Monday, May 31, 2021

Post 4014 - Monday Night Things

Hello again.

It is past one in the morning, Monday night/Tuesday morning. June 1st, although the blog will record it as May 31st. 

I slept in like a madman on Monday. It is becoming more and more unusual for me to get up before 10, and it is not unusual for me to sleep in until 11, or even 11:30. It is not a good habit to get into, but I am enjoying it nonetheless. Because the CPAP machine is helping with my apnea, I don't have nearly the brain fog or need to take afternoon naps that I had even six months ago. I am  only starting to yawn now. 

We had a quiet day to say the least. Newbie has been mostly quiet as well. He is on the floor here in the living room, all curled up and waiting for me to turn in. Patricia called it a night 90 minutes or so ago. 

I had a lot of wonderful plans post-retirement. 2020 was going to be our year. It did not turn out that way, mostly due to the pandemic. I do not regret retirement from the civil service at all. The job was driving me crazy.  I do not feel comfy just yet explaining the exact reasons why I finally left. There are several, and complex. The theories you  may have are likely not the actual reasons I left. People I worked with read this blog and it may upset them if I spoke out; and while I do not think there would be actual blowback on me, I do not want to take that chance just yet. 

A regular reader of this blog, who will read this on Tuesday morning sometime and may tweet me about it, wrote several months ago that after he retired from the civil service, that he went through what he called a form of PTSD. I know exactly where he is coming from. It is not the kind of PTSD that causes one to go out and commit a felony. It is rather the kind of PTSD that causes one to have occasional problems sleeping or to flash back to an unpleasant experience or two. Or three. Or four.

While I try not to, I cannot help but think about the times I was lied to, screwed over, insulted, had my competence questioned, had my intelligence questioned. The most galling example was in 2016 when my manager promised to move me into an acting role, which would come with a 10% pay bump, if I agreed to take on a certain level of responsibilities in addition to the ones I was already shouldering. I told him I would do it, and then he immediately took that carrot off the table and I was still stuck with the extra responsibilities. No extra money or anything.  He shortly thereafter went on to another project and I got a new manager. I was so hurt, so betrayed, so angered by the previous manager's perfidy that I barely spoke to him after that. He was my manager and if I called him out on it, even though I was right, there would have been serious consequences for me. You don't win a fight with your boss, even if you are right, and he is a bloviating, lying asshole. 

It is stuff  like that resonates with me to this day. It is hard to let things like that go. People tell me to let things go, and there are times I cannot. I just cannot.

There are other examples. 

I do feel better having discussed this. Thank you very much for listening.

It is now 1:30 in the ayem. I think I will turn in. 11:30 comes early, you know.

See you tomorrow.




Saturday, May 29, 2021

Post 4013 - Saturday Night Stuff

 Hello again.

Sorry I didn't write the last couple of nights. By the time I could sit down to write something, it was late and I decided to turn in, instead. But I am carving out a few minutes now, because I love you all.

I am gratified by the few comments I have thus far received about corner stores. One fellow wrote me on twitter, saying he thought which store I was referring to in my visit the other day. He is probably right. That store seems to have just about everything a fella could need in a pinch, and while you pay more, it is not obnoxiously more. When we went to the Sobeys in Timberlea today, I noticed that the distilled water was up to $1.99 a 4l jug. The very same product is $2.49 at the corner store. I don't mind paying fifty cents for the convenience of having it so close by. Every time I wish they sold a certain thing, I seem to be able to find that certain thing at that store, which impresses  me and makes me appreciate it all the more. 

I am told that the store has been there for a very long time, certainly much longer than the 20 years I have lived in this neck of the woods. I recall that it closed/changed hands several years ago. The word at the time was that the place was toast, but it soon reopened under the present owner, who is getting on and will likely retire before not too much longer. The store may close yet again, with no one to take over the business or to sell it to. That would be a sad day. 

I do feel a little sorry for the people who live right next to the store. Their driveway bleeds into the the parking area for the store. The homeowners had to put up a "private driveway" sign to keep people off their property. It would drive me around the bend if someone were encroaching on my dirt all day and all night, so I don't blame them for putting up that sign. In fact, I would sell the place and move some place where I would be able to walk to the store but not have to endure the rush of humanity that is there all day.

Anyway, I did enjoy very much receiving the comments about corner stores. Please keep them coming. These stores serve a vital purpose in any neighbourhood. I consider myself lucky to have one so close to Casa Bevboy. 

We went to the Sobeys today, though. While it is more expensive than Superstore, there can be some pretty good deals and markdowns at Sobeys, so one shouldn't just write them off. The one in Timberlea is smaller than many other Sobeys stores but it has just about everything we could need in a grocery store. There is actually a really good sale on chicken wings this week. $8.99 for a good size box, and if you get four of them, you get 100 bonus air miles, which is a lot of air miles. We accrue them during the year and cash them in at Christmas, so it is sort of like getting a free Christmas dinner. 

They had bacon on special. If you get four packages of this particular variety, you got an additional 75 air miles, which is three quarters as many air miles as you got with the chicken wings. We got over 200 air miles today overall, which is a whole bunch.

