Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Post 3924 - 2019, goodbye. Well, hello there, 2020! And... a major announcement.

Well, here we are. The last day of 2019. In hours, it will be 2020.

I am in my final hours as a provincial civil servant. Due to the vagaries of pay cheques and how and when I got added to the payroll system back in 1993, I will continue to receive pay cheques until the middle of January. The one I get on the 16th will be for, I believe, seven work days; plus, it will have the pay out amount for my unused vacation days. Then, on the 29th of January, I get my first pension cheque.

(Yes. I had so damn much vacation accrued that it could not be contained in one month. I had taken virtually no vacation since the beginning of the fiscal year in April of 2019, and I already had 70 hours in the bank from the previous fiscal year.)

But that is not all.

I have been sitting on this news for some time now.

Starting in two days I am a full-time employee of Frank Magazine.

This will please some people and displease others. The magazine is polarizing and I know it. I am convinced that most of the people who complain about Frank Magazine have never read it.

I can only tell you that I promise to be fair in everything I write for them. I have always carefully researched my cold case articles. You can rest assured that I will bring the same level of care to anything else I write for them.

So, too, does everybody else who writes for Frank, too. Nobody at the magazine phones it in.

I am lucky, and blessed, to be afforded this opportunity at this stage in my life. My whole life, I dreamed of having a paying writing gig, but assumed it would never happen. It has happened, and I will not squander this opportunity.

I know very well that there have been many layoffs of reporters and news gatherers in recent months, here in Nova Scotia. It must be galling for these hard-working and indefatigable reporters to see someone who has never seen the inside of a J school, become a reporter. I respect their bitterness and disappointment. Just give me a chance to be the best I can at this job. That is all I am asking you for. A chance.

The action begins on January 2nd, 2020. I can hardly wait.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Post 3923 - Bevboy's Blog Will Return

Just not tonight.

Dealing with a lot of stuff. Been a busy month. I look forward to telling you about it.

Sorry that I didn't number the previous blog post. And, no, I am not going to name the people I referenced in that post. I know who they are. And I hope they do, too. I no longer care. It is my previous life.

I hope to resume the blog tomorrow.


Sunday, December 1, 2019

Standing at a Crossroads, Thinking...

So, welcome to December, 2019.

I'm so sorry I haven't written lately. I have been busy preparing for my retirement from my civil service job. One thing after another, after another, after another.

This past Wednesday, I had my farewell party thingy at work. It started at 2. People feted me. Since I was always buying cookies from folks whose kids were selling them, I was referred to as the cookie monster. This meant that rather than purchase and/or make me a cake, they purchased and/or made me cookies. So many cookies I have only ever seen at one time in a bakery. We are still eating them. The home-made shortbreads are divine. They're all good. They also gave me a gift card from Staples, which is my favourite store in the entire world. I used a chunk of it to buy a new solid state hard drive on Black Friday.

I spoke a few words at my farewell party. I mentioned why I went into my field in the first place. I will tell that story here, I think for the first time. In my senior year of high school our guidance councilor played a cassette tape in a class one day that spelled out some up-and-coming fields of endeavour, what those jobs would entail, and what kinds of skills would be required to carry out a job in that field. There was if I recall correctly some written documentation as well. One note said that you wouldn't have to carry anything weighing more than 10 pounds. I was sold!

My father had laboured as a carpenter for decades. I saw how hard he had to work every day, lugging shingles up a ladder, or schlepping wood from one place to another. If I could have a job where I didn't have to carry more than 10 pounds at a time, then I would be made in the shade. So, I went into that field! I am not sure to this day if my father ever thought I put in a day's work in my life.

On Thursday and Friday I left cookies in the kitchen. People descended on them like locusts.

On Thursday, my manager arranged for my immediate team to go to lunch. One member was sick. Another person had surgery. Another person had an appointment. So we were down to six souls, including mine. I was gifted a new watch. I have been wearing my father's watch since he died in 2010. As I told you before, I have replaced nearly everything on that watch over the years: multiple batteries, a new strap, inner workings. It is arguable whether it is my father's watch any more. Perhaps it is time to wear this new watch...

Also on Thursday I said a professional goodbye to my co-worker for the last several years. We got along quite well. I told him I would miss working with him and he said we had had some fun. Which we had. I had so many laughs courtesy of him. I will cherish our time together as long as I live. I hope we can keep in touch.

And, finally, Friday came. I did some actual work, I'll have you know, and continued throwing stuff from my desk all morning. A co-worker took me to coffee around 10. At lunch time I went to Patricia's own farewell party at her work. Afterward, we returned to my work. My manager excused me around 3:15. Patricia and I walked around the second floor of our building where I made my goodbyes and final handshakes and hugs. Then, we left. Our first night of this new freedom? We slept the night away.

My manager and I met a few times in the last days I was there. He gave some good advice, which was to let the negative thoughts I may or may not have harbored toward the place, wash away from me, and look forward to new adventures. If I hold on to these negative feelings, assuming they exist, then that accomplishes nothing.

He was, of course, correct. However, some niggling, errant thoughts ricochet around my brain, though. I can't help it. They just do. I think that part of the process of letting them go is to consider them just a bit longer, and to determine to my satisfaction just why they have resonated with me. Let's do that for a moment.

The common theme with them is trust. Broken. Shattered. Misplaced. Inappropriate. People who have lied to my face about how if I do this, it can yield to a promotion, so I did them, and it had no effect whatsoever. I hate when people lie to me.

The time a family friend, also a manager, lambasted me for my attitude. He told me that my university degree was just a "stepping stone" and no guarantee of success in the civil service, even though he had the very type of degree I did, and made sure everyone knew it. A few years later, he suggested I return to university and... get another degree. I was flummoxed. He led me on for years, with his lies, and false hope, simultaneously pumping me for information about people we both knew who had applied for jobs he would be responsible for filling. I finally grew tired of them, and him, and have not spoken with him in more than 15 years. Peaceful years.

The time a guy threatened to plant marijuana cigarettes in my desk and call the police. He remains one of the few people whose name sparks a visceral response from me, more than 20 years after we stopped working together. I hated that man, just hated him. God, I hated him. I have a list I keep in my head containing names of people I will not work with again, no matter what. His is one of two names on that list. Further, affiant sayeth  naught.

The time I asked a co-worker to inform Patricia about something. An hour later I had a special meeting with my manager. 25 years later, I still don't know what the hell I did wrong to warrant that meeting, and to have to endure the implied threats raised during that meeting. I have never forgiven that woman who did that to me. I saw her earlier this year at a co-worker's retirement party. She hugged me and I did not like it.

The times I took sick days and was raked over the coals for taking sick days, so I reverted to dragging my sick arse in to work on days when I should have stayed home. Which is what an awful lot of civil servants do, by the way.

The time I was told I would get... let's call it a special promotion at work if I agreed to take on a certain task. When I agreed to take on that certain task, the special promotion was snatched away from me, like an ice cream sandwich at the beach, and I had to do that certain task anyway. I stopped trusting the man who made that promise, right then and there. Someone I have known for a very long time. I hope he thinks his broken promise was worth it.

I suffered other indignities over the years, all in pursuit of a pay cheque and this pension I will start collecting in January.

Was it worth it? All this felgercarb? Sigh. I like to think it was. It is what I keep telling myself. It is what keeps me sane. Because if it truly wasn't worth it, then I will have wasted the last 26 years of my life. And that thought terrifies me.

But, you know what? Tomorrow is another day. I look forward to seeing what it will bring.

I really will try harder to keep this here blog up and running more often than I have been lately. I feel badly about that.

See you... tomorrow?


Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Post 3921 - Three Days Later

So, I am off for the rest of the week. Back in the office on the 25th for my final week.

There is a party for me there next Wednesday at... 2pm I think it is. A farewell lunch on Thursday. Then I work through to 4:30 on the 29th and that will be that with that.

Lots of people are congratulating me. I appreciate the kind words. But I have to wonder how much it speaks to how unhappy so many people in the civil service are that they express emotions akin to jealousy or envy. The fact that so many people in the civil service appear to be disaffected should tell those who are in a position to do something about it, to do something about it.

The pension I will start collecting in January of 2020 is neither the most it could be, or the least. Others have larger pensions than I will have, but plenty of people either have a small pension, or none at all. I am well aware of that. I have relatives who have always looked at me with a baleful eye and said dismissively, "You don't work. You have a gummint job!" That is how they say "government". Gummint.

It always bothered me.

First of all, the pension I will be collecting is something that everyone pays into. It is not a gift. It is an earned benefit. If you are a provincial civil servant other than perhaps a casual employee who doesn't merit vacation or sick time or any other benefits, then you pay into the pension, whether you want to or not. I paid into it for more than 26 years. My pension will based upon the years I paid into it, at 2% per year, up to a maximum of 35 years, or 70% of your average of your best five years of salary. So I will get just a hair under 53% pension, or an annual sum which is, well, between me and the Canada Revenue Agency. A tidy sum, but not a bloody fortune. I will have to continue working at something else to make up the difference.

