Friday, April 20, 2018

Post 3700 - Well, Not Really

Welcome, sort of, to post 3700.

As I have stated before, the blog post numbering has been thrown off a few times over the years. The number of posts is somewhat higher than 3700. I keep meaning to find out what that number is, and start numbering at the next number beyond that. But not tonight.

I didn't write last evening because, as I have noted before, my body shut down early. 9:30 or so, and I was out like a light. I am not sure the reason for this. Could be the new job, or the lousy weather, or some personal stuff, or even something else.

Friday was another typical day at work. I could look out the window and see the snow coming down at one point and remaking that it was April 20th, and I had my snow tires removed a week ago, and that it has no business snowing on April 20th. And, yet, it was snowing, on April 20th. Did I mention i had my snow tires removed last week? And that today is April 20th?

After work, we went to Fredie's Fantastic Fishhouse in Bayer's Lake. Parked the car and noticed that Dhaba, in addition to the Indian restaurant, now operates an Indian grocery store. Had no idea it was there. We went in, and Patricia fell in love with the place. She bought numerous spices and sauces and rice and other things. She promises to be in the kitchen for a big chunk of the weekend. I hope we have butter chicken!

We wandered over to the Dhaba restaurant, a couple of units up from the grocery store. We found out the hard way that one needs reservations to eat there. I am not used to going to any restaurant in these here parts and requiring a reservation to get in. I guess this speaks to the quality of the place. Patricia says we ate there several years ago, but I don't have any recollection of that. So, maybe soon, we will call and reserve a spot to have dinner there.

We ended up at Fredie's and sat down next to an older couple who normally eat at Fries and Company, over on Chebucto Road. We have never been impressed with the place. The woman was openly complaining about Fredie's. The fish pieces were too small. The plastic forks were cheap (I have never seen elaborate plastic forks. Have you?). The paper plates were flimsy. You'd think that Fries and Company was haute cuisine or something, and that this couple had deigned to eat something else.

After their delightful company, we were only too glad to get out of there. Not yet ready to go home, we drove out to Tantallon. Otis & Clementine's was closed, so we went into the Home Hardware. They had a few barbecues for sale, but nothing that really grabbed me. They gave me a catalogue from which I can order a higher end bbq, though. I also learned that they will assemble the thing for free, saving untold numbers of marriages in the land, and will deliver it for a nominal fee. We may take them up on that offer.

We drove around a bit more, checking out the area where the proposed new development is supposed to go. I don't know what the complaining is all about. The current area is literally a wooded swamp. Replacing that with a bunch of rental units and retail makes perfect sense to me. Should have happened years ago.

At the nearby Superstore, we got some cheap chicken pieces, and half price mushrooms. We now have so many mushrooms we wish we could ingest them to get high, but they are the wrong kind of mushrooms, so we will have to eat them, instead.

After getting home, we noted that the property next door had been sold. It only went on the market maybe two weeks ago. The place was a rental property for the 17 years I have lived here, and for quite a few years before that. I have seen plenty of neighbours come and go over the years. The owner got fed up with renting for some reason and spent a bunch of money to spruce the place up and then sold it for a good price. I hope we end up with nice people as neighbours. We have had one or two jerks over the years.

And, the place next door to that, also sold this week. It took them a few years to sell their place. I will miss Rose and Andrew. The other computer desk in my home office came from their house. They offered it for free online, and I spoke up for it, not realizing how close by they were. I was worried about how I'd get the thing home, until I learned they were two doors up the street! Dad and I added a side shelf a year or so later. It presently holds my media server. It was probably a good idea that we used three shelf brackets to hold that shelf/ledge in place!

It has been a long day, and a long week. I need my beauty coma.

If I think of it, I will share my thoughts with you about the proposed shooting at the Halifax Shopping Centre, tomorrow night.

See you then.


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Post 3699 - Wednesday Night

Sorry I didn't write last night. My body shut down around 8:30.

Today was another day at work. Patricia has been taking a few vacation days this week but thinks she will be back to work tomorrow. It means I can be home a bit sooner than usual. She has been having a hot dinner waiting every night. Much appreciated!

I saw the new issue of Frank at the Superstore across from my work, at 7:30 this morning. My article about the 1981 murder of Sadie Mae Rogers is in there, occupying two and a half pages. The article, plus a bunch of very rare reprints of articles and a vintage photo of an early reporter on the Rogers murder, Doug Harkness.

As things stand, I am not sure what my article will be for the next issue of Frank. I am considering a few cases, but which one will have enough information to justify an article, I cannot yet say. I am not trying to be circumspect. I just plain don't know.

We finished watching the first season of "Lost in Space" this evening. My goodness, what a good show. Edge-of-your-seat stuff from top to bottom. People complain about "Netflix bloat", which is when they try to fill, say, eight episodes of story into 12 episodes of show. I have found there was very little of that with "Lost in Space". If anything, I would have liked them to have made the season a bit longer than ten episodes. Check it out. You will not regret it.

It is late, very late. I need to get up in less than six and a half hours before I get up again. Groundhog Day.

See you tomorrow.


Monday, April 16, 2018

Post 3698 - What Would You Say?

This morning, my friend Scott Simpson (late of News 95.7, presently Program Director of News Talk 1290, CJBK in London, Ontario, posted on his Facebook a short video of himself as a 19 year old. He expressed a wish that he could talk to that much-younger version of himself and what he would say. He asked his FB friends what we would say to our 19 year old selves.

He caught me in a quiet, contemplative, pensive mood.

I wrote that I would tell that young man, who had been bullied in junior high school to within an inch of his life, and who had graduated high school without ever dated, and who was in his sophomore year at Acadia University and used to being beaten down, that things would get better. I would tell "Bevboy" that he was not stupid, not useless, and that he deserved happiness. That he was a good person. To find a way to hang in there.

And, of course, I did hang in there. It was not easy, because I did not have that pep talk when I was 19. I wish I had.

What would you tell YOUR 19 year-old self if you could?

You know how to respond: through FB, writing a comment to this post, or dropping me a line here. Just try to put "19 year old" in the subject line.

Short post tonight, I know. Gives you more time to write me!

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, April 15, 2018

Post 3697 - Sunday Night

Another weekend is over. In far-too-few hours I will have to get up and start another work week.

I didn't write on Saturday because we were running the roads all day and got back late. We were both exhausted from our intense labours and collapsed abed not long after we got home.

Today was about us relaxing from yesterday. We watched some stuff from the PVR, along with a few episodes of the new "Lost in Space", which is great fun.

The new Frank comes out this week. I will tell you that my contribution is about the 1981 murder of Sadie Mae Rogers in Amherst. First murder in Amherst since the 1930's, and I don't think there has been one since. A damn shame that this dear, sweet old lady should be murdered, and her murderer has still never been brought to justice. I hope that killer is still alive, and that my article, if he sees it, makes him feel uncomfortable. All the details are in the new Frank, out this week.

If you know anything about the murder of Sadie Mae Rogers, you can write me right here. I promise to keep your name confidential if you ask me to.

Another work week commences in hours. Yippee.

See you tomorrow.


Friday, April 13, 2018

Post 3696 - Friday Night

How was your day?

We dipped over to Dartmouth this morning to see our tax accountant. Taxes are due in the next couple of weeks, as you Canadians know.

After that, we got breakfast at the Cora's in Burnside. Cora's is a place that plenty of people go to, but that particular one was not very busy at all.  Patricia had salmon eggs benny. I had something called "Jo Construction", consisting of eggs and too much meat.

We checked out "Goody's" after that, which apparently is what they call Goodwill stores now. Turns out today was 95cent book day, so I got eight books. They also have a "buy three, get one free deal", so I got those eight books for $5.70 cents, of 71.25 cents per book.  I got a "Game of Thrones" novel that we didn't already have, plus the latest Steve Berry Cotton Mather thriller. It came out in paperback in January and would retail for nearly $13.00, so I got a good deal! Got six more books of note, too, but they're upstairs and I'm tired. If you must know what I got, let me know, and I will list them tomorrow night.

(There is a friend on Facebook who lives in the States. He is forever going to his local thrift stores and purchasing books for something like ten cents apiece, and putting pictures of them on his Facebook. I am for some reason fascinated by these posts. Perhaps I should put up a few of my own!)

We then went to the "Bibles for Missions" thrift store on the outskirts of Bedford. I was on the hunt for a cheap arse widescreen computer monitor, like the one I'm staring at now. It was less than six dollars there last year. Would be super sweet to get another one for the other desktop computer in this home office.

But they had nothing, and I got nothing. But Patricia got some clothes and other things, totaling exactly $21. But I had got her a $20 gift certificate from that place for Christmas, so she was out of pocket one whole dollar.

From there we went to Guy's Frenchy's, which is sort of across the street. She got more clothes and some bedding. After spending the gift card I got for her there for Christmas, she was out of pocket just over $30.

We returned home around 4:20. Patricia napped while I snacked and watched a bit of tv. I did some work this evening.

An eventful day, and three thrift stores. I love those places!

Tomorrow we have some plans which I will tell you about in short order. Until then, I really should turn in, because there is plenty to do on Saturday!