We noticed that they had fenced off the area in front of the Sobeys. For years there has been talk of a service station going by the store, but I had thought it would be across the street in another area of undeveloped land. Plus, there is some construction getting ready to happen behind the Sobeys. As well, Brunello Estates is growing in such leaps and bound, with a luxury apartment building all-but completed and a bunch of overly expensive housing that we could never afford. Those roads will lead to the new Sobeys and whatever other retail is coming to that section of Timberlea. The sad thing is that there are plenty of people in BLT who are not well to do and do not have their own transportation. There is no bus service up there so they have to get their groceries in another community. I do hope they move the bus service to and from the Sobeys. It is over due. 

In the 20 years I have lived here I have seen quite a few changes. By and large they are good changes, with more and more retail slowly coming around and seeing that the many thousands of people who live out here are underserved in that regard. I hope this trend continues. Now, if we just had a comicbook store...

I think I will turn in. 

I will bark at ya tomorrow.


Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Post 4012 - Bevboy's Trip to a Convenience Store!

Well, hello there again.

Another quiet day. I got up late. While Patricia was still resting, I walked to the corner convenience store to get a loaf of bread, as we had none on hand and I wanted some toast for breakfast, darn it. 

The store is an easy walk from here. Never really timed it, but it is in the order of 8 minutes or so to get there. At any rate, I was the only customer at that hour. I selected a loaf of bread and as is my wont, I just looked through what else they had. The security cameras caught every move, and the owner was probably thinking I was being overly nosy, but he was pleasant enough. 

I am always pleasantly surprised by what I find there. Little things you don't expect to see in a store like that. Like, a spinning rack full of greeting cards, one dollar each. Under a display of pop, there are some bottles of distilled water, about 60 cents more than the same product would be at the local Sobeys. They sell lactose-free milk, which is a big plus. Bread from a local bakery called Stonehearth. Behind the counter I noticed lighter fluid. I know they sell cigarettes as well. I am sure there are plenty of other interesting things behind the counter. They seem to sell every chocolate bar in the known universe. Slushies. Ice cream cones. Oil for your car. Little propane tanks for your camp stove. 

The owner told me that while it is a part of the Ritestop chain of stores, it really isn't. There is some kind of relationship with Sobeys, but he is free to bring in whatever he wants to, within reason, and the law. They don't prepare food there, as it would require different Health regs. They don't sell pizza by the slice for the same reason. But they do have a good selection of things other than snack foods, and every time I go in, I tell myself I really should go there more often. You pay somewhat more for things, but there is the convenience of having such a store within easy walking distance of my humble abode, which is something many people reading this cannot state. 

I am just wondering, gentle readers, whether you have a convenience store within easy walking distance of your home, and how often you go there? Is it something that if it were gone, would you miss it?

You know how to contact me: either leave a comment after the post, message me privately, email me here with "Convenience Store" in the subject line, or leave a comment after the post on Facebook or Twitter.

Genuinely curious to know how you feel about this.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Post 4011 - Tuesday Night Stuff

I mowed the lawn today, and then whippersnipped in the back yard. I love that little whippersnipper when it works.  A Weed Eater by name, you wrap a blue cord around a little spindle and put a cap on it and snap it in place, which is getting harder and harder to do. The little cord rips and tears at the weeds, but the cord itself snaps off very quickly. I am lucky to get five minutes before I have to stop it and force more of the cord through the little hole and resume whacking weeds. Then, two minutes later, I have to repeat the process. 

I'm told and have seen these harder plastic thingies that you attach instead of the cord, but those are only for specific machines, probably gas powered, which this one is not. Unless I want to take our gas powered machine and see if it can be retrofitted, or I spend too much money on a machine that will allow for this kind of attachment. Or I keep using this old weed eater with the cord until the machine falls apart before I buy another similar machine for 30 dollars on Facebook Marketplace and continue with the frustration. 

The new outside outlet I had installed a couple of weeks ago works fine, but I had to reset the switch for it on the control panel today. I am not sure if this will have to happen every time I use it. If so, then that will suck. The lawn mower I got a few weeks ago works great though. 

Tomorrow, I really have to tackle the recroom. It is in an unacceptable condition, even by my standards.

I think I will turn in. Maybe I will turn in early. 

Or not. Let's go with not.

See you tomorrow.



Monday, May 24, 2021

Post 4010 - Monday Night Quick Bites

A day later, already! 

Slept in like a crazy person today. Did virtually nothing other than to plow through stuff on the pvr. Still down to 33% remaining storage. Once it falls below 20%, it starts to delete stuff. It is sort of like in Speed, where the bus will explode if it falls below 50 miles per hour or whatever it was. It is a non-stop fight going through the stuff we record. 

