Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Post 3989 - Tuesday Night Good Times

Well, hello again, my good friends. 

Today, I still didn't finish my latest Frank article. I printed it off on Monday afternoon, and today went over it line-by-line, copy editing the thing and making notations and deleting things and rewording things. I will type in those actual changes on Wednesday and then send it off, before starting work on the next article, which will likely not run for two months. 

I cooked dinner tonight. Hamburger steak, which some of you may not quite understand, so I will explain it. You take a pound of hamburger and make, say, four patties out of it. Maybe put some salt and pepper on it first, some spices if you want. Set aside. Cook some potatoes and mash them. Cut up some red pepper, onion, mushrooms, and cook those, too, in a frying pan. Prepare a cup or two of gravy, by whatever method you choose. Remove the veggies from the frying pan for a few minutes and put the hamburger patties in. Cook them until the juices run clear. Add the veggies on top, and then the gravy. Make sure everything is piping hot. Put the potatoes on a plate and then one of the patties and smother with the veggies and gravy mixture. Enjoy!

It is not steak as one would understand it, but everyone knows that patties prepared in this manner are known as hamburger steak. I am not sure why. It is not something that one eats every day, but every eight weeks or so, we have it, and it is hard to stop eating it.   Probably 12 dollars or so in a local restaurant, but maybe six dollars here at home, and it could feed a family of four quite easily, or maybe just one teenager. 

After dinner, we went to Bayer's Lake. We went to Dollarama, because I wanted to get some of those eraser you put on the end of pencils. The only package they had was one containing 40 such erasers, for $1.15 with taxes in. That means that each eraser cost just under three cents apiece. I am not sure how a company could manufacture erasers, put them in packages of 40 each, distribute them to stores, where they would be sold for so cheap and make a profit somehow. They could have sold 20 of them for $1.15, and I would have considered that a bargain. Six cents for such an eraser would have struck me as quite a fair price. But now I have 40 of them, and have deployed but two. I am not sure how long it will take me to use the other 38. Maybe I will sell them on eBay or something. Eight cents each, plus shipping. Try and stop me.

I also got some more of those York Peppermint Patties that have beguiled us so much over the years. That didn't stop us from going across the street to Superstore, where we picked up some essentials. Charcuterie supplies were on half price, so we got some of those and ended up freezing most of them. 

We got home around 8:50, in time to watch "Big Sky" and then "Prodigal Son" on the PVR. Whoever invented the PVR should be nominated for Sainthood. 

It is past 12:30. I am going to turn in. I will make the article changes in the morning and send them off to my editor. 

You have a good evening. Talk at you tomorrow.


Monday, April 19, 2021

Post 3988 - Monday Night Stuff

 Hello again, my lovelies.

I had a quiet weekend. I don't think we even left the house for two days. 

On Saturday, while quarter-watching the Prince Phillip funeral, I worked on my next Frank cold case article. It will not run for more than a month, but I want to build up a bit of a stockpile, so as soon as I finish this one, I will start the next. 

On Sunday we didn't do much, either. Watched stuff on the pvr. 

Today I slept in yet again and spent the afternoon working on that article some more. I will finish it on Tuesday. I have prepared a draft but I am not happy with it.

Just watched the first edition of "Jeopardy!" with Anderson Cooper as the guest host.  He giggles a bit too much, but he is otherwise a good host. Ken Jennings is still my fave, but Mike Richardson, the sudden fill-in host who is also the show's executive producer, was surprisingly good. Dr. Oz was good. The football player guy who just finished was fine. Katie Couric was an embarrassment.

That's it for tonight. 

 See you tomorrow.




Friday, April 16, 2021

Post 3987 - Friday Night Frolics

Well, hello again, my lovelies.

I turned in rather early Thursday night, which is just as well. 

On Friday, I cooked dinner, of salmon and steak, surf and turf. The left over steak will be served with eggs and toast and coffee in the morning. 

I turned to Patricia a couple of hours ago and asked her if we had been out for the last few days, since we had lunch with friends on Tuesday. As far as we can recall, we haven't been. It is just as well that I called the insurance folks a couple of months ago and told them that we don't drive as much as we used to, so we could reduce the  monthly insurance bill that way. 

