Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Post 3952 - Wednesday Night Thingies

Hello again.

I am now 57 years old. No. I don't know where the years went. No. I don't know what I have to show for these advanced years. Whatever your question is, the answer is no.

The birthday on the 23rd was nice, though. We went to Mother's Pizza at the Hydrostone. I had the kitchen sink pizza, which as you might expect has a little bit of everything in it. On a nice thin crust with not a crazy amount of sauce, it was nothing short of delicious. Patricia had the tapenade pizza, which is a near-meatless pizza, and she loved it as well. There were quite a few slices left over, and we grazed on some of them on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, we went to pick up our new CPAP machines. They, plus our masks, were fully covered by our insurance, which made us happy.  Here it is.


 

From there, we meandered over to Tantallon, there to meet up with Laszlo Lichter, to pick up a copy of his book about growing up in Hungary after the war. He used to be the mayor of the old county of Halifax, years before amalgamation. It was a lightning quick transaction. We identified ourselves. I gave him the money. We took our leave.

We met in the parking lot of Vernon's Diner in Hammonds Plains, so we decided to have dinner there. It was burger night, so we indulged, and enjoyed them very much. A shared piece of chocolate cake capped off a pretty good meal. 

From there we returned to Tantallon to get a few groceries before driving to the Sobeys in Timberlea to get something else, which wasn't there. 

We have spent the last few hours watching "Name That Tune", which confounds us with its simplicity, but is still really hard to guess, as we don't know many of the songs they play. Others, we know them, but can't name them before the contestants do. 

It is the end of another day. If I were still working, I would be exhausted after three days of working, without having had the benefit of a CPAP machine to combat the sleep Apnea I have suffered from for years now. Now, I am retired, and can focus on my health in a way I didn't but should have all along. 

On Thursday, we may, or may not, go for another drive. If it is a good day, then perhaps a trip to Peggy's Cove is in the offing. We'll see.

You all have a good evening. Talk at you on Thursday.

Bevboy



Monday, February 22, 2021

Post 3951 - Monday Night Fun Times!

Welcome to Monday evening. 

I know it is Monday because of the tv shows that were on. "Bob Hearts Abishola" is a dead giveaway that it is Monday in these here parts. Grateful it has already been renewed for season three or I would have to guess what day it was. You understand.

Hey, my CPAP machine reported that my AHI's were 4.7 last night. A shocking number for me. The numbers have been trending down the last several days. Very pleased by that, and hope that this continues. Other people have been telling me that when they're having a bad night, their numbers are 1.5 or less. I am not sure if I will ever get to that point. Something to try for.

We spent a few hours today watching "Tell me your Secrets" on Amazon Prime. AP is the red-headed stepchild of the streaming services. Amazon itself provides a pretty seamless delivery model, but their streaming service is subpar at best. There are a few good shows on AP, but there is an awful lot of crap, too. They need to decide whether to invest in the service and spend Netflix or Disney-type money on programming, or sell off the service to someone with pockets deep enough to provide the type of programming we all want during this pandemic.

We literally didn't leave the house today. Tomorrow is my birthday. Unless there is a storm or something, we will be going out to dinner, to one of those gourmet pizza places in the North End. They have a pizza literally called "The Kitchen Sink", which has a little bit of everything on it. It is really good, and I am looking forward to it. 

I will be... I may as well say it, 57 years old. I am not sure what I have to show for it. I am retired from a job I held for 26.5 years. After a year plus, I can look back and remember some of the good times, but there were plenty of disappointments as well. Times I was lied to and the time when someone said I was stupid and useless. I could go on and on, but it accomplishes nothing and serves only to bring me down, when that is the last thing I need right now. 

I retired at a good time. I hope to have many more good years ahead of me. I have a guaranteed income for the rest of my life. Life could be worse. It could be better, but it could be worse. I am trying to look on the good side. Beats the alternative.

"Bob Hearts Abishola" is about to start. I think I will draw this post to a close and wish you all a pleasant evening. I love you all.

 All... 5.3 of you.

Bevboy



Sunday, February 21, 2021

Post 3950 - Sunday Night Frolics

It is late. Very late. Past midnight.

My sleep pattern is such these days that I stay up late most nights now. It is not like I have to get up early in the morning or anything. Indeed, I could sleep in until noon every day if I wanted to. Sometimes, if I am not feeling well or something, I do. It is not a good habit to get into.

Today we enjoyed some telly. Patricia made a lovely salmon dinner with asparagus which tasted nearly as good as the salmon. It means my pee will smell funny for a day or so, but it is a price well worth paying. 

Patricia asked me earlier tonight what was on tap for Monday. I told her that I want to pick up where I left off on Sunday, cleaning up the recroom a bit. 

I finally found a book I had misplaced during the flood when it was put in a box with other stuff. I was cursing myself for misplacing it, as the book has always meant so much to me. I have told you about it before, but here is the cover:



It is the very same book, the same copy, that I picked up around May of 1988. I had just moved to the city from the Valley. I was trying to find my way around the big city of Dartmouth, where I was living at the time. 55 Dahlia Street, furnished apartments. Hated the place. But I digress.

I drove around one Sunday morning and found the Pennhorn Mall fleamarket. I had been to Pennhorn Mall in 1986 when I had worked with a fella at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography and had had to drive him home. Robin Wylie, that man's name was, and he was a hoot. But I digress.

I went to the fleamarket, which occupied pretty much all the floor space of the mall, as this was before the days of Sunday shopping, and the stores could not open. I picked up a few things and decided to leave to go back home. I was heading for the door and walked past a vendor selling paperbacks. For whatever reason, my eyes landed on the above book. The guy only wanted 50 cents for the thing, and I bought it. 

I may write about true crime for Frank Magazine, but I don't read it all that much. However, I got that book and went back to my crappy old apartment and cracked open the book. 

It scared the hell out of me.

I had just moved to the city. Didn't know many people. Weekends I didn't have much going on and had nobody to play with. I was as single as the number one at a number one convention where no other number one's show up. And this book, extremely well written by Derrick  Murdoch, picked me up and carried me through the next 240 pages, with chapters about people who had gone missing in Canada, and how they were mostly found, and usually quite dead. Murdoch's writing style captivated me. I kept looking behind me as I read it, convinced that someone was going to bash me over the head and carry me off to a fate similar to some of the victims in this magnificent book.