We got a little behind the last few days as we spent some time over the weekend looking over the offerings on the Roku channel. They bought most of the content from Quibi last year as you may recall. Quibi was one of the most poorly-thought out ideas I can recall. Sort for Quick Bites, it was content designed for people to watch on their phones whilst commuting to and from work on the subway or the bus or whatever. The problem was, it went live during the height of the pandemic in 2020, just as people were staying home. Quibi was designed to be impossible to play on a television or even a computer monitor. People said to hell with it and the company folded months later. Roku bought the content in a relative firesale late last year. 

They unleashed 30 or so shows last week, out of 75 or so. There is some good content there. The best show was problem the latest version of "The Most Dangerous Game", but we also liked "Dummy", about a young woman who befriends her boyfriend's sex doll(!) and "The Fugitive". 

The format of the programming is that each "episode" is under 10 minutes long, so there is a  cliffhanger at the end of each part of the overall story, which sometimes is forced and doesn't really flow with the story, if you catch my drift. Each show is maybe 90 minutes long, broken up into these little chapters, and that can get real old, real fast. 

The programming on the Roku channel is free, but has commercials. It is another streaming service, but doesn't cost anything, so there is that. The remaining content will be released in the coming months, but I don't know what that programming will be. 

So, we watched some of that, which threw off our deleting stuff on the pvr. Such lives we lead, of great privilege!

Tuesday beckons, and we have promised each other to get a few things done if at all possible. Let's see if we can keep that promise.

See you tomorrow.


Sunday, May 23, 2021

Post 4009 - Sunday Stuff

There is nothing quite like sleeping in until 11:30 to put things into perspective.

That is how late we slept in today, Sunday. It is becoming a habit to sleep in late and stay up late. I am not sure if that is a bad thing, or just a new norm for us. But here it is, after one ayem on Monday morning and I am very much awake and not at all sure what time I will turn in "for the evening". 

Even though I had to do it for decades, I never particularly enjoyed getting up early for work or school or anything else. I oftentimes would start work around 8am, and it never seemed  uncivilized to get up early enough to be at work by 8. I have friends who work in morning radio and are on the air by 6. They often have to get up by 3 or 3:30 at the latest in order to accomplish this. Other than a profound lack of talent, getting up at an hour perhaps two hours removed from a bowel movement seems like an impossibility. I state that with all due respect, of course.

So, since the retirement last year, my "wake" hours have changed. Since I started with the CPAP machine last year, they changed even more. Because I have far less brain fog than I did before I began to treat my sleep apnea, and feel much more rested, I don't take nearly as many naps as I once did and far more alert much longer into the day and night than I once did. The CPAP treatment changed my life, and from what I am reading about the condition, may have prolonged it. 

Once I did get up, I prepared a late breakfast of steak and eggs. I washed the dishes while Patricia watched some stuff on the pvr. We watched SNL together this afternoon. It was the season ender. It was refreshing for the cast to admit that this was a crazy year and that more than a few sketches were not up to snuff. Cecily Strong cued the highlight reel, and there was but one highlight running for five seconds. I would not call that one highlight, a highlight. They acknowledged the Mike Pence with a fly on his head skit, which lasted nearly 15 minutes and featured the fly being played by Jim Carrey and a second fly being the ghost of Herman Cain and played by Kenan Thompson, was perhaps not the funniest thing in the history of funny things. It was not, but there were dozens of other sketches on SNL this  year which fell spectacularly short of professional standards. School pageants written by 8 year olds could contain more humour than most of the sketches on SNL this year. Anyway, it was very nice to see them acknowledge that the year by and large stank to high heaven.

The Weekend Update this week was very funny. Michael Che and Colin Jost did their annual "let's write the most racist jokes for the other guy routine", and it was something that we played back a few times. Pete Davidson  had some observations that convinced me that he is underutilized on the show, and is a very talented actor with a bright future if he wants to do the work to get there. I would watch a show with him starring in it. We both liked his "The King of Staten Island" film last year but it tasted like more. It was just a slice of his life, and I want to see a weekly series about the character he played in that little film. 

Patricia cooked a wonderful dinner tonight. I found some lobster bits in the freezer the other day. Adding that to some cream sauce and then throwing in some cooked pasta made a terrific dinner with leftovers. Here it is, moments before we dug into it.

There is enough left, I hope, for lunch or dinner on Monday. The flavours will have melded by then and it should taste even better.

Before any of you jump up and down about our privilege and we must be rolling in the clover, stop. Just stop. The lobster was purchased and decanted nearly a year ago. It sat in the freezer all this time. The pasta came out of a package and cost maybe a dollar fifty. The cream sauce was a couple of bucks. We used up stuff around the house and I don't feel privileged at all, just lucky that we have a stand up freezer to hold all this food we stocked up on. 

It is now 1:30. I think perhaps I should try to get some sleep although I am not at all tired. 

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


Saturday, May 22, 2021

Post 4008 - Respectfully Speaking

Well, hello there, my friends.

I am still getting feedback on last night's "privileged" blog post. I was expecting some blow back, some people who would rip into me because they cannot abide an opinion that challenges one of their own. There are plenty of such people. Plenty.