Many other companies used to have pension plans. But more and more of them are finding them too much of a liability and have done away with them. The phone company may yet have a pension. The power corporation. Us. The feds. But by and large, people are expected to take care of their own retirement, so they invest in things like RRSP. Some companies match the contributions of their employees.

If you did not work for a company or an organization that offered what I am about to receive, then I am sorry that you did so. I truly am. But do not blame me, or criticize me for it. I paid into this sucker for more than a quarter century. I have earned it.

Without being specific, you have no idea of the unmitigated... feces... I have had to endure over the years to get to this stage. Speak to any civil servant. He/she will have stories to tell. The problem will be getting them to stop speaking.

Anyway, be happy for me, or don't be happy for me. It is your choice. I know what mine would be if you were the one retiring in a method similar to mine.

I am turning in. I have a lot to do around the house tomorrow.

See you then.


Sunday, November 17, 2019

Post 3920 - All Right, All Right.


I need to backtrack something from my previous post. Some folks got upset.

I used the word "shambling" in my previous post. I was characterizing the folks, almost always men, who "shamble" around the office. They are more than eligible to retire, but hang on, and hang on, and hang on some more.

Reminds me of a story.

A man, who shall remain nameless, retired from the provincial government several years ago. He had about 30 years of service, maybe 31. He left the office at the end of November that year and would use his vacation in December, in anticipation of his actual retirement in January, sort of what I am doing now.

He died during that month of vacation.

I have never forgotten what happened to this man. It was a cautionary tale for me. I can only imagine he held on a few extra years to goose his retirement payment, only to see the results of those commuted payments ultimately go to his estate, where it would be dispensed according to whatever his wishes were. He was a quiet, loner type with no family of his own, so no doubt his nieces and nephews benefited from his many years of labour. All that work. Nothing to show for it. Could not enjoy his retirement for even five minutes.

I do not want that for myself.

At the same time, there are people at work, or anyone else's work,  who have little choice but to hang around work for an extra few years. They still have kids in university or community college. They make too much money for their children to get student loans, so they end up bankrolling much of the cost of their children's higher education.

They anticipate retirement the way a person walking through a desert for three days anticipates water. They can see it. They can hear it. They can smell it. But it is unattainable until the last rugrat finishes school. I get that.

I was not referring to them when I referred to those who shamble around an office. You know which ones I am referring to. They can retire. They have no reason to keep working. But they do not leave. They ultimately are taking up space that could best be filled by someone younger and cheaper and who has fresher ideas. But they do not leave and thereby thwart the professional growth and development of people behind them.

I do not want to be that person. Nobody should be that person

I will go off and do something else, somewhere else, likely in another line of work.

If you are one of the people I just described, a "shambler", why don't you consider doing the same thing?

See you tomorrow.


Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Post 3919 - Major Announcement

First of all, I am sorry I haven't written in the last couple of weeks. Time, once again, got away from me. I will try to be more diligent, etc. etc.

The announcement?

Here goes:

I have decided to retire from my job with the provincial government. I will have not quite 26.5 years of service when I walk out the door. Patricia is also retiring. Our last day in the office will be November 29th, a scant two weeks hence.

It was a difficult decision. I agonized over it. Went back and forth. Three weeks ago I found out who my HR rep was. I did not write her for 4 days, when I told her about my decision. She told me what I had to do.

On October 29th, I produced the letter, which announced my intention to retire. It had to be signed, so I printed it off, signed it, and then scanned it in as a PDF. Emailed it to myself at work. On the 30th, before 9am, I produced the email containing this attachment to my manager and my HR rep. And it sat there in my draft folder until 4:25 on the 31st. The very last thing I did before leaving for the day was to send that email along.

Last week, on the... 7th, my manager and I talked about it. Just wanted to make sure I had made a firm decision. I told him I had.

And, yesterday, the 12th, I told my immediate co-workers. They are all happy for me.

I do not know what the future holds for me. I just know I do not want to be that guy you see shambling around the office, any office. The kind of guy who was eligible to retire long ago but continues to hold on for whatever reason. Those folks make me a little sad.

I want to leave now, or rather, in two weeks, and go off and do something else while I am still young enough, vital enough, and perhaps in sufficient demand, to go do that something else.

The decision, as I already told you, was one I considered for a long time. I did not tell you because people at my work read this blog and I did not want to burden them with this information, and the exquisite, intricate aspects that went into my reaching this decision. I tell them indirectly here, and then they go in to work and not tell others, such as management. Puts everyone in an awkward decision. I hope they understand.

As it stands, I have so much vacation time built up that I can be off for the entire month of December for vacation, and continue to be paid. My first pension cheque will be at the end of January.

There. My major announcement. I feel relieved having told you.

If you have any pearls of wisdom regarding surviving on a pension, please let me know.

I have some other tasks to finish up this evening, so I will cut this short. But... let me renew my vow to produce blog posts more frequently. I missed you guys.

I hope you missed me.

See you... tomorrow?


Sunday, October 27, 2019

Post 3918 - Six Days Later...

Hello and welcome to the end of another weekend. Where do these things go, anyway?

I have spent the last several days working and sleeping and doing stuff around the house. Tuesday night was interesting. We got home around 5:30, whereupon I told Patricia that I was going to take a short nap. I didn't really get up again until 5:30 Wednesday morning.  Patricia was quite worried about me, but I felt fine the next morning.

I wish I could say that we did a lot this weekend, but we did not. I ventured out around 4pm to get a couple turkey dinners from a local church that was selling them for a good price. Otherwise, we stayed in all weekend.

We had thought about going to the Valley this weekend. The Devour! festival was in Wolfville again, and we had considered going. The CBC coverage sounded interesting on Friday, but there was something that ticked me off. Here it is.

They were broadcasting from the new Church pub on Main Street. It was a church for 100 years or so before the United Church sold it along with some other churches so they could build a new super church in nearby New Minas. The thinking was that parishioners would just, um, flock to the new church. The woman Jeff Douglas interviewed made it sound like everybody was accepting of the change.

I can tell you that this was not true.

One of the churches sold was the Canard United Church, which I attended for many years. As I understand it, the people at the pastoral charge showed up one week and said that they would be selling the place, that people had "voted" for this to happen and that people would just move over to this new church. The ballots had already been destroyed so there was no going back for a recount or anything like that.

The Canard United Church, along with the cemetery, was sold to a man who was kind enough not to want to turn it into an Air B&B or a brothel or a winery or anything like that. He was amenable to selling it to the people who had attended that very church for decades. I doubt if he made a penny off the sale. He sold it to those parishioners, who had to fight tooth and nail with the United Church just to keep the furniture in the vestry. The pews, I am guessing, would have been fixtures so not something the United Church could have stripped out of the place.

The new United Church in New Minas has been far from being a raging success. More than a few people quietly started going to the new Canard church from Wolfville, from Kentville, whose own church had been sold under them. The United Church folks who sold the churches were none too pleased that Canard had managed to keep their church going, but they no longer own the place and can do nothing about it. But this new church has to use other hymn books, other prayer books, and may not use any trappings from the United Church in their services.

We attended a rummage sale at the church last year. It was nice to see the place again after far too many years. Some things that my father had built for the church were still there, and Glenn Ells was only too happy to show them to me. He and his family have been members of that church for probably 100 years. The "original" Glenn Ells, killed in World War I, is buried in the adjoining cemetery.

Glenn is a Liberal and served as MLA down there for several years. George Archibald was a Tory and later served as MLA down there. They attended the same church! I recall it was in... 1988 I think, when they were running against each other in the provincial election. They were decorous toward one another, but I do remember George standing up and reading some lay scriptures one week. I wonder if Glenn considered doing the same thing?

I had such good times at that church in the 1970's and 1980's. People treated me well. Even the kids my own age treated me well, something in sharp contrast to the kids at the junior high I was attending at the time.

Ha! Funny story time. I will never forget the time the janitor or whoever it was, failed to show up one week and they were worried about being able to conduct the service on time, so I, a little one, was boosted up on the shoulders of a taller man and shimmied the window open. I broke into my own church!

I later became the janitor at that church. I was not very good at it, and nobody reading this would disagree. I would go there after classes were over at Acadia University for the day and I had a bit of time to myself. I would have my radio on while I was vacuuming or mopping the floors or cleaning the collection plates or the bathroom. It gave me time to reflect on my classes and got me away from the halls of academe for a much-needed few hours. I cherish that time to this day. The times were simpler, and much-missed.

I stopped going to church when I moved to the city in 1988. I have never found a place that I was comfy in, but I haven't looked much, either. If I did find one, it would have to be the kind of place that let me form the kind of memories of the Canard United Church of all those years ago.

But one last comment on the United Church, and its pell-mell shedding of properties, with or without the permission or blessing of the people who supported them all along. Shame on them. How dare they conduct these votes and then destroy the ballots? How dare they play hard ball with the people who just want to continue to go to a local church? Where the... hell... is their Christianity?

