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... 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.