My position has always been that I am fine with people who disagree with me. And I expect people to be fine with me when I disagree with them. It is when people are inherently disagreeable that I decide I do not need them in my life and drop them like a hot potato. I don't want to do it, but I do, if for no other reason than my mental health. 

I told you before about a guy I attended university with. He was a disagreeable chap, to say the least. He would express his opinions and not even entertain a contrary position. He would roll his eyes and sigh and say things like, "spare me!". I would eventually just sit there and listen to him pontificate until all the oxygen had been sucked out of the room, or he had finally run out of things to say. Which seldom happened.

In 1986, we both ended up working at a place in Dartmouth, off the Bedford Basin. I stayed there for four months, but he had a chance to keep working and did so until the fall of 1987.  I did not seek him out very much.

I graduated ahead of him because he had failed a course or two., and I had had an additional semester.  His name had become a trigger for me. I would think back to his loud mouth that never quite stopped. Yap yap yap. Yip yip yip. 

Many years later, he moved back to Nova Scotia from Ontario. He went to work for a consulting company in Halifax, and because our common field is not that large and people tend to know each other, he ended up working in my office. We talked cordially but I knew better than to mention certain things because they would set him off. He wasn't there long. I learned later that his employment with the company had come to an end. I was not sad.

The last I heard he was working and living in Memphis, but I can't find his linked in profile any more. He could be anywhere, really, rendering toxic yet another work place.

Not quite the end of the story. About five years ago, when Patricia was taking a pilates class on Robie Street, I would go pick her up and we'd drive home. I would stand there with a bunch of women while waiting for her to finish. I would chat with these women, one of whom, it turned out, had  worked with him several years earlier. The topic of this man had come up because I told her I had gone to  Acadia and one thing led to another, and his name came up. 

Turns out that he had asked her for a job reference after they had stopped working together. He was interested in becoming a teacher at the local Nova Scotia Community College teaching something in our field. She demurred and told him something without providing this reference. I shook my head. I think she did, too. We did not need to say what we were thinking, and what she was intimating. I'll tell you now. It was that someone with that temperament, someone that mouthy and opinionated and obstinate and bombastic and impatient and disagreeable and argumentative and condescending and those are his good points, has no business being in the class room. 

Her reputation would be besmirched if she provided a job reference and he got the job partly because of it, and the expected fallout ensued. The students would have revolted with that man fronting the class. 

Oh, one more thing. It was my fault that he had made our lives so miserable those two summers all those years ago. The job at Acadia that he applied for and got, was one that I had told him about. If I had kept my mouth shut we would have been spared that man's mouth. It is one of my major life regrets. Usually you have to live to be 40 or older to learn the importance of the phrase, "no good deed goes unpunished". I learned it at 21. Shame on me. 

My point is that while it is fine to have a free and fair and open discussion about any subject, when that discussion is hijacked by people whose mind cannot be changed, and they won't change the subject, nothing good can come from that. We should all be able to walk and chew gum at the same time, to accommodate and incorporate our beliefs and opinions and not be so insecure about them that we are offended or insulted when those beliefs and opinions are challenged, in a respectful manner. 

We all need to be able to get along and accept that people don't have to agree with one another to get along. 

It is how people come to respect one another. 

See you tomorrow.


Friday, May 21, 2021

Post 4007 - Pandemic Stuff

Well,  hello there again.

It was another quiet day. We didn't do much. In the afternoon, we watched the latest Covid-19 briefing on the youtube app on the roku. We are still unhappy with the way Dr. Strang talked about how people should not move back and forth between their homes and their cottages. He was quite angry, quite testy. He said that if we are so privileged to have two properties that we should recognize that privilege and choose one place and stay there until things start to open up again.

I agree that we should stay the blazes home, or at the very least, stay the blazes in one place until all this is over. But I object strenuously to the word "privileged". 

We were not given the things we have acquired in this life. In my case, I finished high school, unlike some of the people who complain to me about being privileged. I went to university, unlike most of the people who complain to me about being privileged, paying for that education with student loans and part time jobs. I earned a bachelor's degree in a discipline that led to a decent-paying job, unlike all of the people who complain to me about being privileged. 

I have never got in trouble with the law. I worked for decades, sometimes quite unhappily, and tolerated and bore slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune, because I knew the day would come when I could retire. Along the way, I managed to get a mortgage on a relatively modest home. In 2016, Patricia and I bought a brand-new car, something we had never been able to do in all the years before. It took years and years, but I was able to get a new deck for the house, along with new windows and doors, without acquiring any more debt. New appliances have been purchased over the years. None of these things was given to us. We had to pay for them. Save up. Do without. Shopping for shirts at thrift stores. Pay cash.

I don't know how any of the above qualifies as "privilege". I recognize that I grew up with enough brains, barely, to achieve a few educational milestones. And I chose to live a certain life that didn't get me any kind of legal trouble. And I managed to get a job that paid me a decent salary. But that job was not one that was just afforded to me. It was not one that I was entitled to. Each job I got, I had to apply for it in an open competition and get, each and every time. And as I mentioned, I had to put up with piles of feces from bosses who knew that they could get away with treating me any way they wanted to. One of them may be reading this. Screw you, sir.