See you tomorrow, my lovelies.


Thursday, April 12, 2018

Post 3695 - The Weekend Is Here

Yes, the weekend is here. And, I'm broke, even though it's payday.

Yes. We got the car back. Over five hundred smackers of work, and storage, and taxes.

Rather than lug the tires back and forth, we are spending $69 to store them. I learned that they are actually stored somewhere in Lakeside. We live in Timberlea, which is one community away from Lakeside. So, yes, the tires for our car, and other folks' cars, are stored mere minutes from where I type these words. And we are paying good money for this privilege.

So, the "all season" tires are on. Balanced. Aligned, too. Two different processes. Oil change. Fluid fill up. Brake check. Checking that the seal was still good around the windshield. Et cetera.

There was no discussion about the warranty being threatened, so that was good.

Had a few minutes to kill before the shuttle took us to work. The new, 2018, Soul's "only" have an 8 year, 160 000 km warranty. Ours has 8 year, 200 000km. We appear to have a better warranty. No regrets about getting our car!

After work, on the way home, we went to the fish and chips place in Bayer's Lake, Fredie's Fish and Chips. Still an awesome place. I found an insurance pink sheet on the ground. Still in effect. Took in to Fredie's. They said they would call the guy if they had to. That is but one small example of the customer service in that place! Above and beyond.

We are off on Friday. Gotta get up relatively early and head over to Dartmouth to meet with our tax accountant. Then, we head back to Halifax to attend Patricia's Gaelic class. The teacher keeps asking Patricia about me, and this is the last class for several months, so I guess I will go. I will  understand nothing except when they say my name, but them's the breaks.

There are other plans for the weekend, and some important work, too. I can't put it off any longer.

You folks have a good evening. Bark at ya tomorrow.


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Post 3694 - Two Blog Posts In A Row? Are You Kidding Me?

Yeah, the title.

I just filed my latest cold case article with my editor at Frank. Another vintage unsolved murder. You will be able to read it next week.

After we got home tonight, we went to the shed behind the house and dragged and rolled the summer tires out and stuffed them in the back seat. Barely fit. We will take the dealership up on the offer of storing the tires on site. It costs a bit, but we are both tired of lugging them back and forth. They take up space and are a pain to store at the best of times. Money well spent.

Tomorrow morning we take the Soul in to the dealership, there to have the honour of spending $500 on "required" service. I just love it when I get a few extra bucks and have to spend them on something unplanned.

I have to get up early tomorrow, so I plan to turn in early to boot.

See you tomorrow, my lovelies.


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Post 3693 - Tuesday NIght

Gee, did you miss me?

I feel just awful, not writing on a regular basis. People are walking up to me on the street and asking me what is wrong with me.

The answer is... I'm not sure.

The last two nights, I turned in early. Monday night, I pretty much just slept the night away. We didn't even watch "American Idol".

Monday, I took a vacation day, and spent the bulk of it at the archives, with mixed results. I spent several hours researching one story, and found nearly nothing. The second one, a vintage unsolved murder, revealed more information. A third story, one I have been picking away for 8 months or so, once again revealed nothing. I was disappointed, but that is the way with research. Many a time, hours of research can yield little or nothing.

And, today, whilst I was waiting for Patricia to show up at the Superstore parking lot, I chanced to look up at the little service reminder sticker in the upper left hand corner of the windshield. The date of April '18 and some five digit number were there, representing the assumed mileage. The second digit of the number looked like a five to me, if a deformed one. Realizing that I may be behind the service contract, I got on the Ameche to the KIA service department. After I told them who I was, I scheduled the service (brakes, oil, a multi-point service blah blah), plus moved up the swap out of the Winter tires for the Summer ones from April 30th, all to this Thursday, the 12th.

The over all amount, including the cost of them storing the tires at the dealership rather than lug them back and forth, is over $500.


My frig, I am not sure what is worse. Having a car that's falling apart and needs a ton of work to keep on the road; or a brand-new car that requires services in order to maintain a warranty.

They are supposed to send us email notifications, to alert us to work that has to be done to the car, but none came.

I have to hope that we have not challenged the warranty. According to them, we are 2000 kilometres over due. The date and the mileage (with what looks like a five, but they may think is a three) may cause us some grief. I am not sure what will happen if they decide we have voided the warranty. No more warranty, I guess. We will be plenty ticked if that is the case.

I will keep you up-to-date on this important story.

I think I will turn in.

See you tomorrow.


Saturday, April 7, 2018

Post 3692 - Saturday Night

It is getting late, and I will turn in shortly.

We had plans to do quite a bit today, but they went out the window. I was feeling a  mite anxious, so instead we went out to brunch, before killing some time in Bayer's Lake and returning home.

I am hoping to get more done on Sunday. Monday will be a vacation day, where I must do yet more again. Very little rest for the wicked.

I know that i wrote last night and pleaded with people not to send me any more links to articles about unsolved murders, but I found one this evening on youtube about one of Nova Scotia's alleged serial killers. Horror actress Debbie Rochon's hubby, who hails from the province which is why they have a home here, grew up with this man. I must contact her again to see if she and he will talk to me about him. For research purposes, of course. You understand.

Anyway, here is the link, in case you want to watch it.

I think I will turn in. Long day on Sunday.

See you then.


Friday, April 6, 2018

Post 3691 - Friday Night

Wow, sorry about that.

I have been dealing with some heavy stuff lately. It has been all I could do just to get through my work days. I'd turn in early and sleep as much as I could. The issues remain outstanding, alas.

I can't get too much into what those issues are. But I am not in trouble with the law or anything. My job is safe. My health is fine. When the issues are resolved, I will look forward to discussing them with you.

There is not much else going on. I am working on a couple of cold cases for Frank. And... I have a request.

I write about local cold cases. I don't mind discussing them. I appreciate it when folks suggest Nova Scotia-based cold cases, and especially when they have information that can help me put a unique angle on the case they have in mind.

But people have been sending me random cold case articles. They can be interesting in their own right, but my mental health suffers, reading about dead people and missing persons all the time.

I don't read much true crime, unless it is related to Nova Scotia-based cases.

So, please, folks, if you want to send me a link to a cold case, make sure it is one you think I would want to read, and not just another story of people being horribly murdered and mutilated or whatever. I have only so much capacity for such material. You probably do, too, or you are some sick person.

Thank you.

I think I will turn in. Long day on Saturday.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Post 3690 - Tuesday Night.

At least, I think it's Tuesday night. Hard to tell, after a four day weekend.

We returned to work this morning. Traffic was heavier than it has been for a while. Work was about the same.

During my lunch hour I worked on my next cold case article for Frank. I have narrowed it down to two different stories. One is an unsolved murder, and the other is a missing person. The latter is very mysterious. A man told some people at the hotel he was staying at that he was going to head out to a dinner party with some friends. He walked out the door, and hasn't been seen since. Not a trace of him has been found in more than 20 years.

The other case is about a man shot to death in front of his house several years ago.

The first case is more compelling to me, because it is so mysterious. But the problem is finding information about the man and trying to develop a theory about what might have happened to him. Both are very difficult to do.

Meanwhile, the issue of Frank that hits newsstands on Wednesday contains my latest article, which is about the 2000 murder of Doug Keating. I hope you check it out and let me know what you think of it. You can write me at my Frank Magazine email address, which is right here.

In the coming days, I will be devoting more and more time to both stories. Who knows? With luck, I may be able to submit two article to my editor by next week.


You guys have a good evening. I will talk at you tomorrow.


Monday, April 2, 2018

Post 3689 - Three Days Later


I didn't mean to take the last few days off from the blog.

I was in the Valley From Saturday morning until mid-afternoon on Sunday. I had a bunch of things to take care of, including some Frank work. That evening I watched a few things on Plex.

Sunday I had a bit of business to take care of. I know. Easter Sunday, and I had some business. Shame on me. I am sorry about that. I will discuss the nature of that business as the time draws closer.

If it helps, I didn't get any Easter candy this year. Call that my punishment.

I returned to the city Sunday afternoon. Newbie was all over me. Patricia told me that he had moped around the house in my absence. I suppose I could have taken him with me to the Valley, but honestly, scooping him up and putting him in his cat carrier and lugging him there and back is never fun. And he senses in some way when I am about to return to the city. He always hides. One time, he hid in Dad's old workshop, underneath a heavy wooden storage thingy, in a space so small I don't know how he got in there. I had to poke at him with the business end of a broom to coax him out, grab him, and thrust him into his carrier. Took me the better part of an hour.

Another time, at the cottage, we couldn't find him. Cindy Clawford was still alive. She led us down the hallway and stood by the bed, under which Newbie was hiding.

Taking him anywhere is more trouble than it is worth. I can't even pick him up and carry him in my arms to the front deck. He seizes up and digs his claws into my back to the point where he draws blood. I just take him back inside and learn my lesson.

So, I leave him behind when I go to the Valley for an overnighter.

He is a homebody the likes of which I have seen in no other cat. As I type these in my home office, he is at my feet, waiting for me to finish writing this post (soon, Newbie! Soon!) so he can toddle off to bed with me.