I was very pleased with how my most recent article was presented in Frank Magazine. I am not sure if I have ever told you this, but I actually get "fan mail" from time to time from readers who like my work. It is very gratifying and a  nice way to validate what I am trying to do with this series. The only other "unsolved murder/missing persons" series I am aware of in these parts was way back in 1991, when Rob Roberts at the old Daily News did a six part series. I am at about edition 70 with my series, with no end in sight. I have two more articles to write, and I am ashamed of myself for not writing them yet. So, 72 or so.

I was just talking to Patricia. We are thinking about subscribing to the paper again. There is something about the "dead tree" experience that cannot be replicated by reading something on a computer monitor. We also like getting the weekly flyers, even though plenty of people scream and rail about getting them. They are something we can read at our leisure without having to fire up a computer. When we are done with them, we can use the paper to wrap up food waste and throw that stuff into the green bin. 

The laptop is becoming ever easier to use. The keyboard still has an issue here and there. The backspace key is right above an oversized "enter" key, and I find myself pressing the wrong key at the wrong time, which makes me feel foolish. The left shift key is tiny, but the one on the right is huge. I don't know why. And I also don't know why laptop keyboard layouts are not more standardized. Am I missing something somewhere?

This weekend should keep me busy. I think I will go out and embrace it.

See you tomorrow.


Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Post 3986 - Wednesday Night Stuff

A blog post, two nights in a row? How much will you pay now?

I am slowly getting the hang of this new keyboard. The computer itself is swell. The battery is maybe not what I would like it to be, but the guys at Century Computers don't really guarantee batteries anyway. Nobody does. I get I guess 3.5 hours on average of battery life with this machine, which is far more than the previous computer had. I might get 90 minutes out of that, but that was when the computer was pretty much just sitting there doing nothing

The actual battery time fluctuates so much that the estimate the computer provides is all but useless. I am at about 30% battery life now. A few minutes ago I was told I had about 30 minutes of battery left before it would shut down. I just checked a few seconds ago and it says I have 95 minutes left. Once again, it depends on what the computer is doing, using an algorithm and taxonomy that I was not meant to understand.


I wish I could tell you I had a productive day, but I did not, so I cannot. I really should get to work writing the first of two cold case articles for Frank, but I keep putting them off. My editor has an article in reserve for the next print issue anyway. The next two would not run until succeeding issues came out, and only then if there were room to run them. Of course, if I just sat down and got them done, I could justify taking some time and indulging myself in other cold case research. I keep finding more and more of these vintage cases that have long since been forgotten. It angers me that these cases fall out of public memory and never make it back. 

Actually, I just saw that my article did make it online, and will likely be published in the next print issue, out in a week or two. I will now tell you that it is about the 1922 murder of a man named Thomas Berry, whose murder was more of a slaughter. 

I am going to work  in a non-George R.R. Martin style, to finish the next cold case article. I actually need to ask the police a question about that case before I can send it along to my editor. 

I may as well send that question to the police now, and then turn in. I think I will get up relatively early in the morning. Try to get back to a routine of some kind.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Post 3985 - Say Hello!

Hello once again.

Didn't write the last couple of days. Sorry about that. 

Had a very nice lunch with some old friends today. We are all fellow retirees trying to find our way through a pandemic, you know? Lunch was had at the Swiss Chalet in Lacewood. It went on for the better part of two hours. 

From there, Patricia and I drove to Century Computers on Spring Garden Road. I picked up my new-to-me computer, an HP Elitebook. It works great. I had them install an extra 4gb of ram, taking it all the way to 12gb, which is plenty for a laptop.

The keyboard is taking a bit of getting used to, although at least this one works. The old one, which I will be retiring once I remove the hard drive in the next day or so, was failing rapidly. On Saturday night, a few more keys were acting up, solidifying my decision to replace it. I need a laptop for my work, and an external keyboard just doesn't cut it.

This machine is quite nice, even if it is a few years old. It is nice and zippy. The webcam looks fine. It runs quickly. I am having no problem typing this in and do not have to worry about it cutting out or overheating while my Dropbox synchronizes. The only problem is that there is a very large and strangely shaped enter key, which I am struggling with. And the left shift key is not where I am used to its being. Just little things here and there that I will get used to in the coming days. It's all good.

We wanted to watch some tv shows tonight, but the broadcast kept pixelizing over and over, and we would lose some of the show. This happened about a dozen times during "Big Sky", which of course didn't become frustrating in the least. I am recording it on the American channel now, in the hope that the broadcast there is better. If that doesn't work, we will watch it on demand. The same problem was with "Prodigal Son". Will watch that on demand on Wednesday.