On that lovely note, I wish you all a pleasant evening. I hope to see you all here tomorrow.

See you then.


Monday, October 21, 2019

Post 3917 - Four Days Later...

Well, there you are!

Welcome to Monday night.

I returned to work on Friday, but then had the weekend, so that felt a little weird. On Saturday we went to the Valley to check out the house. It looked the same. I did bring back with me the cordless drill I was keeping down there because I haven't unearthed the one that I keep here. It is in storage somewhere in the house, likely in the recroom, but don't ask me where. Just... don't.

Sunday we just kinda took things easy. Got caught up on a show called "Emergence". Patricia didn't like the pilot very much, but I did; and I managed to convince her to watch the remaining episodes with me.

And today, being Monday, I returned to work a second time. After work I got the new issues of Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine and Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine from Atlantic News on Queen Street. Then we went to Bonehead's for dinner. We have to stop eating out so much. Costing too much money. We had dinner in New Minas on Saturday night before we returned to the city. It is fun and everything, but we have other ways for the money to go.

I have been listening to the election results on News 95.7 since 8pm. It is interesting talk. I have barely had the tv on since I came down here at 7:45.

I don't typically discuss politics here on the blog. I have nothing to add to any political discourse. I have friends of all political persuasions and have voted for nearly all parties over my long and event-less life. I figure that there are plenty of blog and Facebook pages and everything else where people who don't know what they're talking about, talk about politics and politicians.

But I follow politics. I follow elections. I take an interest in the process. And I continue to be astonished that there are people who choose to put themselves out there and seek public office. I don't understand why. So many of them take pay cuts when they are elected. And they put up with a level of scrutiny and criticism and general BS that would put off the average, even above average, person.

No matter what you do, people criticize you for it. You cannot have made any mistake in your life, even as a youth, without someone bringing it up, years later, and not letting you forget about it.

And every few years, you have to run for your job, against other people who oftentimes are extraordinary candidates, who would be perfectly good elected representatives if they won and you didn't.

Yet, despite all the above, people continue to put themselves out there. It astonishes me.

My hat is off to them.

I will turn in and now and listen to some of the election results on the radio.

See you tomorrow.


Thursday, October 17, 2019

Post 3916 - Short and Sweet

10pm, Thursday night.

My brief vacation is over. I return to work on Friday. Then, I have two more days off.

I got up early and drove Patricia to work. Filled up the gas tank on the way back home. Got home, and decide to take "a short nap". Then, I proceeded to sleep until nearly 12:30pm. Feeling a little sheepish, I went downstairs and did some chores around the house before preparing a salmon dinner for Patricia and me. There are plenty of leftovers for lunch on Friday.

I purposely did not take my work phone home with me last week. I do not have any idea what tsunami of emails awaits me, but it can wait until 8 o'clock Friday morning.

I am not sure why I am tired this evening. I just am. For that reason I am cutting this short and turning in.

See you tomorrow.


Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Post 3915 - A Blog Post, Three Days In A Row? Are You Kidding Me?

No. No, I am not.

A blog post, three days in a row.

Are you on vacation or something?

Yes. Yes, I am on vacation or something.

Patricia went off to work and left me all alone. I was fairly busy. I did laundry. I washed dishes. I hung out the laundry. In anticipation of the "weather bomb" on Thursday I took the barbecue and furniture off the deck, likely for the season. Those things are resting comfortably in our shed.

Patricia got home around 6:30. I had dinner waiting for us.

Newbie was content to be around today, but did not hang around me all day long. I imagine he will be unhappy, in cat terms, when I return to work on Friday. But then he will have us again all weekend long. So, it works out.

For a vacation day, I got a lot of work done around the house. I think I will reward myself by going to bed comparatively early.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Post 3914 - Tuesday Night Stuff

Welcome to Tuesday night. It is pushing 11pm.

I still have two more vacation days to go through before returning to work on Friday. I have quite a few chores to do around the house. I have some administrative things to take care of. And I will. But I just spent 20 minutes or so reading through a book about Halifax during World War II. It came out in 2002 and is called "Sailors, Slackers, and Blind Pigs", by Stephen Kimber.

Kimber has been around writing about the province for about 50 years now. I saw some of his early editorials in the old Fourth Estate newspaper, which is online at the archives, and which I used as a reference for one of my cold case articles last year.

In fact, Kimber devotes a chapter and a bit to a Halifax murder mystery, which may yet be unsolved. The 1943 drowning murder of a 10 year old girl named Nadia Johnson, possibly at the hands of her father, Frank, a Commander, whose own body was found not far from hers. Meanwhile, his wife Vava went all-but mad, presumably living out the rest of her days in a mental asylum in New York. There are still unanswered questions about the possible murder-suicide, and Vava's fate, and the lifestyle they led up to Nadia's death. Unless some miracle happens, some kind of death-bed confession from a relative, or some treasure trove of documents brings unpleasant details to light, we will never know. But it is a very interesting story. I should go back to the archives some time soon and see if I can find the original articles!

Today, I had coffee with a friend from work. He retired six months ago and we decided to catch up. He is enjoying his retirement so far. He likes being able to sleep in a bit every morning and to go by his own schedule rather than one dictated to him. I cannot say that I blame him.

Over the weekend I was sleeping in until noon, stuff I did routinely as a teenager so long ago. I don't know if I am entering my second childhood, or if sleep is just so comforting that I want as much as I can get.

I think I will try and find out...

See you tomorrow.


Monday, October 14, 2019

Post 3913 - Made My Day!

Hello, folks.

Earlier this evening, someone left a comment on a 2017 blog post. Here it is:

Hi Bev,

Earlier today I listened to previous podcast that you were on. I was moved by your passion to be a voice for the unsolved murders, in Nova Scotia. You displayed so much empathy and compassion for the loved ones,..."the voice for the voiceless"! 

In regards to this blog post, I am sorry that you were bullied in school. School is so tough, and to add being bullied, just makes it that much tougher. Please know, I'm proud of you, even though I don't know you personally, I'm still proud of you as a fellow human being. You are a shining light in the darkness, of this mixed up crazy world! Keep on keeping on!

God Bless You

Well, wasn't that lovely? I did not expect that. It made my day. While we're at it, it made my week, my month, and my year.

Oftentimes, with the Frank articles about unsolved murders and missing persons, and the occasional follow up podcasts I record with Jordan Bonaparte, I think that I am broadcasting to an empty stadium. That my articles are going out to the magazine, and they are either read avidly, or not at all. That nobody is out there, that nobody cares, and that this is all an elaborate and time consuming near-Sisyphean task. But then I get a comment like that, and it puts things into perspective.

It puts into perspective that the untold hours I spent trying to keep my Plex Media Server up and running could be better spent sleeping, or eating or going for walks or doing anything else than the time I put into keeping PMS up and running. I am actively considering other streaming servers here at home. As long as they work and don't cause me the grief that PMS does.

(Ha! PMS! Lovely acronym, given what an ginormous pain in the nether regions it is to keep it up and running.)

I read the comment to Patricia after I saw it show up on my phone. She wanted to know who had written it. It just said "anonymous", but I can put two and two together and guess that a woman wrote it. Very few men have the innate sense of decency to even think of writing something like the above. I know I don't.

Ms. Anonymous, thank you so much for writing that comment. It meant a great deal to me. It has given me some strength to continue this fight to continue this process.

Now, do I spend 30 minutes trying to get Plex up and running yet again? Become frustrated to the point of being unable to sleep all night? Or do I get it up and running tomorrow?

Tomorrow, it is!

See you then!


Friday, October 11, 2019

Post 3912 - Friday Night Stuff


We were both off today. Patricia had an early morning appointment downtown, so I drove her to it. I killed some time while I waited for her. Afterward, we went to the Ardmore Tea Room on Quinpool Road for a good breakfast. Patricia liked her steak much more than I thought she would.

We headed out to Spryfield to check out the three thrift stores we know of out there. I was hoping to get a model m keyboard, but no such luck. People are realizing just how good those 30 year old keyboards are and are either keeping them or selling them for a price that reflects their worth. I did end up getting a couple of 50% off shirts, though.

We decided to go to the Re-store thrift store in Bayer's Lake, to see if there might be anything interesting. There wasn't, so we drove to Otis & Clementines's in Tantallon to see the kittens. One fell asleep on Patricia's neck. Aww!

We returned home. Watched some telly. And this evening I watched the Breaking Bad movie, which was pretty good.

A nice day off work.

More, please.

See you tomorrow.


Thursday, October 10, 2019

Post 3911 - Three days and 43 years later...

That's better.

I am on vacation for several days. I return to work on Friday the 18th. I do that to provide coverage for the team I am on. Not complaining. It is just that people will wonder why I am off work for a week before returning to work on Friday and then having another two days off.