He is a character. And when he eventually passes, he will leave a hole in my heart.

Back to work in a few hours. Should get some shuteye.

Newbie? Buddy? It's time!

See you tomorrow.


Friday, March 30, 2018

Post 3688 - Who's Reading This?

Hello, my lovelies.

I am confused about something.

I have several blog posts which appear to be very popular for some reason. I have not one sweet clue why, but a post I wrote in 2010, "Sunday Night Obligatory Post", is a pretty perennial popular post.

It is a piece of piffle. A trifle. A post I wrote because it was late on a Sunday night and I wanted to put something out there before turning in. It was maybe six weeks after my father died, and my feelings were vulnerable. The post says nearly nothing. But darn it all, thousands of people have read it.

I don't know why. Do you?

So, here it goes. I am putting a stake in the ground on this post. This post, written on March 30, 2018.

If you are reading this post, ever, please drop me a note and tell me how you found it. Your best bet is to email me here. Please put "Bevboy's Blog Post 3688" in the subject line, and say hello, and who you are.

I have regular readers, 4.7 of them to be exact. They are always welcome to say hello. I love them. I would have their babies if I had the appropriate organs. But I also want to hear from... you. And him. And her. And anybody else who reads this post, whether it be tonight, tomorrow, next Tuesday, or even five years from now.

It's gotta be more interesting than that bloody post from June, 2010!



What are you waiting for, people of 2023? Start writing!!

See you tomorrow.


Thursday, March 29, 2018

Post 3687 - The Weekend Is Here!

So, it is early Friday morning. What a long day!

I got up at my usual time of 5:30. The drive in to work was quiet, as it usually is, the day before Good Friday. Half the people at my work were not in, so it was nearly eerie, but I have to admit, it was nice not to have to queue up to use the men's room.

I finished my latest Frank cold case article during my lunch hour and emailed it to my editor. He wrote back this evening and informed me of a few changes he had made that we both agree made the piece stronger. I look forward to sharing the article with the world, come next week.

After Patricia's Pilates, we went to the local Sobeys. We got there just in time to see five pound bags of mussels marked down from an already-cheap six dollars, to a mere three dollars. People were lunging at the bags. We got two of them. We got some other stuff and then drove to the Superstore in Bayer's Lake, and got a few more things, but nothing like the deal on the mussels.

We got home and while I was answering my editor's email, Patricia was cooking the first bag of mussels. We ate them with gusto (and butter). By half way through the second bag, we were stuffed. We officially never want to see mussels again.  Like, ever. E.V.E.R.

Try as we might, the house will stink of shellfish for days. I'm sorry, everyone who lives in the neighbourhood.

Heading into a four day weekend. I love these things. Wish they could all be four day weekends.

See you tomorrow, my lovelies.


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Post 3686 - Short and Sweet

It is pretty late. I have spent most of the last four hours working on my latest cold case article for Frank. I made contact with a source this evening and interviewed the person over the phone. I will work on integrating what the person told me into the article and email it to my editor Thursday evening, probably while Patricia is at Pilates.

Deadlines are such fun!

Tomorrow is Thursday, the last day of work for the week, as we head into the Easter long weekend. I am looking forward to the rest. A couple of days of downtime sounds delightful.

Nearly 11pm. I oughta get some sleep.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Post 3685 - Another Two Days Later

Tuesday night? Tuesday night?! What happened to Monday night?

I slept.

My body conked out pretty early Monday night. Call it getting old. Call it the new job draining my mental energy. Call it laziness. Mix them all together, and you get Monday night at Casa Bevboy.

I feel find tonight, though. Thanks for asking.

We went to Costco last night, and again, tonight. We got the Costco quesadillas so you won't have to. They are edible, but then again, so is styrofoam if you put enough salsa on it. There are a few left, so guess what we're having for lunch on Wednesday?

We will also be having Caesar salad, because Costco sells salads so large that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir would be able to have seconds. And it was only $8.99. That amount of money at Sobeys or Superstore would get you a Caesar salad only one that is (if you're lucky) half as large.

Who needs Ikea? We have Costco!

We got home and cooked the stuff I just mentioned. I had some work to do, so I did that. We ate. We watched "Good Girls", which is about three women who get mixed up in organized crime, "Breaking Bad" style. It is compelling, but the tone is maybe a bit off. They are getting more and more drawn into this life, and they regret it; but they still find time to laugh and joke and carry on. I am guessing the writers and producers are playing a longer game. If it comes back for a second season, and the ratings are good so I don't see why it wouldn't, then I would expect the realization of their criminality would be sinking in more for the characters. You really owe it to yourself to check out the show.

And some information came to me this evening regarding an unsolved murder I have been working on. I am hoping to get yet more information on Wednesday. This is shaping up to being a heart-breaking case. I am looking forward to sharing it with you.

I think I will turn in. Lots happening on the morrow.

See you then.


Sunday, March 25, 2018

Post 3684 - The Weekend Is Gone

Here it is, late Sunday night. Where did the weekend go?

Saturday morning I went to the archives and researched an unsolved murder. I received some information last week. Armed with that information, I was able to find related articles from local newspapers for that time period. Even found the guy's obituary, which contains a wealth of information. These were articles I had not been able to find before. With this information, I can potentially track down family members, a couple of whom may be willing to speak to me. I have already spoken to another source about this man, and plan to speak to this person again, I hope sooner rather than later.

Learning about these cases is painstaking work, and is not unlike trying to put together a jigsaw puzzle, without knowing what the picture on the box is.

In other news, we got some Chinese food last night. It was fine at the time, but we have been feeling a big blah ever since. Probably won't go back there any time soon. Too much MSG.

And, today, we started watching 9-1-1, the show that starts Angela Bassett, Peter Krause, and a clearly-slumming Connie Britton. The initial season has ten episodes. We just finished watching episode nine. My editor at Frank thinks I work too hard. I will tell him to read this blog post as proof that I can slack off just as much as the next guy.

Tomorrow will get here pretty soon, so I should turn in.

See you tomorrow.


Friday, March 23, 2018

Post 3683 - The Weekend Is Here

Hello again, you handsome little devils you.

Once again, my body shut down a bit early last night, so no blog post. So the dozens of you who stopped me on the street today and asked why not, know now. I'm sorry.

Patricia had a make-up Pilates class today, so we went there and I had an hour or more to kill. I went to the Good Things Within thrift store. They had, for fifty cents, a Harry Bosch novel by Michael Connelly that I didn't already have. They also had slightly used(!) 9V batteries for 25 cents each. They're alkaline. I am assuming they will work for a spell. I am tired of changing the time and alarms on 12 or so clock radios in the house every time the power goes out and back on again. Yes. I have that many clock radios. Five here in my home office. Five more in the recroom. One in the kitchen. One in the bathroom. One in the master bedroom. And two more in the middle bedroom. I think that's all of them. So, 15 or so. About 12 more down in the Valley home.

Whenever the power comes back on, I spend 20 minutes or so changing the times on these clock radios, and it is a pain in the rump roast. Better to use 9 volt batteries as back ups.

Before you all write me: Don't tell me to throw these radios out. They're like my children. How would you like if I told you to throw out one of your kids because you had too many? You probably wouldn't like it! So, now you know how I feel.

I am glad I got that off my chest.

We were planning to go to the Valley this weekend, but things are going on here that require our attention.

Anyway, after Pilates, we grabbed some lunch at the Wild Leek, a vegan restaurant on Windsor Street, right next door to the used bookstore, and incidentally a block or so away from one of the unsolved murders I wrote about for Frank (I will tell you which one if you ask me nicely). It being Burger Week in Halifax, we both ordered the Philly cheesesteak burger, made from products that never knew what an animal was. It was excellent. Just ask Patricia!

Nom! Nom! Nom!

That translates to: the dill dressing lovingly complements the house salad. Meanwhile, the ersatz cheese sauce is generously ladled on the too good to be true "steak" burger. Bev, being a male pig and all, opted for the fries, which were transcendent.

A couple chocolate treats for take out.

Patricia's meal came with a beer, which she reported (slurp! slurp! slurp!) to be quite good, if a titch bitter.

A wonderful meal, utterly meatless, which made us so full that dinner was nearly unnecessary.

We went to the bookstore next door. One of those places run by a guy who occasionally deigns to speak to you. He had a nice selection of Halifax history books. I will go back there soon and get a few, because he had titles I had never heard of before.

He also had an illustrated version of Sam Slick. Sam Slick was the brainchild of Thomas Chandler Haliburton, who lived in Windsor and was a judge here the better part of 200 years ago. The character's wry commentary on life in the province back then was extremely popular in its day. The "sketches" sold along the lines of Charles Dickens. And Haliburton's character coined/popularized several sayings that entered the vernacular and remain known to this day. "Quick as a wink". Uh, other ones. Like it or not, Haliburton helped found North American humour.

I first heard of Sam Slick, and Haliburton, more than 40 years ago when my Grade Six teacher, the late J. Earl Doyle, spoke of him with some reverence. I was intrigued enough to seek out the books. I am not sure if that was a good idea.