I later learned that Murdoch was a founding member of the CWC, the Crime Writers of Canada, of which I am now a proud professional member, and that there is an award given out in his honour every couple of years. Murdoch wrote about crime literature for the  Globe and Mail for quite a couple of decades and died in the mid 1980's. I would like to find some of those columns some day. But I digress.

I have told people about this book for years. As I moved from place to place, and aged and moved around some more, that book has always come with me, but not always in a way that would make you think I respected it. It would go into a box and be forgotten about, sometimes for years at a time. I had been looking for the book lately and knew it would turn up. On Sunday afternoon, it did. 

On Monday I will place it on a bookshelf in such a way that it should - should! - not be misplaced again. The book has meant so much to me and has informed my own approach to writing true crime. In my own small, pathetic way, I want to do right by Derrick Murdoch, to approach my articles with the sensitivity he employed and as clumsily as I can, write with some degree of style and panache. You can decide if I have succeeded at any level. I am too close to the process to gauge for myself. 

Yeah, a book I bought in 1988 for fiddy cents and which I have kept all these years is that important to me. I consider it the best true crime book ever written in this country, and it is out of print and unjustly forgotten. Makes me a little sad, but it happens all the time. It is not like anybody will remember my cold case series five years after I finish it.

On that happy note, I will turn in for the evening. Been a long day doing not much.

See you on Monday.

Bevboy



Saturday, February 20, 2021

Post 3949 - Saturday Afternoon Stuff

Hello once again.

I don't  know what to say about the keyboard on this laptop. Some days, a couple of the keys don't work. Today, it is fine. I can type in as many 888888's as I want. Other days, it is like pulling teeth on an elephant to get just one. 

I have been pricing laptops this past couple of weeks. I use it more than I do my desktop downstairs, and can print from this laptop to my printer downstairs as I choose. 

The other day I picked up my mail and a replacement keyboard was waiting for me. Sent from the other side of the earth. It arrived all bent out of shape. The keys have a flimsy feel. There is no "pencil eraser" pointing device on it, not that I use it much anyway. I cannot return the thing, so I am stuck with it. 

So I started looking for a newer laptop. Even a $500 "refurbished" (there's that word again!) would be leagues better than this machine, which is quite old. I am of two minds about this. Spend the money, or try to coax a bit more life out of this machine, which otherwise works fine. 

We are still thinking about whether to remain in the Halifax area or not. Selling Casa Bevboy would not be difficult. It is in a location that would make it attractive to many. Plus, there are new doors and windows throughout, and a pretty magnificent new deck out back, as well as  pretty good veranda out front, not to mention a "refurbished" (grr!) set of side steps. But there is such an undersupply of houses in the Halifax area, and what there is is expensive, that we are either stuck here or will have to consider moving to another part of the province. Which we might do.

People are stopping me on the street and at Sobeys and at the Guardian Drugstore and asking me about how Newbie is doing. He is pretty good today. I checked the upstairs litterbox a couple of hours ago. There was... good evidence of activity in there, if you catch my drift. As a result, Newbie is running around like a crazy person and is on my lap while I am using this computer. He is staring up at me with... well, I am not sure it is love. He is a cat, after all, so the best I can hope for is moderate tolerance. The special stuff we are putting in our food seems to be doing its job. All good. Thank you for asking.

Also, my AHI's according to my CPAP machine were at 5 over night. Slightly better than Thursday night, which makes me happy. 

Tonight, we will have the fish dinner we did not have on Friday. The lives we lead!

You have a good rest of the day. Talk at you tomorrow.

Bevboy

 

 


Friday, February 19, 2021

Post 3948 - Friday Night Stuff

 Well, hello again, my lovelies.

I didn't write on Thursday because I was dog-tired by 9:30pm. I turned in for the night and pretty much slept for the next 12 hours. I was stressed over Newbie's visit to the vet on Thursday afternoon.

The little tyke is in pretty good shape for a 14.5 year old cat. He is on a kidney-friendly diet and is a bit bunged up, so a gentle laxative, the same a human would use but in a dramatically smaller dose, is being given to him twice a day. We are hoping it will bear... fruit... shortly. 

I also got him some new food, also kidney friendly. He has been turning his hose up at the Iams stuff lately for some reason. He has been interested in wet food as well, so I got him a bag of kibble along with a case of wet food, which he likes a whole bunch. 

He was good at the vet's, even though getting him there was a chore. Rounding him up for his carrier is always an adventure. Patricia distracted him while I got the carrier, which he somehow sensed I was fetching. She scooped him up and I nudged him in and closed the door. He mewled the whole time. But he was quiet at the vet's. When they took him out for his tests, they took the following picture, which they sent to me on Friday afternoon:




All swaddled and everything. They were so taken with him that they want to put him up on the animal hospital's Facebook page, but sought my permission first. i said it was okay with me if it was okay with Newbie. I made a point of asking him, while the receptionist laughed. When I got Newbie's "permission", it was a go. 

While the ordeal took a lot out of Newbie, it seemed to take more out of me. Even if you put aside the financial outlay, which I didn't mind because Newbie is my buddy, the stress affected us both. He took to his new food but was otherwise standoffish for the rest of the evening, although he was fine on Friday. He is in fact literally looking over my right shoulder here on the chair as I type these humble, sub-par words for your enjoyment and edification. 

Friday, we returned to the vet's to get a case of the wet food as I had only purchased one can on Thursday. Then we went to Bedford Common, there to check out the Value Village and Tomavo's stores before grabbing a bite at the Sunnyside  Restaurant in Bedford.

Long-time Halifax people would know that Sunnyside was the original name of that part of Bedford. I do not know when Bedford took over that area, but there are still vestiges of the old name, such as the restaurant, and Sunnyside Mall, as well as the office building next door to the restaurant, Sun Tower, which almost certainly got its name from its proximity to Sunnyside. 

Anyway, the restaurant left much to be desired. In these Covid times, the menu was much reduced from my last visit there, some 30 years ago. The cheeseburger was okay. The fries were addictive. The water was wet. Patricia said she liked the meatloaf. She paid for the meal as my birthday is coming up. 

