Sunday, March 31, 2019

Post 3860 - Sunday Night Stuff

Hello again!

We had to get outta the house again today. There was an open house out Seabright way, on the road to Peggy's Cove. We were curious enough to want to check it out.


The cost was something like $235 000. I would call it a fixer upper, and be generous in that estimation. The old kinds of fuses. Plugs running off the fuse box. Extension cords plugged into... something, but running from an outlet a good 12 feet to that something. A musty odor downstairs, which might be alleviated by the ever running dehumidifier. A cold storage room, created because of a long ago flood, remediated. The electrical alone scared the hell out of me.

Only one bathroom. Each bedroom was on the small side. No dining room, just a small area off the living room.

Off the room that has the fuse panel there was an area that was probably a workshop back in the day. We did like that. Off the beaten path just enough. And there was a nice-sized pantry upstairs, too.

There is an adjoining storage building, but I would not feel comfy using it. I thought a good stiff wind would knock it over.

The remaining property was about 1.5 acres. A good size lot by most people's standards. But the landscaping was old and tired. Much brush would have to be cleared from the property to make it usable again. So. Much. Work!

We thanked the realtor for his time and left. We won't be going back.

Is that what houses are coming to these days? Some place that looks like it might fall apart at any moment, that has questionable wiring, still going for nearly a quarter of a million dollars? Is it any wonder people in this province can't afford to buy a place any more. Even mobile homes are more than 100K these days. Semi-detached dwellings in my subdivision are going for more than 200 thousand as well. My goodness.

Makes me want to be grateful for what I have, as many problems as it has.

We are turning in early tonight. Quinpool Road will be shut down up from the Armdale Roundabout, which will choke off a major traffic artery for at least four months, likely longer. Yippee.

See you tomorrow.


Saturday, March 30, 2019

Post 3859 - Saturday Night Stuff

Well, hello there.

I have had a decent couple of days. But the best part was sleeping in on Saturday. I didn't get up until nearly noon. I remember being a teenager and routinely sleeping in that late on Saturdays until my parents became worried  about it and me, so I started getting up earlier. But now that I am a bit older, sleeping in on a Saturday is nearly a requirement. 

We decided to get outta the house. We drove to Tantallon to have lunch at Delish, a British-based restaurant and ersatz grocery store. They serve relatively authentic British food, and we love it there. They also sell British canned goods. I am still thinking about buying a can of macaroni and cheese.

After we ate we wandered across the parking lot to the store "Essentially Yours", a place that sells something called "essential oils". And those salt lamps. And other oils that I don't know what they're for. Patricia loved it there and bought several things.

I went back into Delish to get some water for our afternoon drive. I ran into a guy from my work. We chatted for a while. From there we went to Otis and Clementines. Ever a klutz, I kept knocking over books. Patricia and store owner Ellen had a nice laugh at me, but when a book magically fell off the shelf in front of me, it revealed a dust jacketless first edition copy of Charlie Chaplin's autobiography! Only nine dollars! I have long coveted this book, and thought I would never see a copy of it anywhere for a price that was affordable. I don't know how many printings the book had. While a copy with a dust jacket would have been preferable, having a nice copy of it for this amount of money is absolutely acceptable. I snatched it up. I also got a book about a man who lived as a hermit for a few decades but would venture into communities and steal stuff to support his hermit lifestyle. 

We killed a bit of time at the hardware store next door. At one point I belched. I thought it was a quiet belch, but Patricia heard it, and so did all the other woman in the store. I was embarrassed for... 15 seconds or so.

We finally left and drove along the road toward Peggy's Cove. We went through communities like  French Village and Seabright. We stopped of at a "shower bakery", I think it was called. A most feminine store that sells soaps and things that would appeal to women. The soaps would look like cookies, donuts, slices of pie, cupcakes, whatever. Patricia bought some things that I don't recognize.

We returned home long enough for me to hop out and take our purchases out of the car. Patricia went to Costco to get some stuff. I washed the dishes. 