I have a couple copies of "The Clockmaker", which collected most of these sketches. And I cannot penetrate the writing style at all. One time, I got to page two. So I was surprised when people pissed and moaned about Haliburton and Sam Slick, and how racist and politically incorrect the content apparently was. The craven town of Windsor dropped or strongly de-emphasized its connection to Haliburton and to the Sam Slick character. They have not had Sam Slick days for several years now.  The character's complete fade into obscurity will be complete in the next ten years or so. Pity, really.

Anyway, we left the store and went to Sobeys and went home. I did the dishes while Patricia took a nap. Spent a quiet evening at home.

I plan to get up early Saturday morning, or at least relatively early. I think I will turn in.

See you tomorrow.


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Post 3682 - Two Days Later


So, sorry not to have written the last couple of days. I wasn't feeling well. I pretty much went to bed at 5:30 Tuesday night. I got up around 11pm to get something to eat and then went back to bed.

It's been a busy couple of days. I guess the highlight is that my latest true crime piece, about the 1980 murder of Jason Barkhouse, was published in the issue of Frank that hit newsstands today. And... if you pick up the magazine in the Annapolis Valley or South Shore, the cover for the magazine that sells in that part of the province has my story there on the front cover. I think it is the largest space on the cover, too.

I am deeply flattered by this. I am just a freelancer there, not on staff or anything like that. So for my editor to put my work on the cover, yet again, is deeply gratifying to me, and validating to my work and what I am trying to do with this cold case series.

Jason's murder is especially horrific. It is a terrible shame that it has not been solved. I hope that my story in Frank leads to some tips that can result in the cops reopening the investigation.

I have some other articles in the works. I will be figuring out in the coming days, which one I will be working on for the next issue of Frank.

I am off on Friday, so this is kinda like my Thursday. Our plans for the weekend are still up in the air. But there is a massive garage sale at the former Exhibition Park this weekend. Haven't been to a fleamarket or garage sale in years. They used to be plentiful in these here parts in the pre-Sunday shopping days. Malls would open on Sunday mornings and let vendors come in and sell their crap while the actual stores remained closed. After stores were allowed to open on Sundays, those fleamarkets largely ended. The one at Exhibition Park happens a few times a year. I think there is still a fleamarket at the Halifax Forum, but that is about it.

As I wrote the other night, I got one of the most influential books of my life at a fleamarket at the Pennhorn Mall back in 1988. Perhaps I will go this weekend and see what's there. Perhaps.

Anyway, think I'll turn in. Long day tomorrow.


Sunday, March 18, 2018

Post 3681 - Required Reading

Just hours from now I get up and return to work. A week off doesn't seem like nearly long enough.

Tomorrow another cold case article goes live on the Frank Magazine website. It will be in the printed magazine that goes on sale on Wednesday. It is about a man who was murdered nearly 38 years ago. The details of this man's murder are especially troubling, and it is a travesty that his murder has never been solved.

When I was in the Frank Bunker on Thursday, Cliff told me that I was Halifax's Max Haines. I get where he was coming from, but I was quick to point out that I have never cared for Haines' writing style, which has always struck me as lurid and disrespectful toward the victims.

Now, here is a writer of true crime that I like a great deal, and I think you would like him, too.

Derrick Murdoch reviewed crime literature for the Globe and Mail for 20 years. When he published  "Disappearances" in 1983, he was revered. He won the first Chairman's Award of the Crime Writers of Canada in 1984, probably because of this book and his other body of work at the Globe. After he won it, they renamed the award in his honour, where it is given out biannually to the present day. Murdoch died in 1985.

I still remember buying this book. I had just moved to the city, so it was maybe May of 1988. I was living at 55 Dahlia Street in Dartmouth, close to Sullivan's Pond. Knew virtually nobody in the city, at least nobody who gave a damn about me, and whether I lived or died.

I was trying to find my way around the city, which was a big job for a Valley boy. I found Penhorn Mall and its huge fleamarket, one Sunday morning. I walked around and got some stuff. On my way out, nearly at the door, I saw this very book, the one whose cover I scanned in a moment ago, on a bookshelf along with other books some guy was selling. Fifty cents. On a lark, I bought it.

I got back to my little bachelor apartment and cracked open the book. And reading it scared the living hell out of me. I would parcel out a chapter a night, max; and there were nights when I knew that if I read any of it, I would not be able to sleep that evening.

Every little sound outside my apartment door, every car driving past my building, every voice in the parking lot, took on an added resonance, while I was making my way through this book.

This book remains the single best one about missing persons cases in Canada that I have ever read, or even seen. It should be required reading for anybody who has any interest in this topic. And it should be reprinted for a new generation to read, savor, and appreciate.

Derrick Murdoch is the writer I would most like to be like. He was that good.

No. You can't borrow my copy. Get your own.

I should turn in. I know there is a lot of work waiting for me tomorrow morning.

See you tomorrow, my lovelies.


Saturday, March 17, 2018

Post 3680 - Two Days Later

Yeah, so, hi.

I didn't write yesterday because... well, I am not sure. I turned in a bit late and fell asleep and didn't think to write a post. Maybe I should write them earlier in the day or something.

Today I was doing stuff around the house. The plastic place mat that held Newbie's food and water bowls was dirty so I washed it. Of course, he did not acknowledge this work.

Otherwise, I spent as much time today relaxing before returning to work on Monday. Vacations go by far too quickly.

Sunday, the day before I return to work, I plan to have some actual fun. Wash dishes! Clean the floor. Do some laundry. Stare lovingly into Patricia's eyes.

Maybe none of the above. There's some good TV on.

See you tomorrow.


Thursday, March 15, 2018

Post 3679 - A Special Night

I had a long day. Up early. Downtown Halifax to do some Frank stuff. Bought breakfast at the bakery not far from here. Haircut. Back home. Nap in the afternoon. And... then the evening came.

I attended my first Toastmasters meeting in nearly three and a half months tonight. A friend invited me to come. They're trying to establish a club in Enfield, so I drove there around 5:25 tonight and got there barely half an hour later.

Setting up a new club is not a trivial task, and not for the faint of heart. It takes real work done by real people who want to accomplish what amounts to a grassroots campaign to establish something out of nothing, where nobody is paid to be there, where everybody pays to be there. This new club, assuming it gets off the ground, appears to be in good hands.

My friend invited me because he was doing a speech that would honour former TM'er Holly Bartlett, whom I have written about here before. She was a member of my TM club until her mysterious death in 2010. Alan alluded to her death and used it as a metaphor for how to approach starting a new club and even how to approach participating in a club. It was maybe a bit of a stretch, but I had a chance to stand up and speak about Holly for a moment, which is never easy to do.

When the meeting was winding down, another member spoke about how he had known Holly. He ran a bookclub in Dartmouth. She, a blind woman, would take the correct bus from Halifax to the Dartmouth location where the bookclub met, and then reverse the process to get home.

The more I find out about Holly, the more I admire her, and what she did, and how she did it. She could have really been something, given the chance, and given the time that was robbed from her.

I returned to Halifax. Got something to eat at Wendy's on the edge of Bayer's Lake and then bought something for Patricia and brought it home. I had left her watching "Broadchurch" on Netflix. Hours later, she was watching the last episode as I got home. Eight hours of David Tennant should be enough for anybody.

I have had a long, fulfilling day, one that I must think about more in the coming days.

See you tomorrow.


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Post 3678 - Day Three

Sorry I didn't write last night. Body shut down earlier than I meant for it to.

I have spent several hours today working on my latest true crime article for Frank. In fact, I just filed it with my editor a few minutes ago. In the morning I will go the the Frank bunker to borrow something from them that I will need when I go to the courts on Spring Garden Road, as I want to research my next next article, due in a couple of weeks. Another unsolved murder that has been grossly under reported over the years.

I cooked dinner tonight. A stirfry. Patricia pronounced it overcooked, and I have to agree. But the most disappointing part of it was the "Spanish rice" mixture we got for half price the other day. "Bland" does not begin to describe it. "Tasteless" is a better word. "Might as well not have been there" is a very apt description.

We watched last night's Black Lightning as well. I am sensing a trend in the show. The main character did not suit up as Black Lightning for story reasons, but I have to wonder if it is not just a way for the show to save some money while other characters demonstrate their own superpowers. Another aspect of the show that is starting to wear on me is the characters' near-constant focus on race and race relations. It is beginning to affect the story flow.

It is now 11:30. I have to get up early to do what I said I would do in the second paragraph.

See you tomorrow.


Monday, March 12, 2018

Post 3677 - Dratted Time Change!

Late Monday night.

We had to get up relatively early today as Patricia had a doctor's appointment in Dartmouth. We got there in plenty of time. She was finished by 9:20 or so. We killed some time until 10am, and then drove the short distance to John Doull's bookstore on Main Street.

Doull's bookstore was downtown Halifax for decades before he got sick of the b.s. and left. He told me this morning that he doesn't miss being there at all. I was less impressed with his most recent downtown store, but the one before that, on Granville Street in the old Roy Building, was most fun.