I am glad I was home today. The folks who helped out during the flood of 2019 dropped by today and picked up the now-useless couch. You will recall that it was originally in one piece. Then, it was in two pieces. And, finally, three. The numbnuts mover took it apart without my consent and then told me that he had left instruction for its reassembly with the manifest. Ha ha. Silly manifest. No such instructions were left with anybody, so we got the thing back in July in two pieces. An attempt to put it back together left it in three. We spent time "negotiating" with the company that orchestrated this moving and return. After going back and forth for a few months, they offered us less money than is necessary to purchase a new such couch. We threw up our hands and said fine. We will take the money. We just want to get on with our lives.

Anyway, two guys from that company came by this morning to take the pieces of the couch away along with boxes I had bundled together. The boxes had contained some of the books and crap I had accumulated during my misspent life.

Most of the books are now unpacked. Because the couch is no longer there, there is now actually some space in the recroom. It motivates me to make more room in there in the coming weeks.

Do you want one small example of books that I hold on to, for no particular reason? How about three? OK. Observe:

Two seminal genre novels from long ago, and a reprint of some good stories by the good Doctor Asimov. I got those three books, and at least one other (which I still also have) for Christmas...

...in 1976!

Yes. That long ago. Nearly 43 years. I was 12 years old. Grade Seven. Attending Kings County Academy in Kentville, Nova Scotia. The school where I was bullied every damn day for three years until I left and went to senior high school in nearby Canning. Where I wasn't bullied at all.

By that time, just a few months into the school year, my self esteem had already taken a major hit, not that it was that great to begin with. I had already begun to retreat into my books and comics. The radio I had got for Christmas two years earlier I think I still had. Whatever radio I listened to back then helped get me through those very trying times.

My mother bought me these books for Christmas that year, and many other years, with whatever meager budget my father had provided her with. She did most of the Christmas shopping for all of us. She could stretch a dollar until it hollered.

I do not know why I received these particular three books that year. I had not asked for them. I had not expressed any interest in reading these books. I can only guess that my mother, fatigued, had wandered into a book store and perhaps listened to some advice from an underpaid employee about what cheap books she could get her son for Christmas and decided on these ones.

I have never read them. I find Shelley's writing style to be impenetrable. Stevenson's writing was always more accessible. At least he understood that people like to read stories where there is conflict and things happen, and that word economy is an important aspect of writing. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde runs barely 100 pages. His wife had been so horrified by the original version of the novel that she burned in the fireplace. He rewrote it from scratch. And I have had a decades-long flirtation with Asimov. I came to quite admire his mystery short fiction during that period in my life, but his novels did not do much for me. These science fiction stories were about subjects that never overly appealed to me.

Why did I keep three books that I have never read, and likely never will? A mighty fine question. Why would anybody who likes books have a library full of books he has read, and none which he hasn't? Multiple that my the many, many books I have not read, and you have an idea of where I am going with this.

There's that, plus the fact that my mother bought them for me. She did it for a reason I have never begun to fathom. But mixed in that murky, unknowable reason is one simple thing: love. She loved me, and the other kids, and one presumes her husband. Mom wanted me to have these books, so I wanted them as well, through some weird osmosis, an alchemy that existed when you put the two of us together. I would and could no sooner part with these books, than I could part with an appendage, or one of my home computers, or this model m keyboard that I got for 50 cents two years ago.

I was elated when I unearthed these three books a month or so ago. I put them in a prominent place in my home office, on one of my bookcases, and there it will remain, until the time is right, and I finally sit down to read them.

Well, maybe not Frankenstein. There is that problem I have with Shelley.

Off running the roads early Friday morning, and here it is, pushing midnight. Should get a few hours of shuteye.

See you tomorrow, my lovelies.


Monday, October 7, 2019

Post 3910 - Monday Night Frustration


So, I wanted to listen to the leadership debate on tv tonight. But there was so much cross talk. The people talked over each other so much that I likely missed about 30% of the conversation.  Very frustrating.

We had a good weekend. Saturday afternoon we went to Tantallon. We checked out Otis and Clementine's bookstore because it is nearly against the law for us not to go there. Even though I have 1 493 819 books I have already not read, I got a few more, including two books featuring the best crime writing of 2003 and 2004. I am not sure how far along Otto Penzler got with this series. I think it lasted until at least 2010, but I may be mistaken. They are books that reprint crime-related articles from GQ, Rolling Stone, and various and sundry other sources. A good turn of phrase here and there can only inspire and inform my own writing, so these two books may be a good investment.

After I wrote the Friday blog post, I decided to move the computer at this desk from the recessed storage up to the desk itself. Took a little while, and I didn't get to do the keyboard and one of the usb cables until Sunday, but it is now where I want it to be. The two front usb ports are now within easy reach. The scanner is now on top of the computer desk. I have to stand up to place a document in it, which is fine because I will not use it very often. The document holder I bought for my Frank work a few years ago is on top of the scanner because I will use it even less than I use the scanner.

Today was the beginning of another work week. I realized the other week that we are half way through the fiscal year and I have not taken any vacation time. I remedied that today. I work three days this week and am then off work for a full week, returning on October 18th. It is only a week, but I am looking forward to it. Sleep!!

Speaking of which, it is nearly 10:30. I have to get up in 7 hours. But the end is in sight.

See you tomorrow.


Friday, October 4, 2019

Post 3909 - Friday Night Stuff

Welcome to the weekend!

The last few days were tiring and tiresome. Going to work. Coming home. Falling asleep in front of the couch. Getting up the next morning and repeating the process.

After work on Thursday, traffic was a nightmare. We ended up going to the Salvation Army store on Strawberry Hill. Even though I already have 1 234 432 books to read in this here home office, I got two more. They were real finds:

The Charlie Chan films discuss that film series, which ran from 1931 to 1949 and went through three actors, all of whom played the titular Asian character, but all of whom were of European ancestry. They were made up to "look" Chinese. I am not defending this practice, this "yellowfacing". Nor is the author. The book just tries to discuss the films as entertainments and provides production notes about all of the movies. It was a hardcover. Amazon wants $35 for it. I would never have paid that much. I got it for three dollars.

The other book was produced by Lancelot Press in 1978. "Ted" Hennigar produced these books about Nova Scotia-based history and ghost stories and sometimes, murders. "Scotia Spooks" was what I found there yesterday. Two dollars. I have other Hennigar books. They are not bad places to begin research for some of my Frank articles.

And tonight, Patricia had her book club meeting. They are most every month, always on a Friday night.

On Saturday we have grandiose plans to do stuff around the house. We will see how much we get done by Sunday night. Probably not much. Lazybones.

Calling it a night. It's a night.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Post 3908 - Tuesday Night Stuff

Yeah, hello.

So, how have you been?

I have done nothing in the recroom in the last few days. I should have, but didn't. Sunday I awoke with a migraine headache. I couldn't find my pills so I suffered all day. I pretty much didn't get up until nearly dinner time. I managed to function for a few hours that evening but still had to turn in early. So much for getting anything done.

I returned to work on Monday morning without a headache, for which I was grateful. Monday night I puttered around the house and watched some telly with Patricia before we both turned in early. And today was a busy day at work. I worked through lunch. By mid-afternoon I was so hungry I had to open a can of tuna at my desk and eat the contents. No crackers or anything. Just the tuna. Such a glamorous life I lead.

Tonight we watched "Bob Hearts Abishola", which is the kind of gentle little romantic comedy series that they don't make very much any more. We are two episodes into it, and want to see what happens next. When the episode was over I was disappointed.

We also watched the season opener of The Rookie. Nathan Fillion lost weight during the hiatus. Someone left the show suddenly, amid allegations of sexual assault, refuted by producers. I say it's too bad, because her character is missed.

My, we watch a lot of tv, don't we? You'd think we were lazy or something?

Tomorrow is another day. I am going to greet it with a song in my heart. I was thinking a death metal song featuring the words of Greta Thunberg.

I feel much better now.

See you tomorrow.


Saturday, September 28, 2019

Post 3907 - Saturday Evening Stuff

Welcome to 10:22 Saturday evening.

Do you listen to podcasts? Because of my part time job at Frank writing about unsolved murders and missing persons cases, plus the podcasts I record from time to time with Jordan Bonaparte, I thought I would take some time and listen to some true crime podcasts.

Most of them are a snore. Many of them just prattle on the case they are discussing, and engage in near-dangerous levels of speculation about what might have happened and who the murderer was.  It is the very kind of irresponsible discussion that I avoid in my articles and which I do not want to discuss in the podcasts I record with Jordan.

I have found a few that I like. As I listen more I will produce a blog post and tell you more about them.

Patricia bought some shoes today. Not to be outdone, so did I. The shoes I have been wearing are wearing out, so I decided to invest in some new footwear.

We had an early dinner this afternoon at the sushi place in Clayton Park. It is a side street just off Farnham Gate Road. It has become our go-to place for sushi. It is called Tako Sushi and Ramen, and it is at 480 Parkland Drive. Here is the website.