How am I privileged because I had to struggle and in the last third or so of my life, I have managed to acquire a few tangible assets? Explain that to me. Educate me. Help me understand how I am such a greedy little tycoon who doesn't give a crap about anybody else. 

We're staying here in the city. Not going much farther than Bayer's Lake, about 10 minutes from here, and only then to get the things we really need. We are doing our part.

Maybe those bitter a-holes who look askance at me and other "privileged" people can focus a bit more on their own behaviour than someone else's?

Now, if you'll excuse me, my caviar is rapidly achieving room temperature. And my wine is only slightly chilled. We can't have that. 

See you tomorrow.




Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Post 4006 - Wednesday Night Stuff

Hi again. Sorry I didn't write the last few days. One thing after another. 

I got up really early this morning. Scheduled to get the snow tires off at 7:30. It ended up costing me over $200, because they store the tires. Also got an oil change and who knows what else. It adds up quickly. 

Afterward I went to a couple of Superstores to get the current print issue of Frank. When one of my articles runs, I like to get a print copy. I am not sure why. I get a free digital subscription. I guess seeing it in print tells me that is "real", if that makes any sense. 

There are three articles at play here. The one in the current print magazine, which I bought this morning (Thomas Berry). The one that is presently online, but will be in the next print magazine, out next week (Leslie Corkum). And the article that I submitted to my editor this afternoon, and which will not be published even online for a few weeks, and not make it to the print magazine for five or six weeks. I will reveal that name when it goes online in June. 

While I was putting the finishing touches on the article I just mentioned, Patricia took off to pick up some things. She did that and then hung a left to go on to the Bay Road, driving past exit four, which is one fraught when people who pay little attention before they pull off the 103 to the Bay Road. That remained true today. She was on the Bay Road and some mental midget pulled out in front of her, very nearly hitting her. She laid on the horn. She tells me that he was apologetic. They both proceeded into Tantallon. He settled into the Canadian Tire parking lot, and Patricia soon parked next to him. 

When he emerged from the store and returned to his car, Patricia confronted him. She told him that he took five years off her life, that it would have been his fault, and so on. To his credit, he was man enough to take responsibility for his error and apologized, over and over. 

She got home. Told me about what happened. Asked me to pore her a stiff drink, which I did. She eventually calmed down, and I cooked us dinner and we are trying to get past this horrible event. Another split second, and things could have gone far, far worse. 

What happened today speaks to the fragility of life, and some of the people who can cause damage to others, either accidentally or on purpose. It makes us want to stay even closer to home, and to leave it as little as humanly possible.

And on that hermit-like note, I take my leave for the night.

See you tomorrow.



Saturday, May 15, 2021

Post 4005 - Saturday Night Stuff

We are sitting trying to derive some entertainment from Saturday Night Live. It is in a major downward spiral in the last few months. It is monotonous and you have to wonder if the writers even have a sense of humour. 

It was another lovely day around here. We picked up some gardening supplies from a guy selling his house. When I backed up the car to get back on the road, the turn in the driveway caused me nearly to go into his ditch, which would not have sat well with the man's wife, who glared at us and yelled at him. We were happy to get out of there and return home. 

I spent a couple of hours this afternoon working on the next Frank article, regarding an unsolved murder from long ago. I want to finish it on Sunday and send it off to my editor. 

The latest article to go up, went up on Friday and has had nearly 100 reads already. That is gratifying to say the least. 

Washed 13 pairs of jeans on Saturday. I didn't know we had 13 pairs of jeans between us, but there are yet more pairs in the closet, plus the one on me arse. We have many pairs of jeans. If we get hard up, we can cut them up and saute them and consume them. We can adopt a.... pant-based diet. 

I got a million of them.

On that note, I bid you adieu. 

See you tomorrow.


Friday, May 14, 2021

Post 4004 - Friday Night Lessons

Well, hello there, my friends.

Another day of sleeping in. I really must do something about that. 

The afternoon was spent trying to figure out what to watch on Amazon Prime, but then it was pushing 4pm, so we decided not to bother. Instead we watched a few things on the PVR. 

The PVR is always in a state of being so full that it will start to delete things to free up space to accommodate more things to record. Meanwhile, the content on Netflix and Amazon Prime and Crave rushes by us at a rate impossible to keep up with. Meanwhile, I see that Disney is making lurching attempts to do right by authors like Alan Dean Foster, which means I may cease my boycott of their content and subscribe to Disney+. 

For those who don't know, Alan Dean  Foster ghost wrote the very first Star Wars novel in 1977. If you have the original novelization from back in the day, it says it was written by George Lucas. It wasn't. Alan Dean Foster did. He wrote a bunch of other SW stuff in the ensuing years for the company Lucas owned, and was paid appropriate royalties along the way. When Lucas sold the properties to Disney 10 years or so ago, they inherited the content Foster had written as well. But their position was that the royalties relationship Foster had had was with George Lucas and not with them, and that Disney therefore did not owe anything to Alan Dean Foster, who is now  in his 70's and in failing health and not nearly as wealthy as you think he would be. 