For many years, there were several bookstores on Granville Street. Doull's. The Book Room, of course. The NS Government bookstore. A bookstore in Granville Mall whose main entrance was on Granville Mall, so I am counting it.  At the other end of Granville, there was a place called Red Herring Co-Op Bookstore, about where the entrance to the ever-changing restaurant in the parkade at the corner of Granville and Sackville Streets. And... if you want to stretch things a bit, since an entrance to Maritime Centre is across the street from the abutment to Granville Street, there was the old Smith's Bookstore there; more recently, and still there, is Dust Jacket Books, which will likely have to move out of there before much longer. So, over the years there have been many bookstores in and around Granville Street. I am sure I am missing a couple!!

I got a Ross MacDonald paperback, collecting the early Lew Archer short stories. Doull has a massive selection of mysteries. We promise not to take six years to go back there for a return visit!!

We returned to Halifax, to the Bayer's Lake Superstore. We spent the $25 Loblaw's card and more on groceries. Drove back to the house. And that is the last I remember for a few hours.

I slept nearly all afternoon. I blame it on the bloody time change over the weekend, which has left me logy. I cooked a late dinner. We watched "American Idol", which is an absolute scream this year with Katy Perry as a celebrity judge.

Tomorrow is day two of my mini vacation. What I will do is up in the air.

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, March 11, 2018

Post 3676 - Three Days Later

Hi. Sorry I haven't written the last few days. I did not purposely take time off from the blog, but it just kinda turned out that way. Both Friday and Saturday nights, I turned in early and slept like crazy. I guess my body knows it is on vacation for the next week and has decided to go by its own schedule.

I wish I could say I have done a lot the last few days. But, I haven't. I have washed dishes and cooked and at this late hour on Sunday night I am washing some dress shirts in the laundry room, right outside this home office.

I will be turning in shortly as I have to get up early-ish tomorrow. Patricia has an appointment over the Dartmouth side, for 9:15. It means getting up no later than 7:30 and being ready to leave an hour later. Crappy way to start a vacation, eh?

This is another Frank deadline week. I have been working on a promising case the last few days and even contacted a source regarding it. On Tuesday I will concentrate on his story, about which I have found very little until I spoke with my source the other night. Another one of the many, mostly-forgotten unsolved murders in Halifax.

Some cases get all the press. I tend to ignore them for that reason. The more obscure cases are the ones that capture my interest the most. Their stories deserve to be told just as much as the better-known ones.

Which all leads to the following: If you know of any Nova Scotia-based unsolved murder or missing persons case, please feel free to contact me right here. I swear I will grant you anonymity if you request it. You can also message me on Facebook, if that works for you, but the email address I just supplied is the best way to contact me.

And, just because I may have already written about a case, doesn't mean I can't revisit it. If you have enough information to let me justify a second article about a case to my editor, then that is certainly do-able. It happened last year with a case, and can easily happen again.

Thank you.

See you tomorrow.


Thursday, March 8, 2018

Post 3675 - Storm Central

Well, that was fun.

We got to work this morning without much incident, although the weather was foul and maybe they should have thought about cancelling schools. Then, around 8:15, Patricia called to tell me that power was out at her work. We were wondering whether they might send her home when it came back on.

Then, around 11:45 this morning, seconds after I had microwaved my roast beef lunch, the power went out at my work. I also learned that there is no emergency lighting in our kitchen, so I could see almost nothing. I made my way back to my desk, ate my lunch, which was just warm enough to be acceptable, and waited for word of the power and when it might come back on.

Management monitored news reports and the Nova Scotia power outage map and decided to send us home around 1:30. Patricia arranged to take a couple hours of vacation time so I picked her up and we drove home, getting cash along the way to pay the young man who would doubtless have cleaned out the driveway by that time. We also stopped off to the bakery in Lakeside, which is a wonderful place serving wonderful food, and you have to go there. We got home. I paid the young man I just mentioned (twice, as it turned out) and we got inside and watched some stuff on the pvr. But by 4pm, I was getting tired, so I took a long nap upstairs.

I capped off the evening by washing a bunch of dishes. My goodness, what an exciting life we lead, eh?

Tomorrow, weather permitting, we will venture forth and see what fresh adventures await. Maybe I will go to the Superstore across from my work and squeeze some lemons, to check for freshness. Gotta live on the edge.

You guys have a good night. Stay warm and dry.


Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Post 3674 - Two Days Later...

Sorry I didn't write last night. My body pretty much shut down around 5:30. Patricia was worried that I wasn't even fit to drive home. I was. I promise.

My body chemistry just works that way. There are days when I get home from work and I am so dog gone tired that I have to call it a night as soon as I get home. Other nights, like tonight, I feel just great.

Tomorrow's lunch should be awesome. I bought some beef over the weekend, including a really nice roast. That roast, along with some onions, cauliflower and green beans, is in the crockpot, where it will cook all night long. Certainly hoping that within the next seven hours or so, it will have finished cooking. Fingers crossed.

So, I messed up recently. Over the years I have heard about people who "had to" take vacation time or they would lose it. I thought they had lost it, alright, if you know what I mean. I was never in a position where I would have so much vacation time left to use that I would be in danger of losing some of that time.

Until this year.

I checked recently and still had over 100 hours of vacation time left. You're allowed to carry over 35 hours, and that goes into the "carryover" bank automatically. Then, you can add another 35 hours to an accumulated bank. So, 70 hours. I had misunderstood the regulations and thought I could put the rest of the time in the accumulated bank.

I was... not correct.

I found out from checking with HR that if I don't use the balance of those hours, 36.33 to be exact, by March 31, then I lose those hours. That is not going to happen. So, I put in for next week for vacation, and that time was approved today. So, after Friday, I will not be back to work until the 19th.

I suppose I am looking forward to the time off, but it feels forced on me. It just tells me that I must be more vigilant in the next fiscal year so that this doesn't happen again. Also, on April 1st, I get the full benefit of six weeks of vacation, up from the present five. With the two weeks I am carrying over (carry over and accumulated) I will effectively have a hair under eight weeks of vacation to use next year, unless I carry over yet more time in a year's time.

I started off in government with a scant three weeks of vacation. They changed the rules so that I got four weeks of vacation after.. six years or whatever it was; and it was in the sixth year of my service, so I just waltzed right into it. I got five weeks of vacation after sixteen years or whatever it was, which seems like yesterday. Now, sneaking up on me, is six weeks of vacation. It makes me wonder where the years have gone, and what I have to show for them.

Well, I have this incredible Model M keyboard for one thing, but that only cost me fifty cents.

Anyway, on that maudlin topic, I think I will call it a night.

See you tomorrow, folks.


Monday, March 5, 2018

Post 3673 - Real Names

So, I got into a Facebook discussion today with someone who shall remain nameless. Not because what he wrote was bad or anything, but just that he didn't give me permission to throw his name around.

He told me that one of the women I wrote about last night uses an on air name different from her actual name. I told him that I didn't really care, that while he told me her real name because she let it slip on the air once and he caught the mistake, I wasn't going to mention it here or anywhere else. She has a right to her privacy, in the same way that you and I do.

Lots of radio folks work under... well, I guess you can call them assumed names. I have heard that, back in the day, a jock would show up at a station and be presented with a list of "acceptable" names to use, because the imaging the station used was already in place for the names on that list, and it would cost too much to produce new imaging under the jock's real name. I don't know if that is true, but it is a neat story.

Some names, I suppose, are considered boring, and the "assumed" names are perceived to be more compelling. Different strokes, there.

Also, in the days before websites, "DJ's" would be nearly anonymous, unless they were doing a remote somewhere or something, or happened to open their mouth in the presence of an avid listener who was astute enough to put two and two together.

It still happens. In addition to this woman, there is a person working a Halifax morning show, very well known, who has worked under a variation of his actual name for many years. I know that name, and will not divulge it, because I like him and see no need to "out" him here.  When I see him, I always greet him by his nom du radio. He always greets me and immediately asks how Patricia is doing.

I remember seeing radio folks on tv, or out somewhere; and because I had never seen them before, and had developed a pre-conceived notion of what they looked like, I would wonder who that person was who sounded just like so-and-so. By times I'd be disappointed to learn that the female jock was less vivacious than I imagined her to be. Other times, she would be breathtakingly beautiful and I would feel too flustered to say anything, so I'd slink away and feel creepy if I kept listening to her show. My hang up, not hers.

It was an interesting back-and-forth that my friend and I had last night. It got me to thinking about the above, and what right jocks have to their privacy, to their actual names, in these days of social media, and station websites, and the increased real life presence radio stations seem to expect of their on air talent these days, compared with when I was a little kid listening to the radio and wondering what the hell these people looked like.

How about you? Ever been "disappointed" to realize how a radio personality looked? Or surprised, at the very least?

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, March 4, 2018

Post 3672 - Radio News

Two pieces of news, just in time for local ratings...

Kate Peardon, for the last several years part of the Q104 morning show, is leaving the station to go off and teach, presumably at NSCC. I had no idea she had an interest in teaching, but there you go.