The portions are huge. A dinner for two would easily feed three. The food is crisp and fresh. The menu is so extensive that it would take us years to try everything on it. The service is very good. And I cannot complain about the prices. If you live in the HRM and like sushi, then get your rear end over there.

Tomorrow is more of the same as today. Aren't you excited to hang out with me?

See you tomorrow.


Friday, September 27, 2019

Post 3906 - Welcome to the Weekend.

Sorry I haven't written in the last few days.

Tuesday night, I pretty much slept the night away.

Wednesday night I was working on my latest Frank article. It appears in the issue of Frank that hits stores this coming Wednesday.

Last night, I was in bed early, too.

And now we are mostly caught up.

After work this evening we drove over to Dartmouth. Second time this week. The first time was for the farewell lunch for a colleague who's moving over to a new job on Monday. Tonight we went to Gateway Meat Market. They had a sale on cheese and steak and chicken. Mainstays in Casa Bevboy.

The weekend beckons. Patricia has several plans for me to do stuff around the house. There has been work we have both been neglecting. I have done little in the recroom in the last few weeks, for example, and I have had a few "subtle" hints from Patricia to resume this task.

The problem is that when the packers were here, packing away, they made some mistakes. The most egregious was how they separated the power cords for items, from the items. I have a perfectly-good working sound bar that I got for $100 a few years ago. When I got all my stuff back in early July, and I commenced the thankless job of unpacking everything, one of the earliest boxes was the one containing the power bar. But much to my surprise, and dismay, the power cord was missing.

In all the time since I have not found the cord. Not just any power cord will do. I have opened five or six boxes which contain cables and wires and so on. I have to go through every piece of everything in all those boxes, potentially, to find the appropriate power cord for that sound bar.

There were other issues. I have already told you about the couch that used to be in one piece, then two, and now three. No effort has been made to reimburse us for this. Just lowball offers that we have rejected.

I could go on, but I do not want to ruin my weekend.

I am going to turn in. I have a lot going on tomorrow. I will tell you about it then.


Monday, September 23, 2019

Post 3905 - Hoboes. Who are they? Do you know any? Bevboy wants to know!

Yeah. Let's write about them. Again.

I mentioned here, years ago, and in my old Frank Magazine so-called "entertainment" column, about how some mighty unusual people showed up at my uncle's place over the years. They told us about the time a man showed up late at night and asked to stay the night. They took him in for some reason. They left money out thinking he might steal it, but he didn't. As I recall (this was more than 40 years ago), he left the next morning and never returned.

That led to additional visits from other strangers over the years. I'd go visit and a "friend" of my cousin's would be there, to visit. I am sure there were other folks who dropped by, too.

I am pretty sure these folks were hoboes. The kind of folks who ride the rails and meander from town to town in search of temporary work and shelter to sustain their meager lifestyle.

There is a hobo code. There are hobo signs warning fellow travelers to beware of this, or that there is a kindly woman living here who will feed you. Here: Read about it.

You have to realize that Bob and Helen, both long dead, lived in rural Nova Scotia. They lived in a big old farm house in Billtown, outside of Kentville, in the middle of farm country. How in the name of Sam Hill some hobo dude even thought to walk down their road late at night let alone knock on their door and have the temerity to ask for a place to crash for the evening is beyond me. Perhaps there were some hobo signs somewhere that the average person would never notice. I don't know.

I also don't know why this story fascinates me so much. I have written about it at least twice. I left a message on the CBC Weekend Mornings call-in, and people dutifully called in with their own hobo stories.

I suppose if you pinned me down, I could tell you that maybe I'm just fascinated by sub cultures. The kind of people that you don't notice, but they're there all the time if you take a moment and look. The kind of people who are in the corner of your eye, just out of your field of vision, doing what they want, when they want, how they want. I have to respect that on some level. I have to acknowledge, even admire, their ability to get by on almost nothing, as if faith and a positive attitude were enough to get you through life, when I my experience has always been the exact opposite.

So, my lovely readers: Do you have any hobo stories to tell? People who just showed up somewhere mysteriously, did their thing, and left?

Either reply to this post. Message me privately. Leave a message by my Facebook that points to this blog post. Email me right here. Or leave a hobo sign that I will likely not notice.

Start writing. I look forward to hearing from you.

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, September 22, 2019

Post 3904 - I'm Back! (I Hope!)

Hello again.

My name is Bevboy. In 2007, I decided to start this here little old blog. For better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, I have been here, year in and year out, trying to produce a blog post, or more, every single day.

Why haven't I been more prolific lately?

It is hard to say. I have been in a little funk lately. I get up. Go to work. Be at work. Drive home. Vege in front of the tv. Research and write my articles for Frank. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. After all that, there was little time left to stretch my muscles and produce a blog post for y'all.

And, yet, other years I would persevere and write something anyway. So, what gives?

See two paragraphs above. The funk thing.

Things which didn't get to me before, are starting to do so. It is perhaps the idea that I am getting older and what do I want to do with the rest of my life, and what have I accomplished so far, if anything at all? These are all excellent questions, and my pursuit of answers has resulted in the funk I have now mentioned three times.

I am also quite sure that you are getting tired of me telling you what I did recently. A summary of my recent comings and goings is probably tiresome for you to read, although I can type it pretty quickly on my 30 year old Model M keyboard.

Perhaps if I picked and chose the things that I find most interesting? Let's try that.

A week ago, Patricia and I went to the Valley for the day. We learned that the Box of Delights Bookstore, a mainstay of downtown Wolfville for since 1972 or so, is closing up. The owner is retiring, and it does not appear as if anyone wants to take on the business. What this means for the Deep Roots Festival, which rents space downstairs from that store, is anybody's guess.

We went there one last time a week ago. I bought one last book there, a walking tour of the town of Wolfville, a slender tome priced at $15. Patricia got a few more things there. As we were about to leave, she pointed out the keyboard that the owner was using to run the point of sale computer. It was wooden! I had heard of wooden keyboards before, but had never seen one in real life. Since the store was closing, and I figured what the hey, I offered to purchase the keyboard from her, if she wanted to part with it after the store closed. She took my business card and wrote my phone # on it along with a note regarding my interest in the keyboard.

I did a bit more research. You can get bamboo keyboards for goodness' sake, but I do not understand what the typing experience is like on such things. I can enthusiastically report that the typing experience is sublime on this keyboard, which I got a couple of years ago at a thrift store for 50 cents. I wish I had several of them. Maybe this wooden keyboard, if I can get it cheap enough, will be a nice typing experience. Maybe it won't. Time will only tell. I promise to tell you how this plays out, because I know that all of your care so very deeply about such things.

Patricia is just back from another edition of BOW, Becoming an Outdoor Woman. She was too tired to tell me much about it this evening. She has already gone to bed. But she did come home with a pretty nifty knapsack, one nearly as big as a teenager, and which could likely fit a teenager.

I told you several months ago that I joined the CWC, the Crime Writers of Canada. They have the Arthur Ellis Awards every year, which award excellence in various types of crime writing. There was a call for judges. I wrote back seeking more information, which I am awaiting. There is a chance that I will be a judge, one of many, for the next Arthur Ellis Awards. That sounds pretty interesting. But, once again, I do not know how this will pan out. I will tell you how it does, because, once again, I know you hang on my every word.

Oh, for those who don't know: Arthur Ellis was the official hangman of Canada between 1912 and 1935. His actual name was Arthur English, but he adopted that pseudonym. That is why the logo of the CWC looks like someone being hanged. The actual awards are constructed in such a way that if you pull the string on it, the legs and arms move. I hope to see one in person some day.

I think I will call it a night. It's a night. That joke never gets old.

Tonight felt good. It felt good to get back in the saddle again. I want to try this, again. Soon.

How about, Monday night?

See you then!


Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Post 3903 - Soon

I miss you all. I will be back at this soon. I promise. Dealing with a lot of stuff. Getting to me. But I will persevere because that is what Bevboy's do.

I really should figure out what the plural of "Bevboy" is, and how it should be spelled....


Monday, August 26, 2019

Post 3902 - Monday Night Stuff

Hello again, my lovelies.

I wish I could tell you with a straight face that I did all kinds of stuff this evening. Instead, I got home around 5. Patricia was cooking dinner but had some stuff for me to throw into the green bin. Good times.

We were hungry again by 8:30 or so, so I cooked a couple deluxe grilled cheese sandwiches. Cooked onions first and threw in a bit of spiced paprika in the frying pan. Lightly toasted some bread and put some margarine on the outside of the slices before putting some fried onions, real cheese and a couple of those sandwich savers pickles inside the sandwich. Grilled each sandwich for 5 minutes or so and voila! A nice sammich.

I have a Frank deadline this week. I should have spend some time working on an article tonight. Darn me.

I was supposed to record another podcast with Jordan Bonaparte Tuesday night but that has been postponed till Thursday night. We will discuss another unsolved Nova Scotia murder. Which one will be revealed in due course...

I am going to call it a night. Never mind. Not using that old joke again. Tomorrow, or next time I write that is, I will tell you about an old friend who died last week. He was a lovely man I have discussed here on the blog before. I will rehash that and share my thoughts about his passing, soon.

