Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Post 4060 - Recent Museum Visits

Well, hello there.

Sorry I haven't written the last few days. Busy, especially over the weekend.

Saturday morning, we drove to the Valley for the day. We started at the Wolfville Farmer's Market where I chatted with a local author named David A. Wimsett, who writes fantasy novels. Almost by way of apology, I told him of my experience in university reading the Lord of the Rings, and my utter disdain and dislike for it. He was a nice man, and I wish him well; but I cannot see myself liking what he writes. I'm sorry.

From Wolfville, we drove to Port Williams and the Barrelling Tide Distillery. I got a couple bottles of their excellent vodka, completing one of their frequent buyer's cards, which entitled us to a free shot glass. From there we went up the road to the Wood'n'Hive honey store, run by my friend Alex Crouse. I got some creamed honey, which is terrific stuff.

We went up and around Starr's Point and ended up at Prescott House, a provincial museum. It is free to attend a provincial museum through the end of August 31st, and we were late to take advantage. I repeated to Patricia what I had told her many times: that when I was growing up, I would jump on my bicycle and drive from our house to Prescott House in the summer and look at the museum and then complete the drive back home. Yes. By myself. Cue the violins. 

We walked through the house. They had added a few new features since we had last been there, including some stuff related to the Prescott family during the first World War. I have been to Prescott House dozens of times over the decades, and always find something I had not noticed before. 

Afterward, we strolled through the lovely gardens on the property, known as Acacia Grove. Sat on the bench and imagined what life would have been like for Charles Prescott back in the 1830's until his death in the late 1850's. Lolling about his estate, creating and popularizing all these varieties of apples that are still used today such as the Gravenstein.

We meandered our way over to Canning, where we went to the local meat market and grocery store. The world's smallest liquor store is in that grocery store in Canning; you should go there to see it if nothing else.

We decided to have dinner in Kentville at the King's Arms Pub, which as been there since the late 1980's, when I was still in university. I had a steak; Patricia had the fish taco's, which I wish I had ordered instead of the steak.

We returned to Canning to get more chicken wings, which were heavily discounted at the grocery store, before returning to Halifax. A very long day, we turned in relatively early.

Sunday, we decided to go to the Valley again, this time to Windsor, and Haliburton House. Thomas Chandler Haliburton, among many other writings, created the character of Sam Slick. It is apparently horrendously racist even by the times he lived in, but I must confess that any attempt I have made to read the Sam Slick "sketches" has been spectacularly unsuccessful. For modern readers, the writing is overwrought and boring. At the time, they probably sparkled, and peopled loved that stuff. And, too, the content of the Sam Slick sketches is thinly-veiled satire and commentary on the times he lived in, and the politics of the day. I defy anyone who is not a scholar of Nova Scotia politics of the mid 1800's to make much sense of the Sam Slick tales. But I digress.

The house, which is also part of the provincial museum complex since the early 1940's, is one I had never visited in my life, although I had long wanted to. What I did not know was that the hockey heritage museum had also moved into Haliburton House, occupying much of the wing that ol' T.C. had lived in back in the day. The house is fascinating, with nooks and crannies and full access to most rooms, with "do not touch" or "do not sit" signs liberally sprinkled throughout. 

There are many Sam Slick framed cartoons, originally published in a Sam Slick compendium book after Haliburton's death, hanging on the walls. 

But I want to talk about the hockey stuff, which is nearly unique for me, I know, given my apathy about sports.

I have "The Puck Stops Here", Garth Vaughn's book arguing that the game of hockey began in Windsor, Nova Scotia. Haliburton references the game of "hurley" played on local Long Pond, way back in the 1840's, which I guess is how they justified putting the hockey stuff in that house in recent years.  I was fascinated by one local hockey team, and its name, and its insignia. One hundred years ago, nobody would have batted an eyelash, or cared, that a team by this name existed, except those who followed the team's exploits with some degree of interest and anticipation. 

I write, of course, of the Windsor Swastikas. 

There is a little area in the hockey section devoted to the Swastikas, including pictures of the team and the trophy they won, and even an old team jersey which has seen far better days. I took some snaps:

To see this stuff in 2021 it is disturbing, but once again, this team existed in the early 1900's, long before the swastika was forever corrupted by Hitler. The swastika was a very common and ancient symbol representing good luck, and there was nothing wrong at all with someone using that symbol, or deciding to name a hockey team after the symbol, or wearing it on a team jersey. 