This is the second time she left radio, by the way. She went into another field for a year or so, occupational health and safety or something like that. But she returned to local radio, spending a few weeks at the former Hal FM before Newcap re-hired her. She eventually worked her way back to the air full time, on the Q morning show. I will miss hearing her every day. She was a fine counterpoint to B.J. Wilson and Bobby Mac, and suffered some of the fools who called in to the morning comments line, not at all.

Taking her place, probably just for the ratings period, will be former Q104 morning's Lisa Blackburn, who was at that station for... 19 years or so? I have to go check, but she was there for quite a few years. She left in 2009 to join mornings alongside her husband at the former Live 92.9. After a format change in... crap, 2014 I think it was, she left and did web work at the CBC before entering municipal politics in 2016. A few months ago, she did a morning show with Scotty Mars, which was a blast to listen to.

Speaking of Scotty Mars and Live 105, he has a new co-host, starting on March 12. It will be none other than Ferne Wynnyk, a jock whose name will confound any spellcheck software. She has been working at the Rogers station for the last couple of years. I first noticed her traffic reports  in the mornings on News 95.7, which were sublime. Traffic reports are the most perfunctory part of any radio broadcast, but Ferne brought a near-poetic aspect to them that cannot be overstated. I am not kidding. She was that good reading the damn traffic reports!

Last year, she moved over to the promotions job at Jack FM and remained at News 95.7 for the weekly Double X Files on the Rick Howe Show.

When I learned on Friday that Ferne was gonna be moving over to a rock station, which I imagine must be her strength, I was elated. I cannot bloody wait to hear what she does in a morning show format. That date cannot get here soon enough.

Three radio stories. Three talented women. What a way to start another week.

See you tomorrow.


Friday, March 2, 2018

Post 3671 - Friday Night

Well, hello there, handsome.

We had a pretty good day off. We had some business over in Dartmouth this morning, so we went there. The only sucky part was when I went to The Smiling Goat in one of those new Dartmouth condo's that have sprung up in recent years. Patricia wanted tea and a muffin. I got them, and was about to buy one for myself when the cashier informed me that those muffins were four dollars each. I put one back real quick.

No way was it worth that kind of money. We shared it in the car before we went in for our business.

After it was over, we drove around a bit and ended up at the Mic Mac Bar and Grill. I had been hearing about the places for many years, so we decided to give it a whirl. When we saw that they had a lobster and steak dinner meal for "only" $34, surf and turf, we both went for it.

It was delicious. The steak was divine. The lobster was... well, lobster-like. Well-prepared. Served with butter and mashed potatoes and mushrooms. If I had to offer any criticism, it is that it should have come with a few vegetables. Green beans. Green beans would have been good.

I reached into my coat pocket to pay. I realized that my wallet wasn't where it should have been. I panicked and ran out to the car. There it was! I had grabbed some cash from the banking machine on the way and had forgotten to put my wallet back in my coat pocket. Sheepish, I returned to the restaurant to the sight of Patricia rifling through my coat, in search of the very thing I had just found.

I paid for the meal, giving the server a really large tip for the inconvenience and to assuage my embarrassment. We left and made our way to the Bibles for Missions thrift store in Lower Sackville. Didn't really get anything.

We returned to the Halifax side of the world, and went to Costco. Went home. Patricia took a nap, and I put the victuals away before watching some stuff on the PVR. We were both still full from our meal.

Tonight we just watched some tv.

A boring day? Maybe. But we got a lot done. And... there are two more days in this weekend to enjoy. I will tell you about those days as they get here.

I think I will turn in. Need some sleep.

See you tomorrow.


Thursday, March 1, 2018

Post 3670 - Short And Sweet

It's late, and I need my beauty coma.

We are both off on Friday, but have scheduled some appointments so we will be running the roads for most of the day. I plan to be plenty sleepy for Friday evening.

Friday evenings used to be the night when people would go out and have fun. For me, now, it is the night that signifies the end of the work week and means I get to sleep more, and sooner. A little sad, really.

I have already scheduled some things for Saturday and Sunday, too. My goodness, what is a fellow to do?

Well, this fellow is toddling off to bed. Beauty coma time.

See you tomorrow.


Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Post 3669 - Wednesday Evening

Sorry I didn't write last evening. My body shut down around 8:30 for the night. A symptom of old age, I guess.

Today marked another day at work. With my recent promotion, more is expected of me than before, so I have to do what I can to meet that challenge, at least on an incremental basis. I will get there.

Tonight, I also tried something new. I cooked dinner, and there was no fish in it whatsoever. It was grilled veggies with chicken breasts, served on tortillas and garnished with feta cheese, sour cream, a titch of pesto, and salsa. I don't know what to call that meal, or whether I have offended the spirits of millions of Mexican people in making it. If I am still here tomorrow night, you will know that they have forgiven me.

Got some news today. The folks from the public service award payout thingy I told you about last week, wrote to tell me that because of my work promotion, and attendant salary increase, I will get a bit more money in that payout, because they consider your salary as of March 31, 2018. Since that new salary kicked in before that deadline, I will get more money than if it had kicked in in, say, April of 2018. All to the good.

I am eyeing that debt I told you about. It is in my sights. It will be gone in a couple or three months. I am hoping that by Labour Day, the only debt I will have is the mortgage on Casa Bevboy.

Ha! Stay in school, folks. It will all work out in the end. Until it doesn't.

Tomorrow is Thursday, but my Friday for the week, as I am off that day.

I think I will turn in.

I love you all. Yes, even you.

See you tomorrow.


Monday, February 26, 2018

Post 3668 - Bevboy Update

I have been sitting on this news for a couple of weeks now, and am finally able to announce it.

I have got a promotion at my work.

I won't get into all the times I have been disappointed over the years. All the times I applied for a job, only for that job to disappear or be redeployed somewhere else. So, this time, I approached the job with the attitude that this same fate could happen again. This time, it didn't.

The interview was to have been in early January, but there was a storm that day so it got postponed to the 17th. It went well enough three weeks and one day later, February 8th I think it was, I was made the offer. I accepted it on February 12th. And it took effect today, February 26th. My new pay rate will not be on the paycheque that comes out this week, but rather the one that I get two weeks after that.

People from my work read this blog, so I am not gonna get too far into the process or anything like that. Let's just say that the result turned out to be positive for me, for a change.

So, given the bump in pay, the public service award payout, a bit of overtime here and there, perhaps some standby from time to time, my Frank Magazine side work, things are looking up financially for me. Which makes, like, one in a row.

The money will come in handy. I want to replace some windows in the house, which I am sure are original to the property. It is long overdue to have this work done. Now, I should be able to save up the money and not build up any more debt. It is a much more attractive option for me.

On that lovely note, I think I will turn in. I was up crazy late Sunday night and have to re-establish my sleep pattern.

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, February 25, 2018

Post 3667 - Sunday Night Ramblings

Hello there, you handsome devil.

I wish I could say I had spent a quiet day doin' nothin', but instead I spent a good six hours shredding documents. Old bills and the like. They had been piling up for years.

I deployed the handy dandy shredder for this purpose. I think there is a second one lying around here, but I used the one I saw. One of those shredders that only accommodate up to five sheets, but it wasn't happy to be given more than four. I was doing quite well, but after a couple of hours I was getting more and more shredder jams. I was spending more and more time clearing the jams, using toothpicks and even a tine from a fork to clear the mechanism so I could resume my work. This happened several times. Out of six hours of work, I probably spent two hours fixing the various paper jams. It wasn't even the slightest big frustrating. Nope. Not at all.

At any rate, I filled two large clear plastic bags with this material. Assuming the weather holds, they will go out on Tuesday morning. And maybe we should be getting a newer shredder, huh?

I remember when I bought my parents a shredder, a good ten years ago now. Dad was thrilled. He actually enjoyed shredding his old bills and the like. I still found a bunch of them after he died, so I guess the thrill was gone for him some time before that.

What else is going on in my life? Not much, I'm afraid.

Back to work in the morning. Why do weekends go by so quickly?

You have a good evening and take care of each other.

See you tomorrow.


Saturday, February 24, 2018

Post 3666 - Two Days Later


I had my birthday on Friday. I am now (sigh!) 54 years of age.

I worked during the day. After work, I met up with Patricia at the Casino. I had been looking forward to dinner at the buffet, all week long.

Deeply disappointing.

We queued up. Patricia paid. She had forgotten her own casino card, so she had to pay full price for herself, while I got the five dollar discount. We got in quite quickly. The food was... well, it wasn't very good. The beef carvery was fatty. The chicken and fish were nearly cold. The mussels were swimming in grease. The pizza slices were doughy and gross.

Desserts were not much better. The rice pudding was acceptable. The white cake was okay. The bread pudding, which used to be the best thing they ever offered, looked desiccated, nearly mummified.

I did see an old friend from the Valley, though. Dave Hines was a photographer down there for many years. He took my university grad photos, actually. My dad knew his dad. We chatted for a few minutes, and caught up somewhat. Nice to see him, and meet his wife.

That was the best part of the meal.

We got up to leave and noticed about 18 people lined up to get into the buffet. They had already paid, so there was no backing out. I wanted to tell them to run away from the place, not to waste their money, or cause rack and ruin to their colons. But it was too late for them. Too... late.