We drove up through Hammonds Plains to Tantallon to the Superstore, where we got some salmon, on sale this week, along with some other food. I got some cash at the credit union on the way home, and then we drove back to Casa Bevboy. Newbie was waiting for us, wondering where the hell we had been, and why we were late feeding him. 

The evening has gone by quickly, as they always seem to. 

Another week gone. This retirement thing is interesting, especially during a pandemic. The only reason I know what day it is, is because of what tv shows are on, on a given evening. If they ever switched, say, The Masked Singer to another night, we are lost as to what the day is. Such things keep me up at night.

But not tonight. It's one am, and I should turn in. So, I will.

See you tomorrow.

Bevboy

 

 

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Post 3947 - Wednesday Night Stuff

Hey, another day not doing much.

I did go to Sobeys on Wednesday afternoon. When the store opened in 2019, it was a Godsend. Saved us the trouble of driving into Bayer's Lake, or going to Tantallon to get victuals. Not that these are that far away, but rather that the Sobeys is much closer and convenient to get to.

We had a nice chicken dinner and stayed in and watched television again. 

Retirement is an interesting experience. I left my civil service job because it was getting to me. No job is worth the destruction of one's mental health, and I found mine getting worse and worse. Things came to a head for me in October of 2019, when I finally sent my manager an email that had languished as a draft for several days. This was after I had mailed in my retirement papers to the Pension people. 

I do not regret retirement, but I do second guess the decision sometimes. I could have stayed and "padded the pension" as the saying goes, but I have virtually no debt and the pension pays all the bills quite comfortably. Not having to get up at the crack of dark was nice, too. 

But I admit that if I had known that the world was going to hell in 2020, I would have hung around a bit longer. 

Probably.

Maybe.

Oh, well. Did I tell you that I have no debt, and the pension pays all the bills quite nicely? Good.

On Thursday, I'll call the vet. Newbie has been losing weight lately, and we are becoming a bit concerned. He still runs around and meows and mewls and everything,  and still uses the litter box with a Dionysian abandon, and drinks water aplenty, but even so, he is getting lighter and eating less. Worth a trip to the vet.

I will try not to worry unless and until I have to. 

I think I will turn in. Want to get up at a decent hour in the morning.

See you tomorrow.

Bevboy



Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Post 3946 - Tuesday Night

Hello again, my lovelies.

It is pushing 11:30. Slept in this morning. My ahi's on my CPAP machine were 10.7 over night. While a big improvement over the 43 I had a few months ago, it is still off putting to me. I would like to see it every night, below five incidents per hour. 

We didn't do much today. Schools were cancelled. We didn't go anywhere. I only went outside to take out the garbage at seven this morning. I was otherwise in the house all day. 

I still think about that house in Timberlea that we looked at on Friday. If that is the kind of house you get for $250, 000, then I don't know what I have to say. The basement was nearly impossible to access. The stairs were more like a ladder going nearly straight down. I looked around in the basement for maybe five seconds and then went right back up. We left a moment later. The house will probably sell. There is such demand for properties these days that nothing remains on the market for long. But I can't imagine they'll get close to what they're asking for. 

Here. See it for yourself

We will likely remain in this place for some time to come. There is no place for us to go to at a price we can manage, and there are certain amenities we insist upon, which we mostly have now. Giving up any of those things is not something that we want to do. You understand.

Wednesday we both have things to work on. Whether we do them or not is a really good question.

I think I will turn in.

See you tomorrow.

Bevboy

 

Monday, February 15, 2021

Post 3945 - Monday Night

Late. I should turn in soon. 

Except, I am retired and I don't have to get up early. But like I told you before, I should get into a routine of some kind rather than stay up all hours and sleep in until 1pm. I don't see the upside of that. 

It was another day of not doing much. Slept in. I made breakfast and we watched some telly. We struggled with what to watch on Netflix and finally landed on "Blown Away", a competition show about glass blowing that is hypnotically watchable, even though my knowledge of glass blowing is nearly nil. Patricia did a bit of that stuff when she attended NSCAD back in the day. We got through a few episodes before deciding to have dinner but promised to get back to it. We will.

Tuesday is garbage day around here. Yay. Reminds me of the time in high school when a guy who was never there because he hated school so much and he had a job already, had to come up with an excuse for why he hadn't been to class for a couple of weeks. I am not kidding. He missed that much time, and eventually quit, to nobody's surprise. 

Anyway, I told the teacher that the reason he wasn't in school that day was because it was... garbage day. It was a big deal in his family, you see, and he had to be there to celebrate. The story went through the school to the point where one day, our Biology teacher was speaking to him about his truancy, and started it by saying, "Yesterday wasn't garbage day". 

Guess you had to be there. It was kinda funny.

I'll get up around 7 and take out the garbage. I'll probably think of that long-ago time when my friend needed an excuse for why he was not in school one day.

You're welcome.

See you tomorrow.

Bevboy



Sunday, February 14, 2021

Post 3944 - Sunday Night

Well, that was a lovely Valentine's Day.

I am not sure where the day went. We didn't go anywhere or do much of anything. Patricia made a lovely chicken dinner. I mashed the potatoes. I learned that the potato masher that was from the Valley house, which I kept last year, is the preferred masher in this house. The other one is huge and unwieldy, where as the one my mother always used is smaller and was easier for my petite mother to use. Glad I kept it.

It was a quiet day. The pandemic means we don't feel like going out much. The variants are apparently much more dangerous than the "regular" covid-19, which feels us with even more angst. 

We are likely watching too much television. 

Say, my ahi's, the average hourly incidents, on Saturday night were a "mere" 5.3. That is a far cry from the 43 they were when I did the sleep test a couple of months ago. The insurance company approved the purchase of my CPAP machine last week as well, so it is looking good. 

My ahi's fluctuate a bit too much for my taste. They may be 10 or more this evening, and I don't know what the hell to do about that. They increased the pressure on the machine at the Snore Shop, which may have accounted for that, and I may increase it on my own if necessary. 

The lower the ahi, the better. A friend of mine wrote me last week and told me that his number is usually below one. Just a reminder that an ahi is short for average hourly incident. At my height, I would stop breathing an average of 43 times per hour before my heart would kick in and resume my breathing for me. So, a seven hour sleep would be nearly 300 incidents, which is huge. If my friend was average less than one ahi, than that blows me away. It is a goal I seek for myself.