I respect the folks at the museum for putting up this display rather than hiding from its past and pretending that it never happened. It is what museums are for: providing proper context to the past.  Ditto for all the Sam Slick content as well. While the racist aspects of Haliburton were not denied and freely mentioned, it is all in proper context and shows the times the man lived in.

The visit to Haliburton House was fascinating. I am embarrassed it took me so long to get there, and I promise not to take so long to get back. 

We returned home and turned in early. Monday, we stayed put and I am not sure what we did other than take things easy.

And now you are caught up. 

I think I will go begin my day. 

Talk to you tomorrow.



Friday, August 27, 2021

Post 4059 - Friday Night Stuff

So, is there a gas shortage in Nova Scotia, or not? Some say yes. Some say no. We will find out Saturday morning when we try to leave here for a day trip.

How was your day? I went to the archives this afternoon to research a 1932 murder-suicide that has many of the signs of a double murder. The story abruptly left the pages of the local papers a month and a half after the event, and I can find no updates, which only adds to the mystery. Reading more and more about it, I am inclined to think that it is a double murder, and that the murderer got away with it.

Murderers not getting caught is not overly unusual. Many police departments wash their hands of a case once they have handed off a suspect to prosecutors, who may not meet their burden of proof so the suspect is found not guilty, even if he did do it. The police usually do not count these cases as unsolved because they did their job. This happens relatively often. 

A few cases I have written about have been all-but scrubbed out of existence because the suspect was found not guilty, or the charges were dropped, or whatever; and the police feel there is nothing else to do, so they don't do anything. Arnold "Smiley" Bailey is a prime example. His 1988 murder resulted in more than one trial and more than one suspect, both of whom were found not guilty. But you will not find Bailey's case in the list of unsolved murders, and it will never be a part of the Rewards for Major Unsolved Crimes Program either. It is forgotten about. 

Much like the case I researched on Friday.

Anyway, we had salmon for dinner, and watched the last four episodes of "Clickbait" on Netflix. It is a pretty good whodunnit thriller, marred somewhat by the final episode, which did not play fair with the viewer. There was no realistic way for the viewer to figure out who killed the victim, so I felt a little cheated. You should see it for yourself and see if you agree.

And I must note that Rick Howe announced his retirement on News 95.7 on Friday morning. The news is not unexpected as he has been battling some illness; but it is still a sad day for fans of talk radio, of which there is far too little in Halifax. Rick built a good audience over quite a few years often with very little advertising. I will miss listening to him. His last day on the air is Friday, September 3rd. I will be recording it for posterity.

It is now 12:30 in the morning on Saturday. I think I will turn in. Plan to get up early and see if there is any gas to get.

See you tomorrow.




Thursday, August 26, 2021

Post 4058 - Halifax History That Will Interest You Not Even Slightly

 Well, hello again, my friends.

Please, consider the following photograph:

It shows a couple of Halifax police detectives back in the year 1933. They are holding a club they believed to be the one used to beat poor Marie Thibeault to death in 1932. The associated article leads one to believe that it was taken in front of the old Halifax city jail. 

Last night, I wrote about how I had visited that old city jail, or what was left of it, back around 2010, when then-councillor Dawn Sloane took me there from a non-descript door on Barrington Street, one which you may have passed hundreds of times over the years without knowing what it was, or what lay behind it. Here is that blog post.

Here is the door we used to enter what I thought was the old city jail:

Pretty boring door, ennit?

I mentioned that my friend Bruce MacNab had written a book about Harry Houdini's early years of honing his craft as an escapologist, and that he had spent some time touring in this part of the world. He actually did his first headline act in Dartmouth, in a building that has not existed in a long time. You really should read Bruce's book, called "The Metamorphosis: The Apprenticeship of Harry Houdini". It is meticulously researched in a way that I respect the hell out of. 

Anyway, I mentioned last night, and Bruce read the post, that I had been in the city jail back in the day. He and I wrote each other back and forth earlier this evening. It turns out that I did not see the old cells at all. As he told me:

"You were in the sub-basement of City hall, not the basement where the jail cells once stood. The thick brick walls you saw in the sub-basement were actually the footings for the long ago brick walls of the cells on the floor above."

I blubbered that I remembered being in the cells. He pitied me.

"There is only one cell left and it is an equipment room. Don't feel bad. they showed the footings to Tom Selleck too. Gary Shutlak and I had a great laugh over this."