We had thought about playing some slots, but the meal was so disappointing that I couldn't bear to lose money on top of that, so we went home. My body conked out early, and Patricia's gave out not long later.

Today, we have spent the day inside. I got my b'day present that I didn't get yesterday. It is a solar-powered radio/flashlight. It also has a weather band, so I can listen to the weather all day long. I have the radio upstairs, outside the bathroom, in a window that gets plenty of sunlight.

Here is what it look like:

We had looked at some other such radios a couple weeks ago, at the MEC in the downtown. They all looked flimsy, cheap even. One had a built-in bottle opener, which was neat; but it looked as if it were about to crumble to pieces if I looked at it hard. The freeplay looked much more rugged than the others, with the only vulnerability being that the radio antenna is not protected when not in use.

The flashlight is decent for what it is supposed to do. There is the ability to charge the device via usb, solar, or a big wind up thingy. It has a headphone jack, and one can allegedly charge a cell phone or other device via a mini usb connection. Not many devices have a mini usb connection any more, so that will likely not be used too much. I can live with that.

I'm pretty happy with this gift. Thanks, Patricia.

So, I'm 54 now. I have more years behind me than ahead of me, unless I live to be 108, which nobody with my last name ever has, or will. I can only hope that as many of my remaining years are as good as I can make them. That is all one can ever hope for.

Tomorrow, Patricia has a thing in Bayer's Lake. I will hang back here and make dinner or take a nap or something. The people who think I am a workaholic would be so disappointed if they saw me.

You guys have a good evening. I will bark at ya on the morrow.


Thursday, February 22, 2018

Post 3665 - One More Day To The Weekend

Thursday night.

I just sent off my next cold case article to my editor at Frank. It is a full week ahead of my deadline, so I am sure he is pleased by that if nothing else. I still plan to work on another article in the coming days.

It is another unsolved murder, from several years ago. Another case that has been nearly forgotten about, one which I hope to shed some light on. With any luck, it will be in the issue of Frank that goes on sale the week after next.

My goodness I am tired this evening. Tuesday night I had to turn in early. Wednesday night I was up until after 11. I nearly turned in early this evening, too, but instead had my shower and finished the above article. I have earned my beauty sleep tonight.

I am going to give a bit more thought regarding the numbering of the blog posts going forward. I will let you know. Dozens of you have written me or stopped me on the street. I promise I will let you all know, soon.

I think I will turn in. I have a busy and momentous day ahead of me.

See you then.


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Post 3664 - Wednesday Night Wailings

Or is this post 3748?

I am no longer sure, ladies and gentlement.

Let me explain.

I have tried to number these post consecutively over the years. You would think that this would be an easy thing to do. Look at the post number for the previous post, and add one to it.

Enter... a minor case of dyslexia.

I have transposed digits in numbers nearly my whole life. If someone told me to write down, for example, 13728, there is a good change I would jot down 17328. Not to be plucky or irreverent, but because the digits would get mixed up between my brain and my hand and some out the wrong way. Happens all the time. It is a good thing I didn't go into Accounting, huh?

So, why did I start numbering these posts?

I am not sure. I think it may have been that when I started with post number one, in late 2007, that I would never make it to post 3664. It was such a far away goal that it seemed like science fiction, so I dutifully kept adding one more to the next post until here we are.

Except, when I look at the blog's history, it says that there are actually 3748 posts. This would be 3749, actually.

I can explain some of the discrepancies. Early on, to be cheeky, I had things like post 100.1 and 100.5 and that kind of thing. But I know that there are times when I threw the sequence off entirely, forgetting that this is the 3600 series of posts, and lopping off one hundred, and starting up again at 3526 or whatever it was. More than one post that has the same post number, in other words. Once or twice, I plumb forgot to put numbers on the posts at all.

So, what do I do?

I am thinking of doing a "post jump" to catch up with the actual number of published posts, which would mean that the next post would be something like 3750, and not 3665. This would confound the archaeologists who, one hundred years hence, would discover this blog on some ancient hard drive Google left behind after it colonized Jupiter in 2062. These people would read the blog, love it of course, but then wonder why some 85 posts were no longer there. I have to think about my legacy. You understand.

I could just blithely go on and continue with this faulty number, of course. But I don't like that, either. I have written those other 85 post, gosh darn it. I have earned that higher number. The blog should not suffer because I messed up the numbering a few times over the years.

Or, I could stop numbering the posts. I like this suggestion the least. How many other blogs have the numbering built right in? It is comforting to the reader, and to me, to be able to see that there is a unique stamp on each and every blog post, here on Bevboy's Blog. No other blog post in the world is ever going to be called "Post 3664 - Wednesday Night Wailings". I guarantee it.

Perhaps I could use two numbers. "Post 3664/3749 - Wednesday Night Wailings", for example. Then, over the course of a couple of weeks, I could drop the earlier number, and just keep the higher number. This way, the archaeologists in 2118 will have a fighting chance of figuring out why the blog post numbering jumped that way.

So, what should I do, folks? Keep this numbering? Go for the "actual" number for the blog posts? Drop the numbering altogether? Use both numbers for a spell? Adopt a Dewey Decimal-type approach? How about a logarithmic scale? Astronomical units? Scientific notation?

Help a Bevboy out.

See you tomorrow.


Monday, February 19, 2018

Post 3663 - Monday Night -- Bevboy Needs Your Help!

Another long weekend is behind me. I wish I could say I got more done.

I did spend some time doing some work for Frank. But, you know, otherwise, I was here at home sleeping and watching stuff on Plex and on Netflix.

I cooked breakfast this morning, and dinner tonight. So, there is that.  I washed some clothes, so I don't have to worry about running out of underwear any time soon. So, there is that. I just spent 30 minutes re-arranging a storage area here in my home office, throwing a bunch of stuff out in the process. There is that.

Newbie has enjoyed having us around the house the last few days. He will be disappointed when we return to work in the morning.

Before I ring off this evening I need your help with something.

I want to buy a decent usb-powered light. I presently have one I got with some other similar items a few years ago. It is a very small lamp, on a stand. It has five small led lights. An on and off switch. Two of those lights have burned out. If one more goes, leaving me down to two, then it is pretty much useless to me. That can happen any day now.

Does anybody reading this have a suggestion for a usb-powered light, similar to the one I just described? It would be great if it had enough light to allow me to read a book by, but I would make do with it being strong enough to enable me to see this keyboard if I am here late at night with no other lights on. Most usb-powered lights are crap. I don't know why that is. Surely to heck there is a decent one out there. Your mission is to tell me about it, and how to go about ordering one.

Thank you.

See you tomorrow.


Saturday, February 17, 2018

Post 3662 - Saturday Night

Turned in crazy early Friday night and slept in this morning. I have spent quite a few hours today working on some stuff that has taken a bit longer to do than I had originally expected. I need to finish that task in the morning.

I did have time to day to make a nice breakfast for us. Western sandwiches, only I used bacon bits instead of -- ugh! -- ham. Ham is not food, in my opinion. It should not even be a thing.

I showered after that, so I am smelling all purty now. Newbie and Patricia are impressed.

I need to turn in. I have an early day tomorrow.


Thursday, February 15, 2018

Post 3661 - One More Day To Go

I didn't write last night because I got home late. I was at the Archives until 8 or so. Then, on the way out, the commissionaire recognized me and we spent 20 minutes talking about unsolved murders, missing persons, and Denyse Sibley. Denyse was mixed in there, popping up every few minutes.

I went to Atlantic News to pick up the newest issues of Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine and Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine. I learned that local journalist Dean Jobb is the new columnist at EQMM. They are combining the very long running Jury Box book reviews section, and the Blog Bytes section written by Bill Crider, who died on February 12th and who had been unwell for some time.

Anyway, as sorry as I am to learn of Bill Crider's death, and the ending of The Jury Box (which went back to the 1970's, if not earlier), I am excited to learn that local Dean Jobb, a true crime writer several of whose books I have here in my home office, is taking on this prestigious job. EQMM's editor, Janet Hutchings, takes the time to say some very nice things about Dean Jobb. I'm very much on board with this new column.

Here is a link to Dean's first column. You will be able to read it for free, so check back every month.

Anyway, today was another work day. Busy. And things promise to get even busier over the next couple of weeks.

The weekend is nearly here. It can't get here quite soon enough.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Post 3660 - A Great Find

I am cheap.

Well, let's go with thrifty.

If I can save a buck somewhere, I will.

The computer which I am using to type these humble, sub-par, slightly pathetic words, was purchased at the Staples in Bayer's Lake in January of 2009. Nine years ago. It was part of a Boxing Week Sale. A HP Slimline machine that came with 2gb of Ram, a 500GB hard drive, and which ran Windows Vista.

Vista was utter crapola. I eventually installed a Linux distribution on it, and used that version until long after it had become outdated and its developers had abandoned any updates. I am now running Linux Mint, and it is very nice indeed.

But it was starting to show its age. The traditional hard drive gasped and wheezed and apps took too long to load. I was starting to think I would have to break down and get a newer machine. But instead,  I took a 120GB SSD (solid state drive) and installed that a few months ago. The 500GB drive now holds my data. Now, it runs like the wind. It does everything I need it to do, flawlessly. Unless something untoward happens with this machine, I can probably get another couple of years out of it. I may yet, however, double the ram all the way to 4GB.