We played back tonight's "Jeopardy!", and the same problem existed. I hope that this is just an off night and things will be better on Wednesday. If not, we will look at another provider, because the internet/phone/tv package is very expensive, and it should be top-notch. You understand.

So, that was my day. How was yours?

I think I will turn in. The shift key is starting to get me down.

You all have a good day. Talk at you on Wednesday.


Saturday, April 10, 2021

Post 3984 - Saturday Night Things

Hello, my friends.

I had the day to myself. Patricia had a mushroom harvesting workshop thingy at the other end of the HRM, so I spent the time here doing stuff around the house. I spent a few hours shredding old documents, bills and the like. 

I realize there are apparently methods by which these shredded pages, hundreds of them, could be reassembled, but in looking at them, it occurs to me that someone would have to want to do that pretty badly. The 20 dollar shredder I used for several hours today is probably perfectly fine.

Patricia returned home around supper time. Exhausted, she pretty much collapsed on the couch. 

I have been listening to a folk concert recorded at a long-gone on Barrington Street called the Swordsman Coffee House. The show was recorded in the late 1960's. I am told the coffee house was where the TD Bank is now, at the corner of George Street. CFDR radio broadcast the show, and many others like it, back in the day. My interest in folk music is limited, but my interest in the idea that Scott Snailham got his hands on the old tape and digitized it somehow so I can stream it on my laptop on a Saturday night in 2021.

Wanna hear it? Here is the link.

So far, I have heard two amateur musicians who were attending Dalhousie University medical school. How these guys found the time to perform music on a Friday night in 1960's Halifax speaks volumes to their time budgeting. 

Sunday morning beckons. I was up early today, so the plan is to sleep in on Sunday.

You guys have a good evening. Talk to you tomorrow.


Friday, April 9, 2021

Post 3983 - Friday Night Fun Times

The weekend is here! The weekend is here!

Wait. I am all-but retired. Every day is like the weekend.

I didn't write on Thursday because my body shut down relatively early. Friday, I got up at 7 and was out the door at 7:30 so I could catch the bus downtown. I grabbed a bite at the McDonald's on Spring Garden Road and made my way to the library for when it opened at 9. It is just as well as a woman was already at the desk to use the microfilm reader. She would have doubtless used the one I grabbed had I not put my stuff by the reader I wanted to use. 

I spent the next two and a half hours going through back issues of the local paper in search of a particular story from back in the day. I didn't find that story, and I am beginning to think I dreamt it from all those years ago. I will keep looking.

I left the library around 11:30 and meandered over to Steverino's on Brunswick Street where I got a coffee and bought two bags of the "Gone Surfin'" brand, which we like very much. It is named in honour of the man who started Steverino's, Steverino himself. He died several years ago. The business was sold in the last year, and the new owners seem to have respected its legacy and have made the "Gone Surfin'" variety its default medium roast. 

I made my way to the Public Gardens, where I ate the egg salad sandwiches Patricia had prepared for me Thursday night. I fed the crusts to the pigeons, who all-but fought over them. 

After a bit I walked to Century Computers on Spring Garden Road, where I chatted with the owner over laptops. I will probably buy one in the coming week or so. While the keyboard on this old Dell machine is working tonight, a couple of keys cut out from time to time, just when I need them the most. It is probably high time to get something newer. 

I was gonna get another Dell, but the  HP EliteBook 840 G1 i5 looked good, and is at a good price to boot. I don't mind spending a bit more, but this one has all the features I need. Any laptop they have in stock would be a damn sight better than this one, in terms of speed and display and battery life and other features. 

I will give it more thought over the weekend. Decide by Monday. 

From there I went to the Archives to research another vintage murder, this one from 1901 with some pretty interesting aspects. I need to go back there sometime to see how the story played out. 

I left around 3:40 and caught the bus across the street from the place where I had been dropped off in the morning. I had walked past the block on SGR where a murder took place long ago, which will be my next article for the magazine. I got home around 4:40. Patricia had had a quiet day in my absence. 

It was a good day. I like going to the library and archives every week or so. Gives me a reason to get up in the morning and provides a sense of purpose I need more of. 

It is past midnight. I have to get up relatively early in the morning, so I will talk at you tomorrow.

Ciao for now.


Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Post 3982 - Wednesday Night Fun

Hello again, my lovelies.

It occurs to me that I took such a long hiatus from the blog that I am down to at most 3.2 readers now. I yearn for the days of 4.7 readers. Maybe if I am diligent about writing more often, I can get up to those high numbers again. A Bevboy can wish!