Disney has had a long track record, one going back decades, of screwing over writers and actors and anybody else who gets in their way of making ungodly amounts of money. This time, though, with Alan Dean Foster and other writers, there was enough of a backlash from current writers and writers guilds that they had to capitulate, or at least say they would. After all, someone has to write the 1100 or so Marvel and Star Wars-related tv shows coming down the pike in the next few years. 

Writers gots to be paid. If writers did not exist, actors would have nothing to say, and producers and other creative folks would have nothing to corrupt and change as they saw fit. 

So, assuming that writers like Alan Dean Foster start to get their proper due, I will consider subscribing to Disney+, thereby adding even more content to the pile of things I "need to watch" while I sit in this chair eating bonbons, corn chips, and cucumbers soaking in a salt and vinegar solution. 

Ah, the fun life of the retired person!

See you tomorrow.



Thursday, May 13, 2021

Post 4003 - Thursday Night Antics

Well, hello again.

Didn't write the last couple of days. Sorry about that. Tuesday night I turned in early because  Wednesday morning, early, an electrician was gonna drop by to do some work here. He didn't show up at the last minute. Wednesday night, the hours melted away, as they do, and nothing got done, including a blog post.

The electrician finally showed up Thursday afternoon. The outside electrical outlet has been cutting out; the man who built the deck last year complained his power tools kept shorting out the outlet. The electrician discovered that, yes, the outlet was on its way out. Water was getting to it, and he showed me where the electricity had damaged it. He replaced it and the cover as well. Works perfectly. I also had him install a second outdoor outlet, which also works great. I should have done this years ago. And the price was actually quite a bit less than I expected it to be. I was very pleased with his work. 

I have spent quite a bit of money on the house in the past 10 months. A tear down and take away of an old shed. New rear deck. The side steps were refurbished. And the new doors and windows throughout. And the work done on Thursday. It was quite a bit of money, but I got a lot in return for the expenditures.

The next thing is pressure washing. I need to find someone who does that, as the rear of the house requires it. After that, it is past time to stain the front veranda, the side steps, and the new deck. There is always something to do when you have a house. People who rent think we have it easy. They are wrong.

It is past midnight. I think I will turn in. 

See you tomorrow.


Monday, May 10, 2021

Post 4002 - Monday Night Stuff

This will be an interesting blog post to write. Newbie is nestled against my left arm, and I am a proper typist, so my ability to type is hampered a bit. 

It was a good day, with a bit of disappointing news tonight, when we learned that Fox's "Prodigal Son" was cancelled after two seasons. The show slowed down to a crawl in scenes where Michael Sheen did not appear, so it should come as no surprise that they broke him out of prison a couple of weeks ago. Then, last week's episode had flash back scenes with him in them, but no present day scenes. I have read that the producers have had to work really hard to accommodate Sheen's busy professional schedule, leading to episodes where you hear about his character but do not see him. 

Already, stars of the show are appearing on Twitter and thanking people for watching. Sweet.

No point here to share with you. I just think it's neat how social media have made it possible for the stars of a tv show or a movie or whatever, to interact with their fans so quickly and easily. 

Today was "let's use up some stuff in the fridge before it goes bad", coupled with, "let tear through some stuff on the pvr so it doesn't fall below 20% and start deleting stuff", so we did both. "Mare of Easttown" continues to entertain; I hope they find a way to make more seasons. And I don't know whether "Robot Chicken" will come back or not, but the 2019 episodes are ones we haven't seen, so we are enjoying them. 

One reader wrote to tell me that he may have one of those old Model M keyboards that I covet. Please keep those emails coming to me. Remember that they must be inexpensive. Cannot afford those multi-hundred dollar keyboards, nice as they are.

There is not much else going on, so I will draw this to a close.

See you tomorrow, my lovelies.


Sunday, May 9, 2021

Post 4001 - A Call to Keyboards!

Well, that was fun.

Someone or something tried to clone or hack my Facebook this evening. I wasted no time in locking down my account. Changed the password. Modified my security settings so only I can see my friends list. Other friends of mine on FB can only see our mutual friends, which is fine. I clamped things down, which is something I should have done a long time ago.

This is not all earth shaking stuff, but it was a welcome change from the usual doom and gloom, sturm und drang of the Covid world of the past year or so. I would not want to go through this stress every day, but it was a different kind of stress if you catch my drift.

I meant to write this before, but thank you to the blog reader who sent me photographs of his keyboard, thinking it might be one of the legendary Model M keyboards which I so very much covet. I'm not sure how long he has been reading the blog, but he took the time to send me the photos and tell me a bit about himself. 

To tell him, and by extension all of you, all 4.7 of you that is, a Model M keyboard was manufactured by IBM in the 1980's through the early 1990's. These keyboards, and I am using one to type these words tonight, are big and bulky and heavy and have a satisfying click when you type on it. They have a very comfortable feel and are a joy to type on. 