But I had a mere 15 inch flat screen monitor. I had a 19 inch one briefly, but it did not work on this computer. It would blink out after a few seconds. Maybe it was the drivers. Maybe it was just a dud monitor from the thrift store.

I took that monitor, and three others, to an enviro depot over the weekend. When cleaning out the closet that had those monitors, I found this one, a 17 inch LG. I swapped out the 15 for the 17 about 20 minutes ago, and it works very well. I will save you the math. It is about 13% bigger than the 15, which makes quite a difference to me.

This upgrade this evening cost me nothing. It was a monitor I had forgotten about. Swapping out the two monitors took me about 45 seconds. And I have a better computer experience now than I had before.

When I bought this machine nine years ago, I had no idea I would still be using it in 2018. I figured three or four at the very most. Now, like I stated above, I think I can get a few more years out of this.

What things have you bought that lasted you much, much longer than you expected they would?

You know how to contact me.

See you tomorrow.


Monday, February 12, 2018

Post 3659 - What Would You Do?

I don't talk about it much, but I work as a civil servant. I have the part-time writing gig for Frank, but most of my income emanates from my day job.

The government recently decided to allow civil servants to tap into what is called a public service award, an amount of money paid to retiring civil servants. One week of salary for each year of service, up to twenty six weeks. In order to get this money, you couldn't leave your job in any way other than retiring. If you left to go somewhere else, you didn't get it. If you got fired, you didn't get it.

They want the money off the books, so they're letting us get the money now. By now, I mean in the coming few months, as there are only so many people working away at calculating these amounts owing, and it takes a while to do this work. I won't pretend to know about it.

Last week, we all got letters spelling out what our PSA amount will be. We also got options for how to receive that money. We could get it as one big payment, less income tax, CPP contributions, EI contributions, and everything else. Those going for that option, will likely get about 50% of that money. Maybe 55% at the most.

You could also opt to put all, or some, of that money into a retirement savings plan and defer the tax, as you would never see it.

What you do with that money, and how it is disbursed as above, depends on one's financial situation. I decided to go for the full payout, although it means taking a kick in the teeth, tax wise. I took on a fair amount of debt before my mother died, and added to that right after she passed. I have had to add yet more to get other important things done, too. I have been dutifully paying it down over the last few years, and I have about two years left to go.

If i get this payout as I have described, I can pay off that balance of that debt pretty much instantly. I will free up the cash designated for this debt, and put it toward other things, including savings. It seems like a no-brainer to me.

But others like the idea of socking the money away into the RSP thing, getting the tax break, and applying THAT money to whatever debts and other financial obligations confront them.

In speaking with a co-worker today, I opined that many people give little thought to their financial planning. They just want their net pay every two weeks that they can spend on what they want. As they approach retirement, they feel they should retire as much of their debt as they can, but that is about it.

I am not too far away from that attitude, and we suspect that most people are not, either.

I think my decision works for me. The die is cast. I mailed in my decision last week.

I am wondering what you would do in my case, and why? You don't have to tell me your precise financial situation. Don't give me actual dollar amounts of what you owe, or what you would spend it it. Just give me a rough idea of what you would do, and why.

I look forward to your thoughts.

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, February 11, 2018

Post 3658 - Two Days Later

Sorry I didn't write on Saturday. I did a quick Valley trip, to check out the house down there and take care of a few things.

I know I have some friends down there, and maybe they're disappointed that they didn't hear from me. I promise I am not trying to be a so-and-so. I promise to look you up in the near future. I know we need to have lunch and talk about stuff.


I returned mid-afternoon. A friend wanted to borrow our Toastmasters club's old timing device and stopwatch, so I dropped them off on the way home. I was greeted with the usual enthusiasm from Patricia and Newbie. I reported that I had brought back a quiche and a pizza, and prepared them both for dinner. After dinner I cooked some salmon, which will be for our lunches this week.

Once again, a three day weekend flew by as if it had never happened before. Once again, I wonder where the time went, and what I have to show for it.

I just remembered that I should re-plug the slow cooker in, and let it run most of the night. Patricia is making a beef stew, and I want to make the chaps at work jealous because their wives only made them flakes of ham sandwiches.

I am such a stinker.

You guys have a good night. See you tomorrow.


Friday, February 9, 2018

Post 3657 - Friday Night

A day off work. I love three day weekends.

Patricia had a make-up Pilates class this morning, or rather, thought she did. She got there and soon discovered it was cancelled, so she did some exercises and returned to the car early. Meanwhile I went to the nearby thrift store.

It's the same thrift store where I got this handy dandy Model M keyboard a few months ago. The same keyboard I am using for this blog post, actually. What a wonderful clickety-clack it produces! Anyway, they had a few keyboards there, but not anything like this find.

We had lunch with a friend, whom we had not seen for a while. After that, we went to the Young Street Superstore, and then made our way back home. We have spent the rest of the day just hanging around the house, taking things easy.

Weekends are nice, and there are two more days to go in this one.

Lots of fun on Saturday and Sunday. I will tell you about those days as the time draw nigh.

I learned "nigh" from reading comics.

See you tomorrow.


Thursday, February 8, 2018

Post 3656 - Listen!

I didn't write on Wednesday because my body shut down around 8:15. Sorry about that.

I would have told you that the next edition of the Night Time Podcast is up. It is the episode that features me talking with host Jordan Bonaparte for 40 minutes or so, regarding the 1998 disappearance of Troy Cook, from Truro, Nova Scotia.

Here is the link. You can either stream it, or download it. If you have a podcast catcher you can set it up to grab every edition of this fine podcast ever done if that is your desire (it should be).

I am happy with how it turned out. I thought that my voice was slowed down, but Jordan tells me that he did not adjust my modulation at all. I guess I worked a little too hard to make sure I spoke at a deliberate rate. You may not even notice it. We spoke for about 43 minutes, and nearly all of it made the podcast, so that is cool.

One little bit he did cut was my offer at the very end to sit down with Jordan again and discuss another cold case. I hope he takes me up on that offer.

I don't know if my articles, if Jordan's podcasts, help solve any cases or not. I haven't heard about the police arresting anybody and thanking Frank Magazine or The Night Time Podcast for helping generate tips that led to the arrest. But I like to think they do help keep the word out about these older unsolved cases, and that word can lead to discussion, which can lead to people calling the police with some piece of information that can lead to an arrest or three.

Thanks, Jordan. That was fun. Let's do that again sometime.

See you guys tomorrow.


Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Post 3655 - A Good Laugh

I have spent far too much time this evening, and during my lunch hour today, enjoying the heck out of a thread on a Facebook page I follow with some interest. It was inspired by something I had written the other day.

On the "Marvel Comics Fans 1961-1986" page, on Tuesday, there was the following exchange:

People have been writing at great length about it all day, and I have had a wonderful time reading these posts. Here I am with one of my contributions.

My very favourite made me laugh out loud. Here it is:

I got such a kick out of this because, well, I learned to read from comics more than I did from anything else. I developed a taste for other types of reading, fiction and non-fiction, but it all came from comics. I sold off 99% of them over the years, but I still remember reading them very fondly. And I remember the insults that, say, Doctor Doom would throw at his minions. "Craven cur" was likely my favourite.

I learned that "laser" and "maser" were acronyms.

I learned that "moribund" means "dying" because I read that a comic book was in that state due to poor sales and was in danger of cancellation, a form of death if you want to look at it that way.

There will be a new Ant Man movie in 2018, with The Wasp as his partner, played by Evangeline Lilly. Her character is often described as "winsome", so I have known that word since I was a child.

I learned that "naught" means "nothing" from reading comics.

I had a job more than 30 years ago when I told my boss I was working on something "for the nonce". He told me he had not heard that phrase since he had studied Shakespeare. I got the phrase from reading Thor years earlier.

I learned that full moons last for three nights because I read "Werewolf by Night" as a youngster, and Jack Russell would become a werewolf for three nights per month. Gotta love those old stories by Doug Moench and Don Perlin. I asked a teacher in a science class why they last for three nights, and got a perfectly scientific answer for my troubles.

(Doug Moench and I share the same birthday, by the way).

I occasionally tell people here on the blog to calm down by writing, "Fear not, effendi". Got that from reading one of Stan Lee's Soapbox entries from back in the day, in some Marvel comic, likely from the early 1970's. Probably written by someone else, but you get the point.

I really hope that this Facebook thread goes on for days and days. Grand old fun.

What does this mean to you? Well, not much, except that if you catch a seldom-used word here from time to time, there is a decent chance I got it from reading comics. You know, the scourge of literature.

And I have paid it forward a bit in my Frank articles. In one I did in the Autumn, I could have stated that a man was so "sad" that he took his own life, but wrote "disconsolate" instead. My editor did not change it, so it was all good. I am pretty sure I got that word from comics I read as youngster.

Now, begone, ye vile miscreants. I must needs sleep ere the morn, lest I be enervated.