See you then.


Sunday, August 25, 2019

Post 3901 - Sunday Night Stuff

Hello again.

It is getting late. I will keep this short.

Patricia remains unwell. They sent her home from work on Thursday. She stayed home on Friday. And while we had planned to go to the Valley on Saturday, we pretty much stayed put. We went to nearby Tantallon but that was it.

Today was us laying around wasting more time. I did spend some time downstairs opening up a few more boxes.  Nearly all the boxes have been opened up. Now it remains to go through the boxes of wires and things and decide which ones are worth keeping. I could throw out nearly all of the stuff without looking but when they packed up our stuff months ago, they pulled out the power cords from some devices. I have the devices, but the power cords are nowhere to be found. A perfectly-good soundbar is useless to me because they frigging put the power cord in one box and the soundbar in another. Many weeks after I began this journey I have yet to find the powercord to that soundbar. I presume it is in one of those several boxes of similar cords and cables and whatnot.

Little things like this drive me nuts. What were they thinking when they decided to separate the cord from the soundbar, anyway? Why does a person do such a thing? Sigh and double sigh.

Another work week beckons. I will respond to its clarion call in under seven hours. I think I will turn in. 5:30 comes too early.

See you tomorrow.


Thursday, August 22, 2019

Post 3900 - Yes! Finally!

Welcome to post 3900.

Sort of.

As I have pointed out before, I have miscounted the blog posts over the years, several times. At first, i was inconsistent in the numbering convention. "Blog post 101.5", for example. And several times I re-used blog post numbers, purely by accident.

But let's be civilized and call this post 3900.

I had to have a nap when I got home from work tonight. I am reduced to that now. Napping so I can take on the evening and stay up to a decent hour before falling asleep again. If this is what getting old is like, then I... actually, it's not that bad. Sleeping a little extra.

When I was a teenager, I would often sleep in until 10 or 11 on a Saturday morning. One time, Dad walked in on me and asked me why the hell I was still in bed, at noon on a Saturday. As I had not been drinking or carousing the night before, I did not have a logical answer for him. I am not sure if I would have one now, other than I like to sleep in on the weekends.

Patricia returned to work today. But she called me around 9:45 and told me she had been sent home. She was holding on to the wall on the way to the lady's room. The executive director saw her and told her manager and director. They corralled her when she emerged and told her she looked unwell and to go home. I believe a cuss word or two was used. Not by Patricia. She was told to stay home on Friday, and to gauge things on Monday.

This attitude is in sharp contrast to how things used to be done in government. I remember well seeing people dragging their sick arses in to work, infecting everyone in the office, because if they were taking "too much sick time", their bosses would take great delight in raking them over the coals. They would be made to feel like, uh, feces, if they took "too much sick time". While I don't want people to abuse the sick day privileges they have, sick is sick; and if you are sick, then you should stay the, uh, heck, home. It is much better today, by and large, than it was all those years ago.

I am sounding like an old man. "In my day...."

Anyway, I was granted a bit of time to drive her home. We stopped off to get a couple groceries on the way home. I dropped her and the food off and returned to work. I did not want to miss the pizza party at lunch time!

After work, after the nap I mentioned, I cooked some of the salmon we got today, on the barbecue. Turned out really well. There will be leftovers on Friday.

I am only 100 posts away from blog post 4000. Should I do something special? Let me know.

I am going to call it a night. It's a... sorry, I have already done that joke.

See you tomorrow, I hope.


Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Post 3899 - Now!

Hello again, my friends.

I feel just awful that I haven't been writing regularly lately. I have many reasons, but they don't amount to excuses. Busyness. Tiredness. Lack of things to say. The same things, over and over again. But, those things have never held me back before, so what gives?

I am still unpacking boxes that were in storage for a few months. Still finding things I had forgotten I owned. I know, last year, that I got rid of a few flatscreen monitors, but others have taken their place and are waiting patiently for one of the two active ones I have, to go kaput.

Computer thingies. How could anyone outside of a duded who owns a computer repair shop, have so darned many computer thingies? Keyboards. Mice, both PS/2 and USB based. Keyboards, but just this one Model M keyboard. I just unearthed a 32GB SD card, still in its original wrapping. What the deuce did I buy it for? I don't know. But it was only about $14 at a local store so I "had to have it".

And the books! Where did they come from? It is as if the big books mate with other big books and produce lots of little books. Like, my Tom Clancy's and Lee Child's got together and begat all kinds of John D. MacDonald's, Rex Stout's, or Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's.

My home office has been rearranged since the flood. I keep my two computer desks side-by-side, with the much smaller desk behind me. It is where I keep my television and do Frank research mostly. Doing it this way means I only need one computer chair. I threw out the extra one this morning and some guy scavenging for garbage day scooped it up.

I officially have enough scanner to last me for the rest of my life, assuming I live to a ripe old age. When this one croaks, I can press one of several others into service. And my laser printer, when it goes to that great recycling depot in the sky, has a twin brother  I can use at a moment's notice.

A lot of redundancy. Maybe too much of it.

I have yet to open every box. I am hoping to achieve that goal later on this week. I am hoping that whatever I find, I don't need and can toss out.

We still haven't resolved the issue with the couch that was in two pieces, and then three. We are hoping to get that out of the way in the next week or so. We both want this crap behind us.

The flood of 2019 is mostly a memory, but the aftermath, the clean up, has been time consuming and troubling. I don't know how I had managed to cram so much stuff in this room before. It is the same size; it did not shrink. But it has filled up faster than it ever did before. I do not have an explanation for why. Perhaps some law of physics got bent and now nature is punishing me for owning so much stuff.

Let's go with that.

Tomorrow night Patricia has a thing after work. I can go to the archives or the library without guilt that I am holding her up from something. I can spend some time researching an unsolved murder or missing persons case. Something relaxing...

I will call it a night. It's a night. Take care of yourselves and I will get back at you... tomorrow?


Sunday, August 11, 2019

Post 3898 - Soon

The blog will return on Monday. Sorry for the lack of output lately.


Thursday, August 8, 2019

Post 3897 - Late Thursday Night.

Title pretty much says it all. It is past 11 on Thursday night.

My earned day off was supposed to be tomorrow, but I was asked to postpone it until the 12th to help out the team, and I agreed.  It was a long day at work, and it is late, so I will probably be dragging my arse a bit in the morning. Patricia, who is off work this week, has agreed to buy me breakfast in the morning at one of our fave places.

Say, a guy at work has been singing the praises of a sushi place off Lacewood Drive in Clayton Park. It is called Tako Sushi and Ramen on Parkland Drive. We went there after work on Wednesday, and it lived up to its hype. Excellent sushi. Even the miso soup, which I usually find too salty, was quite nice. I thanked my co-worker this morning. He reported that he and his wife had been there last night as well. They must have left minutes before we arrived! Small world!

So, we got home that night. By 7:30 or so, during a playback of last week's episode of Nova, about the planet Jupiter, I began to doze off. I toddled off to bed "for a few minutes", but didn't really get up again until Thursday morning. That's why you didn't see a blog post last night. Slept through it.

Friday is nearly here. I have to get up in like 6 hours. I think I will toddle off to bed, like I did last evening.

Talk to you tomorrow, my lovelies.


Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Post 3896 - Tuesday Evening

Ha! Two days later, and you're already getting a blog post. Tell your friends!

I have gone through 11 or 12 cardboard boxes. A couple of them contain CD's. I have no room for them any more. They are all going to the thrift store in the coming days.

I may have found someone who wants to take the lashed-together cardboard boxes off my hands. They are cluttering up the recoom something fierce.

And this morning I threw out with my recycling, five large clear plastic bags full of the wrapping paper they used to fill out the cardboard boxes.

One thing I used to have two of, which I cannot find any more: cassette players. I want to digitize a few audio cassettes. I found the best way to do that was to play these cassettes on an old-fashioned (1980's era!) cassette player, at about a 50% volume and use my computer's sound card to record the result. I seem to recall unearthing one of those players recently, but darned if I can find it. I will keep looking because I know you want me to.

The unearthly humidity that has been plaguing us in recent weeks seems to have fallen off a titch. I am actually relatively comfortable this evening. Which is great, given that I have fried two hard drives lately.

The desktop I am using to type these humble words has been running hot lately as well. A day or so ago, I usb powered laptop fan and plugged it in and put it next to the area where the desktop is getting hot. It has helped cool it off.

I cannot wait until September, when it is cooler.

I am going to turn in. A long day at work tomorrow, followed by more unboxing and other fun stuff.

When will this all be over?

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, August 4, 2019

Post 3895 - Limping Along

And... another week has gone by.

What a week. What a couple of weeks.

I took a sick day nearly two days ago. I am glad I did. I ended up sleeping until nearly noon. Maybe I was over doing it. I would get home from work and eat and unpack a minimum of five boxes of whatever in the recroom. 35 or more boxes a week. There were a lot of boxes.