I spent some time earlier this evening doing some work down here in the home office before watching some stuff on the Plex Media Server. I don't see anyway around this. When the work is done to remediate the water situation, I will have to pack up nearly everything down here, including the two home computers in this room. One of those computers if my print and media server. Plex runs on that server. I will probably not have access to my media for a few months! And furthermore, the PVR is on the terminal that is down here, so I am not sure if we will have a PVR for a few months. This is really cramping our lifestyle.

I have a bunch of work to do on Sunday, and it is already Sunday, according to a clock radio on my desk. I think I will turn in. 

See you in the morning, my friends.


Thursday, March 28, 2019

Post 3858 - Another Four Days Later...

My goodness, what has become of my promise to write more often in 2019?

I am so sorry.

Life has kept me busy the last few days. I have been working hard on my next article for Frank Magazine. It is about a woman who went out for walk one evening, and hasn't been seen since. Lots of twists and turns. I look forward to sharing it with my Frank readers in the coming days.

I have been in a pensive mood for most of the week, particularly this evening. I am down here in the home office, surrounded by books that I must pack up in the coming days so that they can cart them away into storage, allowing the restoration folks to do their fine work downstairs. I have been reflecting on aspects of my life, playing old music videos on youtube (The Spinners, ABBA, The Cornelius Brothers, lots more), and just thinking.


My life. Where it started. Where it ended up. The highs. The lows. The in betweens.

I miss my parents.

My dad died in 2010. We had not always got along, but after I moved out and to the city in 1988, the geography separated us, but I felt closer to them somehow. The distance brought us closer together if that makes any sense at all.

My mom died in January of 2015. I had spoken to her maybe 15 minutes before she died, neither of us knowing it would be the final time. She had received the new issue of Frank that day, and as was her habit, she tore it open to read my latest media column. I don't know how she would feel about the cold case series I now produce. Probably say she was proud of me but not read it.

I am sorry to be in this crappy mood. I will try to be in better spirits on Friday. I may even produce a blog post if you want me to.
See you tomorrow.


Sunday, March 24, 2019

Post 3857 - Four Days Later

Hello again...

Been busy the last few days. Working, mostly. Then, sleeping. Maybe getting caught up on some tv shows.

The biggest tv news for us is that "Supernatural" is ending in 2020, after 15 seasons. We have been watching the show since it first went on the air, and it will feel very different when it is no longer around. I was kinda hoping that Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki would continue with the show through season 20, but that will not happen.

Saturday morning I got up much earlier than I would have liked and went to the archives to research some unsolved murders and missing persons cases. But after about 90 minutes I was striking out. I felt discouraged, so I left and regrouped over brunch at Your Father's Moustache before going to the main branch library. I asked for all of their files about the above, and they dutifully got them out for me. They have something like 10 such files, thick with this material. Some have the designation of "cs", meaning closed stacks, meaning they are kept in a separate room, as opposed to the... open stacks, I guess, which are in large filing cabinets out in the open (but still under lock and key).

I found tons of stuff, and it is all in one place. I did not have to stir from the table. The hours melted away. By 4:30, my phone battery was down to something like 22%, as I had been using the camera and the built-in flash to take plenty of pictures of the articles. I decided to leave. Some day, I hope to photograph every single one of their articles, easily more than 1000.

Saturday night, drained, I stayed in and watched some stuff with Patricia.

I had to work this morning, and chose to drive in to work to do it, rather than connect remotely. I put in about four hours. After that was over, I got some lunch nearby and then picked up some groceries before returning home. Once again, we watched some stuff on the tv and prepared dinner. Tonight, we watched episodes of "The Ranch" on Netflix. They dealt with the loss of the character of Rooster, played by an actor fired from the show because he allegedly assaulted some women a long time ago. Despite his protestations that he didn't do anything wrong, they fired him anyway.

The time will come when some man who's fired from a job because of this behaviour will be able to prove his innocence, that he had been the victim of character assassination and defamation. He will sue his former employer, and win. I will just leave that on the table. You are free to pick it up.

It is getting late. I think I will turn in.

See you tomorrow.


Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Post 3856 - Another Two Days Later!

Hello there, you little devils.

By this time tomorrow morning, I will have been to work for two hours or so. Back to work. Back to the grindstone.