I have had nights where I would be in the 3.x range, which elated me, but less than one would be terrific news.

It has been a long day. I think I will call it an early night.

See you tomorrow.

Bevboy



Saturday, February 13, 2021

Post 3943 - Saturday Night and Some Historical Research

And it is the end of another record-breaking week here at Casa Bevboy.

For reasons that would likely constern you, I decided this afternoon that I wanted to buy some inexpensive computer mice. A guy on kijiji was selling them for two dollars per, and he apparently had a bunch. We went back and forth and agreed to sell me 10 for $15. A good price. We took off for the man's house, which is in the "old part of Bedford", in a side street behind a well-known bakery. 

The problem is, there is no set of instruction, however well written, that I cannot misinterpret to my disadvantage. It cannot be done. Period. End of sentence. Full stop. So, there was that. The other problem is that the street I was told to turn on to, had no street sign on it. So, we missed it. We got turned around and called the man, who explained with great patience where he was. This time,we found another turn off that would work for us, but not before some person cut us off on the Bedford Highway, very nearly causing an accident. They just peeled on out of there. I laid on the horn and slammed the brakes, narrowly missing hitting the big dummy. 

We were both upset, and the fact that the man's house was hard to find on that obscure side street served only to upset me further. At any rate, we found the place, I picked up the mice that he had left in a bag, and left the cash under a flower pot.

The drive back to the St. Margaret's Bay Road was quiet for both of us. To get back to some semblance of normalcy, we decided to drop off to Otis and Clementine's in Tantallon. Ellen was having a small Valentine's party there tonight, an effort to get men to buy their sweethearts books. It worked. I got her a couple of the Diana Gaboldon's "Outlander" spin off series about Lord John. We have seen the series and liked it a lot, but the books have not been read by either of us. I get why people would like it, and we are both interested in the Lord John character, so it seemed like a no-brainer. 

I also treated myself to a book about Andrew Cobb, the noted architect whose buildings still stand, and whose houses sell with the tagline, "it's a Cobb house". I didn't know this until I researched this for a story for Frank Magazine last year, but Cobb, and three others, died in a freak bus accident in 1943, along the Bedford Highway by Prince's Lodge.

One of the other victims was George Barratt, an early labour leader in the province, forgotten today, but apparently important in Nova Scotia labour in the 1930's and up to his death. I almost literally stumbled on his headstone at the Camp Hill Cemetery on Remembrance Day, 2019, whilst looking for Nadia Johnson's. Barratt's headstone fascinated me, so I took a couple of pictures of it and made a note to find out more about the man. I found out quite a bit, enough to justify a two page article in the magazine last year. 


 

As you can see, George's headstone is shorter and squatter than many others are. I wonder why? The doggerel at the bottom is a few lines from a poem called "Cry of the People" by John G. Neihardt: "We are the workers and makers/we are no longer dumb/snapping the chains of ages/out of the night we come". I was intrigued, to say the least. A long trip to the Archives a year ago helped me find what I could about George. I felt that the man deserved to be rescued from obscurity. I recommend you seek out that article from Frank Magazine last year.

And, just today, I decided to bop around on the net and before long found a picture of his "beloved Phyllis", his wife, who left town shortly after her husband's death, and whose fate remains unknown to me. I will keep looking. Anyway, here is some information about Phyllis from a January, 1940 issue of the Dalhousie Gazette, which I think is still being published.



As you can see, Phyllis worked at Dalhousie University in the 1930's up to 1943. She worked as an "instructress" for girls in physical education, back when job titles were genderized and young women of 19 and 20 were still called girls. The first clipping gives some biographical information about Phyllis, which I used to try to find out more information about her, courtesy of my newspapers.com subscription. I did find an article mentioning her from 1945, but that is it. I can conclude only that she remarried and changed her name yet again. She would almost certainly have died quite a few years ago. 

The second article was on the occasion of her marriage to George, sometime in the early fall of 1940, so they were married for a bit less than three years before his sudden death. 

The third picture shows her with some of the young women she coached. As often happened, her last name was misspelled as "Barrett", when it was actually "Barratt", with an "a". I guess that means that the name was spelled as if it were an "e" in the name, something I had wondered about as well. 

That is the funny thing about this research. It never really ends, and one must intuit things based upon what one has already found. It stops, suddenly sometimes, but then some kind of tip, or a different internet search, or pure obstinance on the researcher's part, helps the researcher move the goal post a titch further. 

Heck, I didn't even know what Phyllis Wray Barratt looked like until Saturday afternoon, for example. And I see that she was from Alberta, and I surmised that she might have elected to move back there after her husband died. I think she didn't, though.

I will keep looking as time permits. 

I am also researching and finding out stuff about the 1955 Michael Resk murder. After 65 years, I have been lucky enough to find original content about this murder, as well as be given a photograph of the man that had never been published anywhere. I am hoping to find more information in the next couple of weeks. Wish me luck. It is very interesting story.

Also heard from a guy recently telling me he may have some information about a missing persons case. Hoping to get that information from him soon.  There is always more to write about.

I think I will turn in. Been a long and trying day. I picked the wrong month to stop drinking. 

Pepsi.

See you tomorrow.

Bevboy


Friday, February 12, 2021

Post 3942 - Friday Night Stuff

Well,  hello again, strangers.

Sorry I didn't write on Thursday. I was tired and turned in shortly after nine pm. I had gone through a couple of days of staying up really late and then being unable to nod off. I am guessing/hoping it is because of issues related to the CPAP machine. But today, I woke up at a decent hour and have felt fine all day. 

Today we ran the roads until mid-afternoon, when we looked at a potential house that we could have potentially purchased. That was, until we saw the place. for a mere $250,000, one can buy a place that is over 60 years old, which sits on a small piece of property, on which there is a much smaller backyard than what we have now, and whose basement is unsafe to access. There was a musty odour throughout. The living room led into the dining area, which spilled over to the kitchen, all of which were on the small side. The kitchen here at Casa Bevboy is small, but is still bigger than that one. We have an actual dining room, which leads to this living room. The upstairs has two bedrooms only. 