Here are two pictures of my actual model m keyboard.

So, you'll see that someone long ago put a Lotus 1-2-3 template by the function keys. That was a spreadsheet and database application back in the 1980's. But the second picture shows the manufacture date along with the model number. You also see a bit of the radio I got at a yard sale in Port Williams in 2002 for the munificent sum of 50 cents, along with a piece of my Blue Yeti microphone for the podcast I keep meaning to start. Lastly, there is the perpetual calendar I received as a lovely parting gift when I left a government department in 1998. But I digress.

You see that the model number is 1391401, a very common model number for these keyboards. You also see that it was manufactured in 1989 in Mexico. Frig only knows how such a keyboard ended up in a box along with other keyboards in a thrift store in Halifax in 2017 or whenever I got the thing. 

Anyway, that is the kind of keyboard I want. The IBM logo on the top left or top right or wherever it is along with similar information on the bottom. The Lotus 1-2-3 template is an added bonus. 

I can order these keyboards online from a company that refurbishes these keyboards and even rebuilds them, but the prices of such keyboards are pretty high, a couple hundred dollars US, and nearly as much to mail it to me here in Nova Scotia.
That is why I ask you, my acolytes, my dear friends, to go out there and let me know if you ever see one of these remarkable keyboards out in the wild. Or maybe it is languishing in your office closet, or you find it at a yard sale or thrift store or something. If you find one, let me know, and I will make arrangement for you to send it to me, or we can meet up and do a cheap deal. 
Best bet is to email me here. Put "keyboard" in the subject line. 
Thank you so much.
It is past two in the morning. I really should turn in.
See you... later on today!

Friday, May 7, 2021

Post 4000 - Welcome To The Official Post 4000!

But not really.

As I have told you several times over the years, I have lost count of the number of the blog post here and there and everywhere. This is actually the 4086th post. Some posts are not numbered, or are ".5" posts. For a while, I wrote out the number. And I made mistakes and used the same number a few times. Very confusing to future scholars who will scrutinize this blog for gems of great interest and insight into the human condition. I hereby apologize to them unreservedly.

How was your day? We had 227 new cases of Covid 19 in Nova Scotia today, but that doesn't tell the true story by a country mile. There is a significant back log of data entry to do. I gather it is not as simple as entering the particulars into a spreadsheet or anything like that. The good Doctor Strang mentioned an application called "Panorama", and all I know about it is how to spell "Panorama", but if you had to pin me down, I would speculate that it is a complex thing to use and one cannot enter a case into it without doing some due diligence and case investigation first. 

The upshot is that there are upwards of 200 other cases that haven't been entered into "Panorama" yet. If they had all been entered we would have had something like 427 cases today, which puts us into a type of Stygian-based Hell that should scare all of us into doing the right thing.

After the news presser was over, we went to Bayer's Lake, and then to the Sobeys in Timberlea and then came right home. Except for perhaps, just perhaps, getting some more soil for the garden, or lime, or rickey, or lime rickeys, or pellets that smell or taste like lime, or whatever bag of former feces Patricia points for me to load into the car, then we have every intention of going nowhere for quite some time. I will likely venture out to get the mail every day or so; otherwise, we will stay home and avoid what is going to be a very difficult time for all of us in this province. 

There is plenty to do around the house. It is a question of getting the suitable motivation to do those things. My high school Physics teacher defined "inertia" as a resistance to a change in motion. I have always liked that definition and can point to the state of the recroom as a prime example of inertia in, er, action. There is plenty of stuff down there left over from the great flood of 2019 which was never removed from the boxes the movers put it into. Add to that the things from the Valley house, such as some knick knacks and my father's old hand tools that I could never part with, and you get some idea of what I have to contend with. I have promised Patricia that I will focus on that on Saturday, and I have every intention of doing that. 

Just as soon as I can overcome the inertia.

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

See you tomorrow, my lovelies.


Thursday, May 6, 2021

Post 3999 - Thursday Night Ramblings

Hello again, my lovelies.

Sorry I didn't write the last few days. Tuesday, the day after the AstraZeneca shot, I was down for the count. I pretty much slept the day away. I felt better on Wednesday and took Newbie to his vet appointment, which went really well. But i got tired early and turned in early.

Thursday, I slept in and showered and shaved and so on. I got caught up on the dishes and kitchen clean ups before I cooked some chicken thighs for dinner. We had planned to go for a drive, but the latest Covid news made us decide to stay the blazes home.

182 new Covid cases on Thursday. A new record every day. Over 1300 overall cases in the province. And public health officials are all telling us to prepare for more large numbers in the coming days.

These days are nothing compared to what you see in the larger provinces, but they are deeply unsettling nonetheless, considering where we were just a few weeks ago, at almost zero new cases, and very few overall. Now, we are in a lockdown, and the numbers are still rising. It is obvious to me that we need a curfew in this province; I just hope that the premier decides to put on in place. 

An over night curfew would theoretically keep the rabblerousers home. If caught they could be arrested and/or fined. Those who need to be out can do so, but we are at a point where we need to control this virus. 