I cannot tell you that I have enjoyed the last 10 days. Having water seep into the house will do that to a person. But the second dehumidifier is doing its job quite nicely. The air doesn't feel nearly as damp as it did just three days ago, which is a big bonus.

No word from the insurance company. The next big thing is to pay the company that comes by on April 8th, to fix the cracks in the foundation.

Patricia returned to work this morning. I drove here there, and then grabbed some food to cook for dinner tonight. I installed a bulletin board in Patricia's home office, using a cordless drill, some plastic anchors, a hammer, and some screws. I used eight sets of plastic anchors and screws. Nothing short of an earthquake will jar that thing loose.

I have to get up early tomorrow. I think I will turn in.

See you tomorrow.


Monday, March 18, 2019

Post 3855 - What? Another Sigh? Get On With Your Bad Self?

Yeah, so not much new to report.

Spent Sunday resting, more or less. Today, we were both doing some preparation for the upcoming work that the insurance company will authorize here in the downstairs of Casa Bevboy. Awaiting a bunch of boxes into which we will pack things that live down here so they can be spirited away to the storage facility that the company keeps for such things.

Then the real fun begins. A few months of not having a bottom floor, of not having laundry facilities, of only having one washroom. And not at all sure what the internet connection will be like, as that is housed downstairs, too. It will not be a fun time.

I am off work until Thursday. I am actually looking forward to it. This has been the worst.vacation.ever.

I am going to turn in. Lots more of today, happens tomorrow.


Saturday, March 16, 2019

Post 3854 - Sigh Again

Four days later...

There is still quite a bit of water under the steps. The dehumidifier has been running non stop for days now. It doesn't owe me anything and can crap out at any time if it wants to. I have owned it for years and years and it was old when I got it.

The insurance adjuster guy was here on Friday. He says my policy covers this kind of damage. So that is a yay.

I have booked a company to insert some kind of substance into the cracks in the foundation to repair said cracks. After that is done, the insurance company will wait for a couple of rains to see if that repairs the problem with water coming in. If it does, they will go ahead and tear up the subfloor and keep going until until they find dryness, at which time they will rebuild the subfloor back to the point of origin, and apply fresh tiles or whatever we want on it. The laundry room floor will be torn up and similar things will happen there. The cabinetry will likely be ripped up and replaced too. The home office, where I am right now, is on subfloor as well. I suspect that will be torn up and replaced as necessary. That is nice, but I have like 1 000 000 books in here and the effort to box them up will be such that I will hate those books by the time I am finished. I also have two desktop computers in here, one of which is the media and print server for Casa Bevboy. Those would have to be powered down for the duration, which could be upwards of three months.

The boxes will arrive in the coming few days. If we box the contents ourselves, we can reduce the amount of the deductible we have to pay at the end of the ordeal. Every bit helps, and I would rather paw through my stuff than have someone else do it for me.

This, plus I still have a house on the market. I need this experience like I need another orifice in my noggin.

I have a few days before I return to work. I am hoping to squeeze a bit of fun out of them, but more than likely I will be working away downstairs preparing for The Big Repair of 2019.

I think I will turn in. Lots to do tomorrow.

See you then.


Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Post 3853 - Sigh and Double Sigh

Well, this is a real pickle.

The freeze and thaw cycle has hit my humble abode. Got home from work Monday night and there was quite a puddle on the laundry room floor. I started using towels to sop up the water. Turned on the dehumidifier full blast.

We called my insurance company. They sent a guy out today. He determined that there is a crack in the foundation, a significant one. Any damage wrought by the crack, if covered by my insurance company, they will cover, minus my deductible. But the cost of fixing the actual crack is my responsibility.

I haven't heard yet if I am covered. My fingers are crossed. But in the meantime we contacted Wise Cracks, a place that specializes in fixing cracks in foundations. They are backed up with work requests from other people like us. Could be a few weeks.

Sigh. Double sigh.

Did I mention I'm on vacation this week? Sure am enjoying myself so far.

I think I will turn in. I need to get away from this stuff for a while.

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, March 10, 2019

Post 3852 - Three More Days Later.

Hello again, my friends.