The realtor was nearly apologetic for showing us the place. She allowed that the online pictures did not fully convey the scope of the place, and its overall condition. 

We did like the relative location, though. It is within easy walking distance of the drugstore we frequent, and close to my dentist and Timberlea's one and only pub. We could go there, drink ourselves blind, and stagger home. (Not that we would of course, but it is nice to have that freedom.) There is a direct line from that house to the parkway, and a short left hand turn takes us right to the new Sobeys. It is a shame that the house and its property were not in better shape. 

It makes us appreciate this place a bit more. I'm unaware of a stench or any must in the place. Unless I don't shower for a week or change out the garbage, of course.

We did go to the Sobeys after the showing. Got a few things. Had shepherd's pie for dinner. The deli I got it in from in Clayton Park had two of them for half price, so $4 each. I got both, and we ate one of them tonight and will have the other one over the weekend. Cheap meals, and pretty good ones. 

We got caught up on some tv shows tonight. This week's "Mr. Mayor" was all about an avocado shortage in L.A., and now we are craving guacamole. Perhaps a trip to Sobeys is in the offing on Saturday!

It is past 10:30 now. I will go check in on my woman and see how she is doing. Perhaps it will be another early night.

See you tomorrow.

Bevboy



Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Post 3941 - Early Wednesday Night

Well, here we are. Another Wednesday night, and another blog post. Trying real hard to produce something every day for all 4.7 of you.

Actually, one of the 4.7 died last March. Ken was a dear friend who, though 70, was taken from us far too soon. I think of him often, and hope his wife and their daughter are doing as well as can be expected.

We had another quiet day. I was up until something like three this morning. I told you that while I am using the CPAP machine every night, my sleep pattern is thrown off. It is hard to describe, but after many years of what amounted to sleep deprivation, "non-natural sleep" if you will, the fact that the machine helps me achieve proper sleep, and I seldom need to take daytime naps anymore, means that I can keep longer and different hours than I could for the longest time. 

If I turn in early, with the mask on, I will often just lay there for an hour or more. I thought it would be better to stay up until such time as I could fall asleep quickly. That meant staying up until three this morning, and not getting up until 10:30 or so. Not the best way to run your life.

We watched some tv shows we like. I made dinner. Patricia is washing the dishes as I type these humble, sub-par words. We will watch "The Masked Dancer" before I turn in around 10, in an effort to get back to a more appropriate sleep pattern. 

Oh, here is another sad thing.l A few months ago, a long-used coffee mug gave up the ghost. It had developed a crack, but it wasn't leaking so I said I would keep using until it did leak. Instead, the handle broke off, and I reluctantly threw it off. I was a little sad, and put it on my facebook. Plenty of people wrote in and discussed their favourite coffee mugs as well. It was a nice moment.


 There it is, above. Patricia brought it home from work a couple of years ago. They were going to throw it out, so she thought of me and my interest in smaller coffee mugs, and here it is.

Tonight, a "mate" to this coffee mug had its own handle break off. I am slightly bummed about that, too. It and its older brother were smaller coffee mugs holding a smaller cup of coffee, likely not more than an actual cup of 250ml. I always liked those kinds of mugs as I could more easily justify going back to get more java, which would be piping hot and inviting, as opposed to one large mug the size of a house cat that I would only fill once, but which would become cold by the time I finished it. (The coffee, not the housecat)

So, tomorrow or the next day, or sometime soon, we will go to a thrift-type store and I'll search for a small coffee mug. Maybe two, given my luck with them lately. 

On that sad note, I will let you go for the evening.

See you tomorrow.

Bevboy


Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Post 3940 - A Health Scare

I have been thinking about whether to discuss this on the blog. It is quite personal, and I am better than I was, but still not all the way to where I should be. So, I'll tell you; but please promise to tell nobody else. Deal?

For years and years I have had problems with exhaustion. I would occasionally fall asleep at work. I was in a deep fog at work and often had a hard time concentrating on whatever I was toiling on at the moment. 

It was also the type of exhaustion that made it progressively harder to make it to the weekend. Patricia reported to me more than once that as recently as last summer when I took the bus home, the brief walk from the bus stop to my front door (about 4 minutes) seemed ever longer. She would see me and wonder if I might collapse. I had bags under my eyes the size of satchels. I would fall asleep in front of the television and go lie down "for an hour or so", and not get up again until the next morning. On weekends, I would sometimes get up late and have to take "a nap" in the afternoon. Once again, I thought it was just the price of getting a bit older. I remember my dad being the same way.

For years my doctor told me to get a sleep test from a place like The Snore Shop, or The Breath Factory, or whatever. I kept putting it off, thinking that being tired was just the way I was supposed to be. 

Finally, in October of 2020, I followed through. There is a Snore Shop not far from here, so I made an appointment for mid-November for a sleep test. It consisted of an apparatus on my head so the doodads coming from it could measure certain statistics. It was tight and very uncomfortable. I couldn't wait to get up the next morning and get it off me.

The results were disturbing. They came in when we were at the cottage I think it was. The message said I had a "severe" case of sleep apnea. 

I had another appointment with a sleep specialist. She went over the results. My AHI's, the average hourly incidents, were 43 for that test night. That means that 43 times an hour, I would stop breathing, and my heart would kick in and cause me to wake up and resume breathing again. That scared the hell out of me. 

I was told I should consider getting a cpap machine. It is short for continuous positive airway pressure and treats sleep apnea by forcing air into your nose via a special mask. She recommended a particular mask that was the least invasive as possible.

I tried to use the CPAP machine that evening, but it was impossible to wear. The air gushing from the machine into my nose made it impossible for me to breathe. I had to give up on it after about 10 minutes, and I turned the air blue with my invective and frustration. The following night, I sat up all night, with the mask on me intermittently, trying to get the rhythm of wearing the mask, enduring the rush of air, and taking in the air the machine was trying to offer me. I was awake until 3:30 or so that morning. 

The third evening I managed to wear the mask for a longer period of time, but I still had to sit up. 

The fourth night, I think it was, I finally figured out how to wear the mask, breathe, and then lie down whilst the air blew into my nose. 

