles of the books that are behind me?

As soon as the dust settles I will post more covers from books in my collection.  You guys seem to get a kick out of seeing these covers, as well as reading my thoughts about them. You guys are weird.

Gotta get back to work. Talk at ya later.


Sunday, December 3, 2017

Post 3609 - Yawn!

Late Sunday night. Spent the last 90 minutes or so transcribing part of a phone interview I did recently. Lots of good information there.

We had lots of grandiose plans for the weekend, but did nearly nothing. I did set up the Christmas lights I ordered online the other week. They are solar-powered and look pretty good for the cost and the fact that they do not run on electricity. They charge for just a few hours, and remain on all night. Amazing. I am going to order another couple of sets of them, possibly before I turn in this evening.

We did watch some stuff on the pvr. We are caught up with Lucifer, and started watching season two of "Good Behavior". And Sunday morning I watched the four part Arrowverse "Crisis on Earth-X" crossover. DC can't put out a decent movie to save its life, but the DC tv shows are all watchable at the very least.

A four day work week awaits me. Four more Christmas ties for you to enjoy. Are you not looking forward to it?

Guess I'll turn. Right after I order some Christmas lights.

See you tomorrow.


Friday, December 1, 2017

Post 3608 - Bevboy's Christmas Tie Extravaganza 2017 - Day One

Welcome to the ... tenth year for Bevboy's Christmas Tie Extravaganza!

When I started doing this in 2008, I had no idea that this would catch on. I had no idea that people would start asking me in August if I was going to do this again this year. I don't get it, but here you go.

First of all, here are the ties I have to work with.

I chose to put this one on today.

And, you know what? Hardly anybody noticed I wore a tie. On a Friday. Let me repeat this: a non-management civil servant wore a tie on a Friday, and nobody noticed.

I don't get it.

I'm a little hurt.

The weekend is here. No more Christmas ties until Monday. That's the way it work.

See you tomorrow.