Several weeks later, most of the boxes are emptied out, replaced by dozens of cardboard boxes lashed together with twine. I have learned knots designed to keep bundles of cardboard and the like together. I have gone through nearly a whole thing of twine, but there is plenty more where that came from. I am hoping that within two weeks' time to be finished.

And the packing paper. My goodness, the packing paper. I have stuffed more packing paper than I thought possible, in to several large clear plastic bags. I will have to do more such stuffing in the coming days. The recroom is over run with such paper, and the many many bunches of cardboard boxes.

Some boxes contain things that I must sift through at a more leisurely pace than this process will allow for at the moment. That is about 10 boxes so far. Those have been put aside until such time as I have the time to do so. I do not look forward to that.

Yesterday we did a run to a local thrift store. The backseat was full of several boxes of contributions: Books. CD's. Even old music cassettes, which they politely refused to accept. They showed me a big dumpster, though, and we tossed them into it.

The couch remains a major sore point with us. The mover back in May took it apart to make it easier for him to transport it on to the moving truck. He claimed that the instructions for putting it back together were stored in the manifest or something. They weren't. When we got the couch back, it was still in two pieces. I complained to the restoration company. They sent someone out, and then it was in three pieces. Two more pieces than I wanted the couch to be in. The last several weeks have been alternating silence punctuated by an email from the company offering us pitiful compensation for the couch. We could never replace the couch for that amount of money. The insurance company that is underwriting the entire enterprise is not happy either. This whole thing with the flood and the moving stuff out and the restoration has been going on since March, nearly a full five months now. We are losing patience over this process and want it over. Yesterday.

Last week, a bit of a calamity. I had to reboot my Plex Media Server. When it came back up, one hard drive would not mount. I found the drive and it was hot to the touch. Literally fried. That makes two in the last couple of weeks. I deployed a fan from the laundry room and it has been running non stop for days, blowing admittedly warm air on the other hard drives in an effort to keep them cool enough not to over heat in this stifling weather.

I researched the heck out of this. I discovered a linux tool called ddrescue. As long as the computer the drive is attached to can "see" the drive, which it could, then this utility can run against it. It has been running for three days now and harvested a whopping 7GB off a 2TB drive. At this rate, it will need about a year to copy the contents from the failing drive to an image file on the destination drive. The computer is running full time and is starting to run hot, itself.

The humidity has been killing us. We are irritable with one another. We cannot wait until September gets here and the really nice weather arrives.

So, that's about it. The previous two weeks in a nutshell. Working. Coming home and sweating my bollocks off unpacking boxes and bundling up empty boxes and stuffing packing paper into bags. Then, frying a couple of hard drives for good measure. Yippee. Yahoo.

I feel awful for not writing more frequently in recent weeks. It has been one thing after another, conspiring against me to keep me from sitting here and saying hello. I do hope to improve, and soon.

You all take care of yourselves. I hope you are all well. I think about you. I worry about you. And I hope the feelings are reciprocated.

Talk to you... tomorrow? Yes. Tomorrow!


Sunday, July 28, 2019

Post 3894 - Another Sunday Night

The blog returns on Monday. I have not been feeling well this week and working my day job is about all I could handle most days.

See you tomorrow. Sorry for the lack of output lately.


Sunday, July 21, 2019

Post 3893 - Sunday Night

Still sweltering. Still wringing out my clothes in the vain hope of extracting all the moisture from them. Like that will ever happen.

I emptied out five more boxes of stuff today. Mostly books. A few went into a box to go to the thrift store. Most of them are the type of crime fiction I grew up reading and could never part with.  I have dozens of books by Rex Stout, John D. MacDonald, Ross MacDonald, Max Allan Collins, and so many others. I'll bet you haven't heard of any of these guys.

We got outta the house this afternoon. Went to see John Wick 3. Two hours plus in air conditioned comfort. The film was easily the weakest of the three. Endless fights and endless killing with about one tenth of the art and style and dare I say the grace of the first two films. The final fight between John Wick and the main bad guy was reminiscent of the final fight of John Wick 2.

There will be a John Wick 4 in 2021. I do not have high expectations.

Afterward, we drove home. I grilled some hamburgers, finishing just in time for the monsoon to hit. Rained like a bugger for about 20 minutes. Something happened and the power went out for an hour or so. Just what you need during heatstroke season.

Another three day weekend is over. I don't know why these weekends go by so quickly.

I am turning in for the night. 5:30 comes too early.

See you tomorrow.


Saturday, July 20, 2019

Post 3892 - Four Days Later...

Late Saturday night.

Let's see here. After work on Wednesday I went to the library to research a cold case. We had dinner across the street before returning home, where I worked late into the evening writing the article.

After work on Thursday... well, I pretty much went to bed and slept all night. We were off on Friday.

It had been three days since I had unpacked any boxes so I unpacked three times as many on Friday. The home office is starting to resemble what it was like before the flood. I am determined not to let it reach the point where it did before that.

The heat and humidity around here has been terrible. We are irritable with one another. We have a hard time sleeping. Appetites are off.

Saturday we got up and drove to Gateway Meat Market in Dartmouth. They had the world's greatest sale on cheese and strawberries, two items at opposite ends of the digestive spectrum. We got some of each and returned home.

By early afternoon, I was tired and slept for a few hours while Patricia hulled the strawberries.

I have spent a chunk of the evening down here, where it is slightly cooler; but I know that sleep will be a challenge for us both this evening.

I really will try to write something on Sunday.

Time to wring out my shirt and try to get horizontal for a while.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Post 3891 - A Week Later...

Where have you been?

Busy. Working. Sleeping.

I have been quite diligent, unpacking five or so boxes each night after work. Have found quite a bit of stuff, some of which I had forgotten I had. I this evening found most of my Bevboy's Blog business cards, thousands of them, and they are back in their old home, the very old TV stand that has become a storage thingy in this room.

The carpenters could not put the cherry wood computer desk back together, but their boss sure could. He was here last... Thursday I think it was. Patricia was here and watched the poor man go through contortions to reassemble the desk, including the big piece the carpenters had not bothered with. It was for stability. I am pleased to report that it is is far, far more stable now. And the hutch, which was just resting on the desk haphazardly, is now physically attached to the desk again. Bravo!

But the couch? My goodness. When it was brought back to the house on July 5th, it was in two pieces. I complained. The carpenters came, and then it was in three pieces. A truly sectional couch. The boss guy and the project manager came by on Thursday. While they could fix the desk, they didn't have a clue what to do with the couch. They think there was another section, a missing piece that somehow put the whole thing together. I described the man who disassembled the couch back in May, but I did not remember the couch being in four pieces.

I don't know what will happen next. They said they would try to contact the man who took the couch apart to see if he remembered where he put the missing piece(s), but I haven't heard if that was successful. It has been radio silence from both of them for nearly a week now. The couch is still in the recroom, all broken and stuff. I have contented myself with going through box after box in the hope of eventually going through all of them.

I still haven't got my Plex Media Server up and running yet. The hard drives are all down here and waiting to be hooked up to the computer; but due to Frank deadlines I haven't had a chance yet. Soon. Probably on Friday.

Monday night I slept like a log. I could not stay awake. A day later, here it is, past 10:30; and I am wide awake You'd think I was off tomorrow or something. But no. I have two more days to go in this work week.

I am going to turn in. I will try like a loving duck to write a blog post again on Wednesday. Shame on me, and my lack of productivity on this blog.

See you... tomorrow.


Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Post 3890 - Tuesday Night...

Well, I have begun the process of unpacking the boxes. So far I have done two... what do I call them? If it were a spreadsheet, with rows and columns, it would be a column, I suppose. I have done two columns in the front-facing row I think. I am not sure if my spreadsheet analogy works. I have re-written this paragraph four times now.

I open up a box in a column. I have no idea what will be in it. Just a notation that says "books". I open it up, and see what's inside. I found some Stephen King hardcovers from the 1990's, back when I made it a point to purchase SK in hardcover, until I realized that his writing had become so painfully long-winded that these massive books contained far more pages than necessary to tell the story. The example is one that King himself cites as his lowpoint: an overwrought piece of treacle name The Tommyknockers. King said he was stoned out of his gourd when he wrote that novel, and it shows. That book cost him a lot of goodwill with me. But I digress.

I also found some of my Nova Scotia history books. And a bunch of back issues of "Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine" from the 1970's and 1980's. Just random stuff, pulled off the truck in no particular order, and loaded up in the truck from the storage facility in no particular order, where they were place in the storage facility in no particular order, where they were picked up here from the house a couple of months ago in no particular order. The order was shifted so many times that it would be unrealistic for me to expect them to be in any useful order at all.

I work 30-45 minutes every night, for two nights now. At this rate, in a couple of months everything will have been processed. I will have decided what is staying and what is going. A lot of work, but spread out over time.