It has been a struggle with several conditional victories along the way. From 43 AHI's, on a good night, I am at 6 or 7 most nights, with some nights in the teens, which pisses me off. On a really good night, I am down below 5, which makes the insurance company happy, and me too, if you care.  If it is below 5, then the insurance company will be inclined to approve my claim to get an actual CPAP machine for my very own. They are pricey, over $2000, and I'd very much prefer it covered the cost, as I fully acknowledge I need this device to get a good night's sleep.

It has helped it, the machine. The bags under my eyes are largely gone. I seldom fall asleep in front of the tv. And my ad hoc afternoon naps are nearly a thing of the past. Here it is, 12:15am, and I feel alert, and am barely yawning. I feel more energetic and alive. A good night's sleep is a heaven-sent gift that all of us deserve.

If you are experiencing the same problems I did for the longest time, please see your physician, or just call a sleep specialist and make an appointment, because you do not need a referral to see these folks. Do not be embarrassed and so manly that you think you do not need help. You do. You are risking your health, and putting undue strain on your heart. 

I feel much better now than I did before. I regret waiting so long to get this therapy. 

The best time to get this help was  yesterday. The second best time is today.

See you tomorrow. I promise to write something more uplifting.

Bevboy


Monday, February 8, 2021

Post 3939 - Monday Night

Another late night. Half past midnight. 

Another day spent watching a lot of episodes of "The Resident". Eating leftovers from the weekend. Speaking to a source about an unsolved murder. And just keeping on, keeping on. 

Because of a storm Sunday night and into Monday morning, nearly everything was cancelled today. I keep thinking of the people I used to work with. Many of them, probably even most of them, work from home now, which effectively means there are no more storm days for them. My heart bleeds for them. It really does.

We are still wondering whether we will remain living in the Halifax area. Our new premier is Iain Rankin, and he is our MLA as well. I am... "excited" is too strong a word. But I am interested in seeing how having my MLA also be the premier plays out for this area. Will we get a new school? Will more retail finally, at long last, be interested in moving here? Will he decide to move some government facility here? I am actually quite curious to see how this plays out.

I have lived in this part of the province for 20 years now. Good times and bad. And in 2020, I spent a small fortune on this place. New doors and windows throughout, which greatly reduced my heating costs. Even a lovely back door leading out to a smashing new back deck with a robust privacy panel. The shed on the side of the house was falling apart, so I had that removed. The side steps were rotting away, so those were replaced by new ones, as well as a  new landing. Many thousands of dollars spent on the place. There are still some things that we need to get done around here, things that will cost quite a bit less. 

We had a flood in 2019, which was professionally remediated. New washer and dryer in 2019, which required a new electrical outlet in the laundry room because the bloody power cord on the new dryer was so much shorter than on the one we got rid of. 

After that big a cash outlay, do we stay put, or try to find another place to live that we both like, and which doesn't break the bank? I just don't know. What I do know is that I am not interested in incurring a pile more debt. 

So much to think about.

I promise to think about it while I am sleeping tonight.

Which happens, right about now.

See you tomorrow.

Bevboy



Sunday, February 7, 2021

Post 3938 - Sunday Night

Well, we did it again. Ignored another Superbowl game. 

We did catch the Weeknd's performance. We are fans of his, and not just because he is Canadian. 

We didn't do that much today. Started binge watching "The Resident", which is now in its fourth season, but we just haven't watched it. There are many shows, films, albums, books, podcasts, restaurants, clotheslines, political beliefs, religions, beverages, cheesecake flavours, and episodes of "Forensic Files", that we have never experienced, and likely never will. "The Resident" is one of the shows that got past us. Only so many hours in the days, and so many days in the week. You understand.

There are three programs on NBC on Wednesday night that have "Chicago" in the title. I have watched a handful of the one about the fire department, but have otherwise not seen it. 

I have come to terms with the fact that there are experiences and tastes and so on that I will never experience. When confronted about a book I haven't read, or a movie I haven't seen, or whatever, I can only shrug my shoulders and repeat the last sentence two paragraphs up. 

I don't know why people get angry with me about this, either. Even retired, I don't want to spend all day, every day, parked in front of the telly consuming content. I do not see the value of that.

At any rate, if there is something you feel I should see, or read, or eat, or insert up my nose, then feel free to tell me about it, and why you think I would like it. It can't hurt. Well, maybe the thing going up my nose would hurt, but otherwise, I'll pay attention.

What else is going on? This afternoon, I went back to Sobeys. The frozen smoked salmon we got on Saturday was pretty damned good, and we wanted to see if there was any left. Plus, it was on sale. So I got three packages of it; two of them are in the freezer and the third is resting comfortably in the fridge in anticipation of its inevitable consumption in the next day or so. 

We had a charcuterie board this afternoon. Plus that steak and stilton pie I told you about yesterday. Our anti-Super Bowl party. 

I think i will turn in. Trying to get up a bit earlier these days, and establish some kind of pattern again.

See you tomorrow.

Bevboy


Saturday, February 6, 2021

Post 3937 - Saturday Night Stuff

Well, hello again, sailor.

Another quiet day is behind me. We drove to Tantallon this afternoon to pick up some of Newbie's special cat litter, which cost me just over $100 for two bags of the stuff. Newbie is very particular about the type of litter he will defecate in. I can't say as I blame him, actually. 

We also went to Delish! in Tantallon. It is a store/restaurant owned by some ex-pat Brits who moved here a long time ago and more recently started up this interesting business in an obscure strip mall, just over the crest of the hill past the turn off for the roundabout way to Peggy's Cove. There's also a bank and a pizza place in the same strip mall. They make meat pies the British way. They are a bit pricey but always worth it. We got a chicken and veg today, which is resting comfortably in our freezer, and steak and stilton, a little bit of which is resting comfortably in my tummy. We also bought sweet and sour chicken with rice, which was half price, and pretty good for our dinner tonight. Also picked up a can of Heinz beans, with the British-style recipe, brought in from the U.K. We use the local "British style" beans but I am told that the recipe is different in the beans we got today. I will let you know, because I know you hang on my every word.

We also went to a local meat market, Cavicchie's. Got some stuff for Sunday's charcuterie board.  They have "storm cheese" there, but it was nearly nine dollars for a tiny piece, so we said no thank you.

We tried to go to the nearby superstore, but there was a line up to get in, so we left and drove home long enough to get a gift card for Sobeys and then went to the Timberlea Sobeys. 