I had another quiet day. We went to Bayer's Lake this afternoon. I bought some scallops for dinner and purchased some plastic anchors at the nearby Kent. I go through plenty of those plastic anchors, as the house is full of everything but wood, and every time I was drilling a hole to nail something into the wall, it would just  be pulled out with no effort. Hence my requirement for plastic anchors. The guy who invented plastic anchors must have thought he was inventing sliced bread or something. A genius in his own right. 

I was messaging with a source this evening, regarding an murder from more than one hundred years ago. He gave me some great information including the fact that the story of the murder and its aftermath is recounted in a graphic novel that was published last year. I quickly ordered it, along with a history of the community where the murder happened. The graphic novel was ordered on Amazon. The history of the community was ordered from the Kings County Museum, which I didn't know had an online shop. I ordered that book along with some other NS history books of interest. 

I am not trying to brag, because it is nothing to brag about; but I probably have one of the most comprehensive collections of Nova Scotia books around. I probably have a couple hundred, going back to the 1940's "Tales Told Under the Old Town Clock" series by William Coates Borrett, to Steve Vernon's books about local ghost stories, to Dean Jobb's books (which he cannibalized for his 2020 book), to everything in between. I just got today a book collecting some of the letters of Thomas Chandler Haliburton, who used to be revered as the creator of the Sam Slick character, but who is now reviled because the "sketches" reflect the time they were written in, which means there might be some perceived-racist content here and there. We no longer have Sam Slick Days in Windsor because some knobs decided it was racist to have the character represent the town any more. 

Anyway, I love local history books, and am still purchasing them. I am not sure when or whether I will stop. They will soon be the only books I will buy.

I will be researching a murder in a couple of days. Should be an interesting experience, as always. 

I think I will turn in. Lots happening on Thursday. In theory.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Post 3981 - Tuesday Night Trifles

Pushing midnight on Tuesday. Will turn in relatively soon.

I got up around 9 this morning and didn't have a nap or anything. Patricia had to pick up an item in Spryfield, in a neighbourhood that looked quite nice, and the properties were large and expansive. Around the corner are the newer houses which likely cost 3x as much and have virtually no property to speak of. 

Also returned some of Newbie's food that he will no longer be allowed to eat. Got back $57, most of which I spent at the Timberlea Beverage Room. We go there once a year to see if the place still sucks. We were there last summer. With the possible exception of what they offered at McDonald's a few years ago, it was the worst fish and chips I have ever had. We pinky swore on the place and said we would never return. We broke that promise today, ordering some appetizers: chicken wings, nachos, onion rings. Things that are hard to mess up. They were acceptable. We told the server about our experience last year. He thanked us for giving them another chance and said that he wished that we had said something about the 2020 experience. Patricia went to the washroom and later reported to me in the car that she had overheard the server telling the cooks about our experience last year. 

I don't know if the same cooks were there last year or not. We went there not long after the restaurants and bars were allowed to re-open. They were probably relearning how to do some dishes. But that food last summer was so horrid that it should not qualify as victuals at all, just something you consume to forestall starvation and feed depression, and feel guilty about afterwards. 

When we were in Spryfield today we noticed that two of the three Chinese food restaurants were closed. Not sure if that is a permanent thing or not. The third one is take out only, which seems a little late in the game to be doing that. I don't know if the other two will reopen, but it always seemed strange to me that Spryfield would have so many Chinese food places. Then again, Spryfield has always been an... interesting place, hasn't it?

We had a quiet evening, and now I am going to have a quiet night's sleep. 

You guys have a good one. Talk at ya tomorrow.


Monday, April 5, 2021

Post 3980 - Monday Night Fun Times

Well, hello again, my friends.

My goodness, I slept in until noon on Monday. I am not sure why. I just slept until 11:59am for some pleasurable reason. I know that I am all-but retired, but even so, I feel lazy, maybe even shiftless. 

I made breakfast/lunch, and just hours later, made us a couple of sandwiches. Patricia was peckish this evening and had something. But otherwise, we had a light eating day.

I may have found my next cold case article. A man murdered more than 100 years ago. The few articles I found on newspapers dot com didn't indicate that someone was ever arrested. One of the articles went out of its way to state that the victim was Jewish, which surprised the heck out of me. Even back then, I have no idea what that would have had to do with his being killed. I am curious enough to find out more. If his murderer was caught and convicted, then I guess I don't have an article for Frank. If never caught, then there is definitely an article there.