Sorry I didn't write the last couple of nights. I was in the Valley on Saturday into Sunday. Had a bunch of things to deal with down there, working into the evening. Friday night, my body just conked out early. 

Today I returned after lunch and helped Patricia clean up and clean out the fridge. It had been a while. Some science experiments had been languishing there for some time. Found a jug of maple syrup we had forgotten about. Quite a bit of feta cheese. All kinds of other things.

In other news, I still have about six bookmarks to give away. I have mailed them to Ontario, Alberta (times two) and the Valley. I delivered one to someone on the way back to the city this morning. If you want one, there is still time. Hit me up and we can make it happen.

I am on vacation until March 21st. A case where if I don't use these seven vacation days, I will lose them. I never knew that was a thing until I started working for government, years ago. I can carry over a certain number of days. I can accumulate a certain number of days. But I still have vacation days I have to use or lose them. Sigh.

So, even though I am off work, I will be puttering around the house and hitting up the archives and that sort of thing. Which means I need to hit the hay relatively early.

See you tomorrow.


Thursday, March 7, 2019

Post 3851 - Two Days Later...

I have to stop sleeping at night. Because of that pesky little habit, I didn't write a blog post Wednesday evening. Darn me.

I still have some lingering effects from my virus. I haven't taken the puffer since Saturday morning, for which I am grateful. I had one coughing jag in the car a couple of days ago, but it went away after 30 seconds.

Typical days at work. Patricia took a vacation day today, so I was on my own to and from. Traffic on the 102 creeping in to work was problematic and took me about 40 minutes to get there. But getting home, there was an accident on the same highway, and that slowed everything down to a crawl. Took me 30 minutes to drive barely one block.

I filled up the gas tank as petrol is supposed to go up a few cents over night. I got a couple of peppers and a pie for dessert. Patricia was cooking a lovely stirfry for us. It was very good.

Finally got around to watching "Street Legal" tonight. Pretty good. I hope they find a way to bring back other characters from the original series.

I am going to turn in. Long day. The weekend and 12 days of vacation await me!

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Post 3850 - Cool Bevboy's Blog Contest. Don't be left out!

Went to bed early on Monday night. Sorry about that.

Let's see here. What did I do to warrant writing about on a blog?

Not much.

After work, it being Shrove Tuesday at all, we were thinking of going to a Catholic church for one of their dinners. But we both realized that we didn't really feel like going. Instead, I threw it out there: we get a package of bacon and cook some of it, while I prepare some more French toast. Patricia loved the suggestion. So, that's what we did.

I threw some eggs in a mixing bowl along with some water and beat everything to an inch of its life. I added a bit of pure vanilla extract and a titch of orange food colouring (just because), plus some cinnamon. Beat everything some more.  Set the mixture aside.

Cooked some bacon. Placed cooked bacon on a couple pieces of paper towel.

Soaked three more pieces of the raisin bread in the egg mixture. Started cooking.

It took a while, until 6:45 or so, but we sat down to a decent meal of French toast. Patricia said she loved it. I'm glad.

Perhaps we have started a new tradition. It is all well and good to step out for a meal, but if you can stay home and have food that is just as good if not better, for less, then why go out?

We watched the season opener of "Good Girls", which is just as compelling and interesting as season one was, last year. We started to watch the reboot of "Street Legal", but Patricia was tired so we decided to watch it some other evening. We have waited 25 years for the show to return. What is another night or two?

Oh, here's something. Straight from Vista Print comes the first run of the official, handy-dandy, soon-to-be-highly-coveted, Bevboy's Blog bookmarks. Do you remember books? Words printed on paper and bound together, with a pleasing front cover, and blurbs on the back extolling the contents between the covers? Well, back in the day, people in reading these books would have to remember what page they were on. They could A) Remember what page they were on and just turn to it every time they wanted to read; B) Use a slip of paper such as one could find in a notebook or a receipt from a drugstore or something; or C) use a bookmark.

Bookmarks come in many sizes. I always thought it was silly to pay for them, but many do, shelling out upwards of ten dollars for one of them. Many book companies, in rhapsodizing their wares, provide bookmarks as a form of advertising. There is a bookstore in the Valley that has scads of these bookmarks. If you buy a book, you can help yourself to a fistful of them, at no additional cost.