The store opened almost exactly the day I left my government job in the end of November 2019. They have grandiose plans to add several stores nearby, but the pandemic put a temporary stop to that, so the Sobeys is all by itself at that highway exit. Not the biggest store, but it is seldom busy, and there is never a line up to get in, including today. Patricia used the gift card plus spent quite a bit more. The day before "the big game", and an impending snow storm, and it being a Saturday afternoon, the place was relatively busy, which is to say we had to wait three minutes to pay for our stuff. 

Tonight we started to watch a movie about Mark Felt, starring Liam Neeson, but didn't finish. I will try to finish it in the morning.

Also in the morning I plan to interview someone about an unsolved murder. Some information has come in about it, and I want to see what this person has to say. Should be interesting to say the least. Fodder for the next issue of Frank.

I think I will turn in. Need to get up fairly early.

See you then.

Bevboy


Friday, February 5, 2021

Post 3936 - Friday Night

Well, this is day five of the return of the blog. I have been diligent about writing something every day. I hope you think it's a good thing.

We had a good day. Visited some friends this afternoon, and from there had an early dinner at Phil's Seafood on Quinpool Road. We had driven past it for many years, but when we learned on Twitter that it was closing on Friday, we made it a point to go there. What an excellent meal. The fish and chips were dry and not greasy at all. The coating on the fish was much lighter than I am used to, not a gross beer batter or anything like that. Just non-greasy, moist fish and fries and even the coleslaw was edible, which is about all I expect from coleslaw.

Returned home. And I pretty much slept the night away. I don't have an explanation for it, but I was tired and had a headache and decided to rest for a while, which turned out to be four hours. I got up and watched an episode of Bones and wondered where the day went and fired up this computer and here we are.

Another week is behind me. I am wondering where it went. I do not miss working every day. I get to write about unsolved murders and missing persons cases to my heart's content, but I am not sure if I would want to go back to a full time job now. I am not like Sean Connery declining a cameo in the last Indiana Jones movie because "retirement is just too damn much fun", but getting up five days a week and traipsing off to a job is not what I want to do any more. Even if I were working from home, I would still be working, and perhaps at something I did not overly want to do, with the slight possibility of working for someone I did not like very much. I have been there and done that on both of those scores and do not want to spend the rest of my years on this earth doing that. Who would?

On Saturday, we have a few plans. Whether we get to them is another matter. I'll tell you about that tomorrow.

On that note, I'll call it a night.

It's a... I guess you heard this joke already.

Bevboy



Thursday, February 4, 2021

Post 3935 - Thursday Night? Already?

Yeah, so it's Thursday night. I wish I could sit here and tell you that it was a super productive day, but I didn't do much at all. Stayed home. Slept in. Took a nap this afternoon. Ate dinner. Watched telly.

If it were not for this covid thing, I can't help but wonder what might have happened with us, but I think we need to improve our social lives or something. Get out a bit more. Or do more house work. Or read more. Or to do something so that at the end of the day, we can look back and say it was a day well lived. This was not a day well lived.

On Friday, we have some plans to hit the road and run some errands and whatever. Let us see if we can keep that promise to ourselves.

I am mystified by this keyboard, the one on this old laptop. The keys all seem to be working again. Maybe the computer read my mind and realized I was gonna take it apart and attempt to replace the keyboard with a new one. If the surgery didn't work, I would rid myself of the computer, and it probably didn't like that consequence too much. 

 I watched... I keep wanting to call it Live at Five, but they changed the name several years ago. Anyway, I watched that program on Wednesday, the one that runs from five to six pm. They mentioned a program called Halifax Homicide, which is available on demand through channel 1 on Fibe TV, which we have. They are brief re-enactments of well known Halifax-based murders and unidentified persons. One of the cases is one I have been following myself: the 2004 discovery of a man's body near the airport. They have no idea who the man is, and there has been virtually no update on the case since 2004. 

The tv show speculates with varying degrees of success on what might have happened to this young man, and why. The "why" is manufactured out of whole cloth, without the tiniest shred of evidence to support the conclusions they reach. 

The other cases, I have heard of and often remember quite well. The production budget is clearly on the low side of things, but I admire what they are trying to do. And since they like to cover the kinds of crimes which are solved, with the one exception I have already mentioned, that we can stay in our separate lanes and peacefully co-exist. I wish them well and hope that they do more episodes. 

It is past midnight. I had a long nap Thursday afternoon, so I can only imagine the effect it will have on my sleep pattern this evening. Sigh.

See you tomorrow.

Bevboy

 

 

 

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Post 3934 - Wednesday Night Stuff

Well, here we are, the third day in the row of the blog's return. How much will you pay now?

I didn't do much today, which follows another day of not doing much. Yet, here I am, around 10:30, and I am pooped. I will probably turn in at 11. 

Tomorrow, we have a few plans, which include actually leaving the house for the first time in a few days. This may not strike you as particularly interesting, but means quite a bit to us. We have become homebodies in a way that an anthropologist or sociologist might find quite interesting. As I have previously noted, we do not really want for anything materially. We are not bragging, at least not on purpose. We are just noting that there is not much we really need.

There are, however, a few things we want. In my own case, the laptop I am typing these humble, sub-par words on, is starting to act up. A few of the keys work sporadically, and then don't work at all. I can activate a virtual keyboard if I need to reach a letter or character that the physical keyboard is too obstinate to provide, but other times the keyboard is working perfectly, like now. The keys that were giving me trouble a few days ago seem to be fine now. I do not have an explanation for why.

I have priced newer laptops. I can go on Facebook marketplace and get one for $250 or less. I can go get a cheapo laptop at Staples for $350 or so, but there is something about a business-class computer which I find very comforting. The non-business class computers are not very robust, sometimes falling apart if you look at them sideways. I got a business class all-in-one just before New Year's, and it is a joy to use and accommodates the 30+ year old model m keyboard via a legacy ps/2 connection in the back. 

There are computer stores in town that sell refurbished, off-lease business-class machines, but even the off-lease ones are upwards of $800 taxes in, and I am not wild about spending that much. That is why, as a stopgap, I have ordered a compatible replacement keyboard for my laptop in the home that if it really does go the way of the dodo, I can install this replacement one. 