Another trip to the archives is in the offing. 

I have nothing else to write about tonight. Turning in. Will try to wake up before 11.

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, April 4, 2021

Posr 3979 - Sunday Night Yippee Yahoo's.

 How were your last few days?

Mine were largely uneventful. I get a lot of that now. Good Friday we did nothing, really. On Saturday I went to the local Sobeys to get a few items, including the Cajun spice we put on the salmon dinner that evening. 

On Sunday we didn't do much, either. Slept in until nearly noon, something I did a lot of when I was a teenager, but not so much these days. 

I got quite a few comments about my post on trust the other day. Thank you for writing. It was something that I had been thinking about for some time and decided to write a post about. I could go on and on about trust and the many times people have broken my trust, to the point where I wonder why I ever trust anybody over anything, but I won't. It is getting too late, and it accomplishes nothing other than to upset me. 

I have other subjects that have been percolating in my head recently. Having all this time off means I can devote more time to thought, and sleep, making me wonder why I just didn't bother with working at all for those decades. Why didn't I just stay living with my parents and sit around the house all day and think and sleep? They wouldn't have liked it, but they would have tolerated it. 

I do think a lot about where we will end up living. There is a tiny supply of houses out there, at inflated prices, and a pent-up demand for these homes that drives those with modest incomes out of the purchasing market. I don't know what these people will do. 

A local realtor left one of those door hanger thingies on my door knob the other day saying I should contact him if I wanted to sell Casa Bevboy. I called after him as he was at the next house and told him I would be delighted to sell if we could but find a good place at a price we could manage. I mentioned the new doors and windows and the new back deck and so on. The house would go like that, but there would be no place for us to go. I can only imagine how many millions of Canadians are in our position: wanting to move, but stuck. 

Yeah. I think a lot of people are stuck.

I think I will turn in now. Eyes are gritty. Need some more sleep.

See you tomorrow.


Thursday, April 1, 2021

Post 3978 - What's Wrong With Me?

I sure have been thinking about trust a lot. Not just lately. My whole life.

You see, I was bullied in junior high school. Every day in grade seven, eight, and nine, I was bullied, beaten, abused, ignored, mistreated in many different ways. You can understand, therefore, why it has been difficult for me to trust anybody at any time. 

Over the years, I have managed to build a small measure of peace with what I went through, more than 40 years ago.  But, even now, when I go down to the Valley, there are places I don't want to go, there are people I don't want to see, there are names I don't want to hear.

And there are more than a few people I do not trust.

I mean, I can forgive the Facebook "friend" who borrowed some comics from me when I was 14 or so, and brought in some old, ratty ones for me to read, and then denied that he still had my comics. It was his word against mine, and that was it. I was angry and hurt and betrayed, and I never trusted that lying so and so ever again. He is on my Facebook because I want to know what he is up to, so I can be doing something else, somewhere else. I want nothing to do with the little turd. I can forgive that liar, but I will never trust him, ever again.

I don't know why it is, but when I do manage to trust a person, that trust is broken, and I feel like a fool. Last year, the man I hired to mow the lawn at the Valley, and do general landscaping work, was fronted $100 to rent a u-haul truck for me to move the crap out of the house and to here. This was not done the first time. I had to remind him a second time, and he did it then, but by then I had secured a truck locally, and he refused to help us load the truck. And I never got my hundred bucks back. I called him a few months later, and got his voice mail and never heard back. Infuriating, but once again, it is his word against mine and I was a fool to trust him. 

Trust is a funny thing with me. It takes forever for me to trust a person and an instant for the bond to be broken forever, with no hope of getting it back again. 

I don't know if I am naive, or whether I just default to believing that most people are inherently good and will do the right thing, and that I am a fool to do so. 

These are but two examples, but there are many more in my longish life. 

How about you? Are you a trusting person? Has that trust been shattered enough that you wish you were not a trusting person? Should I try to get my hundred dollars back again or write it off? 

In other news, I got a bluetooth speaker today. I was pricing them here and there and saw one for four dollars at Dollarama in Tantallon, so I got it. Charged it tonight, and paired it with my phone. Works great. Also got a databank for the same price. Jury is out on that.

And I sent off an article to my editor. Will produce two more in the coming days.

It is nearly 1:30 on Good Friday. I think I will turn in.

See you tomorrow.