The carpenters will be here on Wednesday to fix the things that still need to be put together. The lazyboy was put back in one piece by the restoration company, on Monday. But the couch was not. And the project manager says it will be fixed, along with this cherrywood computer desk. I don't have a clue where the bloody hardware is to put  the thing back together, but I am sure that any professional carpenter should be able to improvise something to make this a decent computer desk again. As soon as I write this blog post, I will take everything off this desk, including this computer and my beloved model m keyboard, and make sure that the desk is ready for them to do their inevitable magic.

So much work. So little time. So very tired.

Calling it a night. It's a night.

See you tomorrow, I hope, from a restored computer desk!!


Sunday, July 7, 2019

Post 3889 - Four Days Later


We got our stuff back on Friday. That's the good news.

The bad news is that not everything came back... in one piece. One computer desk, where I'm writing these sub par words, wasn't reassembled correctly. We had a little plastic bag of parts that the movers were supposed to use to put the thing back together. But, well, we don't know where the pouch went. And the pieces were not used to reassemble the desk correctly. There is a piece of the desk wedged between this desk and the other computer desk. Discovered it Friday night.

Also, the lazyboy chair and the reclining couch were not put back together. When they were disassembled we were assured, promised, whatever, that those things would be back in one piece. But they are not.

And a lampshade was broken during storage.

There may be other things. Most of the power cords are in one of the 200 or so boxes in the recroom. I have no idea which one. I had to dig and scrape to find ones that were not in storage, in order to get my desktops up and running again. One cord was literally in the recroom, bundled up and on top of the entertainment centre that houses the big screen tv. Minor miracle. It was the difference between being able to use one of my desktops this evening, and not.  But I did get both up and running, which means my print server now works again.

The next step, in the coming days, will be to get Plex up and running again. Most of my power bars are in a box or two somewhere, so I am not sure if I can get everything up and running or not. I will o my best.

Don't believe me when I tell you I have a couple hundred boxes full of... stuff? Here. Feast your eyes on this...

In the third picture, you can see half of my lazyboy chair. Sigh.

I have promised, nay sworn, to Patricia to be careful in selecting what books I'll keep and which ones I'll donate elsewhere. It will not be an easy choice, but I will chip away at it over the coming months, a bit every evening. A couple boxes per night, maybe. I am not sure yet. I will work out a rhythm.

So, while it was nice to get our stuff back, we are not happy with the haphazard way some of the work was done. We have no knowledge of how to reassembled our furniture for one thing.

It will look worse before it starts to get better.

But I gotta admit: it sure is nice to have my model m keyboard again. I have missed it. And... maybe it's time to get some newer computer desks. Maybe. Or get out the old duct tape and hold the hutch in place.

So much to do. Something to think about... tomorrow.

See you then.


Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Post 3888 - Wednesday Night Stuff

Hello again.

Sorry I haven't written in the last week. Been dealing with a lot of stuff.

The thing that still sticks in my craw is how our things were supposed to be delivered by the moving company this past Friday. They didn't show up and I have yet to hear an explanation as to why. The people doing the work to remediate the flood offered to move stuff for us, but I would not hear of it. Not their job. Nice of them to offer, though.

So the latest is that the moving company will be here on Friday morning. I have to work that day. No two ways about it. But Patricia will be here. The number of boxes will be horrific. It will take us a few months to go through them and decide what stuff to keep and what stuff to toss. There are two computer desks that have to be reassembled and put in their place in this room. I am hoping that once everything settles and we have determined what we will keep and what we will toss, that it will look better here. But it won't be looking nice for a while.

Anyway, the flood stuff is nearly dealt with. This final move will be about it. It just remains to be presented with the bill for the deductible and that will be that with that.

The four day Canada Day weekend went by too quickly. I spent more than a few hours working on the next cold case article for Frank. I was able to interview family members this time so I have plenty of previously-unreported material to share with my readers. I just now finished writing the article and sent it off to my editor. It will be published next week in the magazine.

I have some ideas for my next next article, but nothing concrete yet. So if you want to send along a suggestion, I'm listening.

I am going to call it a night. I am going to tell you as well, once again, with feeling, that I want to get this blog back on a daily schedule. I feel badly that I haven't written regularly lately. Blogs are meant to be nourished on a regular basis with fresh content, and I have been sorely negligent in that regard lately. Shame on Bevboy!

You guys have a good evening. Talk at you... tomorrow!


Post 3887 - Sigh

A week between blog posts?

So much to talk about.

Will talk about that stuff, this evening.


Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Post 3886 - Tuesday Night? Already?

Yeah. So, Tuesday night.

Long day. Long few days. We went to the Valley on Saturday. The man who mows the lawn down there sold us an electric lawn mower for fifty bucks. The one Patricia had had since 1990 or so, and which she had got used then, finally gave up the ghost. This "new" one seems to work well. Our lawn needs are modest. We don't need a huge lawn mower or anything.

We took in Kingsport Days while we were there, as well. On the way back, we stopped off to the new coffee shop in Canning. While there, we ran into Patricia's Pilates instructor from Halifax, down from the city for the day. What are the odds? WE hadn't planned on going there. Spur-of-the-moment thing. We go in, and she shows up two minutes later. We should have bought a lottery ticket...

Sunday. The highlight was speaking to someone regarding the next cold case article for Frank. In fact, after work today, I met with her and her friend regarding his mother. It was a great delight to meet them both. I will produce the article in the coming days. You will find out about it when it goes live.

After we met, Patricia drove up from the house and we had dinner at a local pizzeria. She had a rough day and I wanted to try to make things a bit better. I am not sure if I succeeded.

There is not much else to report. Been a very long day, and Wednesday promises to be even more so. Yippee.

See you tomorrow, I hope.


Friday, June 21, 2019

Post 3885 - Friday Night Ramblings

Welcome to the weekend.

Been a busy week. Working every day. Went to the library two nights this week to research the latest Frank article. It came together Wednesday night and I sent it off to my editor. I look forward to seeing it in the next issue, which comes out this coming Wednesday.

In the morning, we will get up and run the roads for a spell. Patricia wants to hit some yardsales and the like.

And I can now reveal that we are supposed to get our things delivered back to us on June 28th, a week from today. That will be a momentous day. It will also mark the beginning of my going through many, many boxes and determining what stuff we will keep, and what we will toss. A lot will be tossed. A lot.

I am going to turn in for the evening. Saturday morning will come soon, and it promises to be a busy day.

See you... tomorrow?


Sunday, June 16, 2019

Post 3884 - Sunday Night Stuff

It is quite late. Pushing 11:30.

I have slept a lot in the last 24 hours and I am about to sleep for several more. I didn't get up until something after 11 this morning.

The highlight of the day was returning some macaroni salad to Costco this afternoon. We bought it Friday night and I cannot recall putting a more inedible product in my mouth in this life time. It cost Patricia over ten dollars. We will probably never buy anything from that manufacturer again. We got a few more items, including an oscillating floor fan, which I assembled when we got back and which now adorns our living room.

By around 6:30 I was feeling tired again, so I took another nap until about 8:30. That is why I am still up at this late hour.

Uh, what else? I have decided who the subject of my next Frank cold case piece will be. I have been contacting some sources in the hopes that they knew this person. So far, one source knew of the person, but will ask some of their friends if they knew the person.

Hope to know more tomorrow.

I am going to turn in. I have to get up in six hours. Another long, long day awaits.

See you tomorrow,  I hope.


Saturday, June 15, 2019

Post 3883 - Saturday Night Stuff

And hello once again.

I write these subpar words in my home office. The carpenters have pretty much finished with this room. The room looks pretty good, but even with a dehumidifier running pretty much full time this room was moist, so I dragged the second one into this room and have been running it for the last 12 hours or so. I can already feel the difference.

The laundry room needs the most work. The storage thingy needs to be reinstalled, along with nearly all of the plumbing. The toilet. The sink. The laundry tub. I am not sure when that stuff will be done, but those things I just listed are in the recroom.

We are still both hoping to get our stuff back by the end of June, but we just don't know. Soon, I hope. Patricia is getting impatient.

Saturday I moved the computer desk from one corner of this room to another. It is where it will remain once the other two computer desks come back from storage. The plan is to have the other two desks flank this one at right angles. I will only have one chair going back and forth among them.

It has been a very busy few days at work. The highlight I guess was on Thursday afternoon when a woman I have known for nearly 30 years retired. It is a funny experience for me to attend such parties, and not the amusing kind of funny. Invariably, three or four people ask me when I am going to retire. The subtext is that I am an old bastard who should just leave already.

Well, just keep waiting. When you least expect it, I will leave. OK? Final comment on the subject.

I messed up my knee at work on Wednesday. I was hobbling around quite a bit for the next two days, taking a cane to work on Friday. I had to take a nap Saturday afternoon when my knee started to pain me. I woke up feeling better. Thank you for your concern.

Sunday beckons. Patricia has all kinds of plans for me.  She was grinning maniacally a few hours ago, so I think it involves house cleaning or something. Sigh.

I am going to call it a night. It's a night.

See you tomorrow, I hope.