There will be a Covid briefing on Friday afternoon. We will see what they announce then.

It is pushing 1 ayem. I think I will turn in. 

See you tomorrow.


Monday, May 3, 2021

Post 3998 - What A Day!

My goodness, today was busy.

We got up early, just after 7. We hit the road around 7:45, arriving at the McDonald's on Quinpool Road around 8. Rush hour traffic during a pandemic shutdown is very light. We drove to the parking lot of Century Computer on Spring Garden Road and ate our breakfast there.

Around 8:45, I went into the building and discovered that the store was already open. My new friend Aaron was there and doesn't turn customers away, so I went through with the laptop upgrade I was there for. I bought a laptop there a few weeks ago and learned Friday afternoon that they could sell me a 1TB SSD for $169, which is a really good price given the brand name, a WD Blue. 

I was offered a $30 rebate if they kept the already-installed 256GB SSD, but since it essentially meant that the drive was worth that amount of money, and it would cost more than that to purchase such a drive new, I decided to keep the old drive. So, I now have that old drive, the 475GB SSD when I retired which I retrieved from the previous laptop, and that machine's original standard drive, along with the new purchase today. I am not sure what I will do with the other solid state drives yet. I have to give it some thought.

Anyway, I got out of Century Computers around 9:05. We drove home. Since the new drive was empty, not even partitioned, I had to install an OS on it, and chose the newest version of Linux Mint, which I have on a usb drive. I got that installed, along with the latest updates, and some of the extra apps I want, when the phone rang.

My new friend and I talked for about an hour. The conversation went well. I will share the content of the call as things develop in the coming weeks. If they don't develop, then I'll tell you about that, too. Just not quite yet.

After lunch, we got our first AstraZeneca shot at a local pharmacy. We were told of potential side effects. Other than being maybe a little extra tired tonight, I feel fine. We have nothing booked or arranged on Tuesday. Newbie has a vet appointment Wednesday morning. He may read this post, so perhaps I should not be telling you this. 

When we got home, we broke out the pizza stone and stuck a pizza on it and put it in the barbecue. The crust cooked fine but we had too many toppings on it, so it didn't cook all the way through. And now we have a schmutzy pizza stone that may or may not be easy to clean.  

Ouchy. The next shot is on Aug 16th

So, it has been a busy day. We have earned our rest, and I think I will cash in those chips.

You all have a good day.

Talk at  you tomorrow.


Saturday, May 1, 2021

Post 3997 - Saturday Night Stuff

Sorry I didn't write the last couple of days. I don't have a particular excuse for not writing. It just got late and I decided to turn in without producing a blog post, which was a habit I got into for quite a few months as you will recall.

Anyway, the covid-19 numbers are way up in the last few days. They were down to the 60's on Friday. Then we got the news that there had been so many tests for the virus that it created a significant back log, which the folk who process these tests are working through as diligently as they can. The upshot of that is that we were warned that the covid numbers would be quite large for a period of time as they worked through the backlog.

Saturday's numbers were 148.

We all know that these numbers do not all mean that these new cases, all 148 of them, will not result in people keeling over from the coronavirus. Most of these people, the vast majority of them even, will not suffer more than just mild symptoms. Still and all, if the numbers hold true, several of these folks will end up quite sick, and a few of them will end up in ICU. One or two of them may die. 

Of the remaining people, some of them will spread the virus to others, unknowingly and innocently. These numbers will spread, and the percentages I outlined in the previous paragraph will play out, with larger numbers of sick, those in ICU, and those paying the ultimate price. 

We have made a concerted effort to stay home the last few days. We were out on Wednesday, where I got the lawnmower and Patricia got the soil and the lime. On Friday afternoon, I went to the corner store for munchies. I wore a mask at all times and made every effort to socially distance. We need to get a few groceries, but that can wait until Monday when we get our first vaccine shot, which is at a grocery store's pharmacy and not far from here. We are assuming that after that first shot, we will feel like crap for a day or so. 

In short, we are doing our part to be responsible and to do our best not to acquire the virus, and to prevent others from getting it should we have it. We are asymptomatic, so we are not worried about having the virus, just getting it. 

We cannot understand for the life of us, why people would throw all caution to the wind and not wear a mask,  not socially distance, be utter a-holes about wearing a mask in public. What is wrong with the people who partied in Halifax last night, and were caught by the police, and will now have to pay a $2000 fine, each? 

We. Don't. Get. It. Help us understand what is going on in their pathetic little heads.

In other news, the keyboard on this here laptop is coming along nicely, but I still think the left shift button is far too small, and the enter key on the right is far too big. The right shift button is three times as big as the one on the left, and I want to have a heart-to-heart talk with the engineers at HP and ask them why. I can run this computer for hours and  hours and it barely gets even slightly warm. The old Dell heats up and the fan runs or 20 minutes at a time, so audibly that it was a distraction. I made a wise decision, investing in this much newer machine. 

I think I will turn in. I am not sure just what yet I will do on Sunday, but there will be something to do. There always is.

See you then.