It got me to thinking.

I am Bevboy. I like books Why not have, in addition to the business cards, bookmarks, too?

Vistaprint became very helpful. I designed the layout of the bookmark. Coughed up some money and waited for them to arrive. And, today, they did.

The layout still needs some work, but this is version one of the bookmarks.

That is the front and the back, both.

Like I said, the layout is not what I want for future editions of the bookmark, but this is not a bad attempt.

This is where you come in.

If you want one of these limited, never-to-be-ordered again bookmarks (because I will revise the layout for future editions), then let me know. I am willing to give away eight of them. Your best bet is to write me right here and say hello and ask me for a bookmark. Provide your mailing address and I will pop one in the mail to you toot sweet. While you're at it, if you can suggest a layout change, do that as well.

Please put something like "Bevboy's Blog Bookmark Give Away" in the subject line so I will know your message is not spam.

The contest is over when the eight bookmarks are gone. Could be tomorrow, or a year from tomorrow.

Start writing, so that you can start reading.

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, March 3, 2019

Post 3849 - Five Days Later

Well, sorry about that!

It is late on Sunday night. I return to work in scant hours.

Once again, I must blame my lingering illness for my lack of writing in recent days. Working last week took a lot out of me. More than once I went to bed early.

I have had the weekend to rest some more. I know that doctors say that "catching up on one's sleep" is really not a thing, that it is not possible to get back sleep that you missed at an earlier time. But when one is sick, sleep is a lovely balm, isn't it? And sleeping in, or taking a nice nap in the afternoon, is a wonderful way to wile away some spare time.

I did that Saturday afternoon. We had been out in the morning, checking out the farmer's market at the Halifax Forum. From there, Patricia to grab a couple items from her work. We went to the North end for lunch, ending up at the Mexican restaurant at the corner of North and Agricola. I cannot remember the name of the joint, but the food was very good.

We walked off our lunch, eventually finding the Tare Shop on Cornwallis Street, at Creighton. An older gentleman overheard us as we were trying to find the place and all but walked us there. Their goal is to waste nothing, so while they sell coffee and tea, it is never served in plastic cups. They serve beverages in either containers customers bring in, or in the supply of mugs they keep in the store. They sell bulk items such as some foodstuffs and cleaning supplies in a similar manner: you either take in a container of your own, or use the "library" of such things to put your purchases into. Such purchases you either carry out in your hands or in a bag you supply, or you can buy one of their cloth bags. All very civilized. We like the place and will go back there.

Oh, I forgot to tell you. We went into a gift shop on Agricola that is next door to the Hali Deli, a relatively authentic Jewish delitacassen. We stopped going there because there was one waiter who was... not sure what word to use. Indifferent, I guess, in his service. The lady who owned this store extolled the virtues of the deli but when we told her we no longer went there, she sensed the reason why, and told us that the fellow no longer worked there. I hate to hear about people losing their jobs, but in this case, it was likely for the best. He clearly did not want to be there. It showed in his body language and his attitude and demeanor. It is hard to explain, really, but his leaving means that we will likely go back there again sometime. From what I gather, others felt the same way.

Anyway, we kept walking and ended further up on Maynard, where I guess the hq for The Coast is. They had a garage that said "Coast 25" on it, and what seemed to be an office behind the locked door, plus a box containing the latest issue that you could help yourself to. Seems like a pretty funky place to work.

We made our way back to the car and drove to the Superstore to get a few things before returning home and taking that long nap I mentioned earlier.

Slept until dinner time. Kinda logy, I returned upstairs to watch some stuff on the tv with Patricia. Turned in late.

Today was about puttering around the house, and preparing for another week of work.

Aren't you sorry you asked?

I feel badly that I haven't written regularly in recent weeks. This viral thing has really kicked my rear end. I am feeling much better now, though about 30 minutes ago I had a bit of a coughing jag that reminded me that it hasn't quite gone away.

I do promise to try to write more regularly going forward. You can hold me to it. Sort of.

Getting quite late. Turning in.

See you... tomorrow?