I also want to get around finally to getting a newer media server. The one I have had for several years no longer has the power to stream content to the tv's in the house. It also doubled as a print server, and it can still do that, but I want this new one to do both. 

Everything seems to break down all at once, eh?

I have always had a problem with the word "refurbished". It is supposed to be a sign of something being as good as new, no big deal, yay for you, and it's cheaper than the corresponding brand-new thingy you're too cheap to buy in the first place. But like the Scoville level to measure the relative heat of hot sauces, "refurbished" doesn't always point to much of anything, or denote any kind of quality.

I have sometimes purchased something that has undergone the "refurbishment" process and regretted the decision. For example, one time, many years ago, I bought a refurbished car battery. The garage I bought it from guaranteed it and said it was as good as a new one. I drove home to my parents' place with it installed and the car kept trying to stall on the highway. I could, I suppose, have been killed if the car had conked out whilst driving 100km/h. I returned the battery and got my money back and bought a brand-new battery and did not die on the next highway ride home. I have never tried to skimp on a car battery ever since.

I have only ever bought two brand-new computers in my life. Otherwise, I buy them used from some dude on kijiji, or refurbished ones from a reputable vendor. Only once have I bought a computer that almost-literally melted down on me after I bought it. I was ticked off, and naturally never did business with that guy again. The pendulum swings both ways when it comes to things being refurbished. You can get something good, or something not so good.

I will in the coming weeks install that new keyboard and hope that it means I can keep this laptop going a while longer. I will then get some kind of newer media and print server. And all the while, I will get weird over the word "refurbished" the way some people get weird over the word "moist". I will wonder if the used computer I get will last me for any period of time or crap out 2 days after the warranty expires.

I am a very strange person.

But I am your person.

See you tomorrow.

Bevboy

 


Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Post 3933 - Two Days In A Row!

Title pretty much says it all, huh?

I was away from the blog for so long that the blogger interface changed while I was gone. Not sure if I like it that much. They simplified it in a way that makes it less friendly to use. 

Years ago, I was using a front-end blogging tool that only worked on Windows. The blog interviews were put up that way, or at least the ones I did around 2011 were. What was that package called? Windows Live Writer? Since I switched over to Linux machines years ago, WLW was no longer an option, and I never could find a blogging tool that was useful to me, so I just went to the default blogger interface. Better than nothing.

We had a storm day today. Schools were cancelled throughout the province. Not that it mattered because we didn't even set foot outside. I didn't even sleep in that late, rising around 7:30. We had a nice breakfast. Patricia cooked a bunch of extra food in case the power went out (it went out, briefly, twice). 

Tomorrow I will make a relatively proper English breakfast with eggs, sausage, toast, beans, coffee, and hash browns. Maybe something else if I think of it. 

As I told you yesterday, the new issue of Frank Magazine hits stores this week. I suggest you read my article if you read nothing else. It has the latest information about the 1955 murder of Michael Resk. It is the oldest cold case listed with the province Rewards for Major Unsolved Crimes Program, by far. Mr. Resk was murdered in 1955, 65 years ago. 

For decades there has been no new information. Last month, I produced an article that provided new data, and this week, another two articles are coming out. For one thing, I name who I think the murderer was. It is a name bandied about for may years now. What I learned is that this man's name has been linked to the Resk murder almost since day one, but nobody has ever come out and said it in print until my article a month ago. 

I also located a previously-unpublished photo of Michael Resk. One never seen before. So there is that, too. 

Anyway, check it out and let me know what you think. 

I see that my computer has realized that some updates need to be applied to make sure that the OS is up to date, so I will call it a night. It's a night. 

That joke never gets old.

See you tomorrow.

Bevboy

 


Monday, February 1, 2021

Post 3932 - Hello!

 Well, hello there! How are you doing?

I used to write blog posts on a regular basis. Yes. I did. And I swear I did not mean for this blog to go on an extensive hiatus. You would think, being retired and all, that I would have more time to write. Instead, I have less. And I am not sure why.

The days fill themselves, in the same way that a hole surrounds itself with a doughnut. I get up most mornings by 9 or so. Maybe a bit earlier, or a bit later. Cook a late breakfast for the two of us and then often times we watch tv all day, or stuff on the pvr. Housework is something we often think about doing but don't do as much of as we had planned to. Tomorrow. I'll do it tomorrow.

I am still writing about cold cases for Frank Magazine. The one going online and to stores this week is a follow up piece from last month's issue, which is about the 1955 murder of Michael Resk. It is the oldest cold case on file in Nova Scotia, but not the actual coldest case. I know of a case from 1884 that was never solved. 

This story has had very little activity over the past 65 years, and I have managed to advance the story quite a bit in the last couple of months. I am pleased that this has happened and naively hopeful that there may yet be a resolution. I even name Resk's murderer. Check it out.

We have given thought to selling this house and moving to... well, we don't know where. There is very little supply out there. What does exist is very expensive. So, we could sell this house and move into a shoebox in the middle of the road. Lots of money in the bank. Sounds sweet. 

Even though I am making less money now than when I was working, I am not experiencing any money problems. I sold the Valley house in 2020 and made a few dollars from that, even though I had the place for several years and really only barely made back what I spent to keep the place going for all those years.  But I no longer have that financial burden. I have credit card bills, but no debt as I pay off the cards every month. And I have the monthly bills, but pay them off as well. My only debt is my mortgage, and it is handled without any real problem. I have a few dollars in my pocket. Due to the pandemic, we don't go out very much, although on Monday I took the Soul in for its yearly undercoating. Bought some groceries on the way home, to fill the fridge beyond its capacity and place the freezer into an alert status as it is filled up as well. 

 The days go by pleasantly enough, by and large. Not having to go into work every day is a blessing, especially since the job I retired from was affecting my mental health more and more, to the point where I felt I would have to leave or lose my mind.

We are both fine. Thank you for asking.

I regret that this blog has gone on hiatus. I feel badly about it. I really do. Part of the malaise breeds upon itself and I end up delaying a post by another day, and then another. Then, it is four months later. 

So, how about this? I will try to write something on February 2nd. And then the third. And the day after that. And so on. 

Yeah. Let's do that.

Tomorrow it is!

Bevboy