You may recall that Tom Selleck did several Jesse Stone movies here years ago. I seem to recall that he did an unrelated miniseries here as well. He spent quite a bit of time here in the 00's, and held a door open for me once when I was carrying something heavy. 

At any rate, Bruce explained to me more about my misunderstanding/error as to what I saw in December of 2010.

"The sub basement is about 8-feet in height at Barrington but the floor rises to a mere crawl space at Argyle. On the Barrington side the footings are tall but the space between them isn't wide enough for a cell. Footings are generally twice the size of the walls they support above."

That does make sense, because the pictures of me in what I thought were jail cells were really in the footings, because if they were cells they were awfully narrow ones. Read the blog post I linked to above and you will see what I mean.

Here's more from Bruce:

"For a time, they used the sub basement footing 'cells' to hold evidence and supplies. They were never used for prisoners. I was interviewed about this by allnovascotia in 2019 while they were renovating City Hall. The city's  architect claimed she had "discovered" the footprint of the old cell walls on the basement floor. I spent a day there in 2010 and had already explained to them where the cells actually were."

Suitably chastened, I asked Bruce about the picture of the two police detectives. Where was that taken? Once again, it was my strong impression that it was taken in front of the old city jail, which was in city hall along with the police department.

Bruce hunted around on google maps. He thinks, and I agree, that you will find it is here.

It is on Duke Street, very close to Barrington, just at the end of a black iron railing. Bruce tells me that the double doors just out of frame on the left, and even closer to Barrington Street, used to lead directly into the old police court/headquarters. 

Here it is:


The man accused to killing Marie Thibeault was named Douglas "Red" MacDonald, a retired boxer. The trial took place at Supreme Court, which back then was on Spring Garden Road, where the main Halifax court is now. The county jailer brought MacDonald into court for his trial. That jailer was named Malcolm Mitchell, who was the father to Verdun Mitchell, a man I have written about at length regarding another famous Halifax unsolved murder. 

MacDonald was found not guilty and disappeared from the public eye. I do not know what became of him. 

So, there you have it. I think we have discovered where those two police detectives were standing back in 1933. 

How many of you care about this stuff, other than Bruce and me? Uh, not many. But this is my blog and I will write about what pleases me, and that is that. 

I have a busy day of researching on Friday, so I think I will turn in.

See you tomorrow.


Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Post 4057 - Wednesday Night Stuff

Hello. It is nearly 1:30, technically on Thursday morning.

We did not much today. Went for a drive in air-conditioned comfort in the afternoon and got some groceries. Returned home. I took a long nap in the recroom, as the humidity had sapped what strength I had. 

We watched some television tonight. Saw Anica/Katey Day not go forward on America's Got Talent. Watched Master Chef. 

I just spent 15 minutes looking through a copy of Metamorphosis: The Apprenticeship of Harry Houdini, by my friend Bruce MacNab. I missed the book when it first came out, so I was pleased to get a copy earlier this year. It is about Houdini's early years of learning his craft and how he honed much of his talent here in this part of the world, especially in Nova Scotia. Using a level of research which astonishes me, MacNab finds old newspaper articles and other reports to fill in this part of the man's life. 

I cannot get past my respect for someone who researches the living hell out of something, whatever the subject is. I know how hard it is to do that, and how hard it is to find anything, and how easy it is to miss stuff, too. 

I can add one little tidbit. Bruce shows a picture of the layout of Halifax City Hall from back in the day, showing where the old jail cells were. When I was researching the Marie Thibeault unsolved murder a few months ago, I found a picture of a couple of police detectives holding what they thought was her murder weapon (it wasn't). They were standing outside the Halifax city jail on Barrington Street. That old doorway still exists; it is just a few meters North of the entrance to the Grand Parade. Thousands of people walk past it every day and because it so old and the same drab colour as everything around it, they have no idea what it is. 

Around 2010, then-councillor Dawn Sloane took me on a tour of some of the parts of city hall that the average person doesn't get to see. I was up on top of city hall with my Christmas tie and down in the bowels of city hall, where I saw the old jail cells. From one of those jail cells, Harry Houdini escaped back in 1896. I think I still have those old jail cell pictures somewhere on my Dropbox.

So far as I know, those old jail cells still exist. They likely just store old crap that people have forgotten about. Their historical significance has been all-but forgotten as well. 

I think I will turn in. We may go for another day trip on Thursday and I should get some shut eye.


Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Post 4056 - A Day of Disappointment and Triumph

Why, hello there.

Tuesday was a day we planned to hit the road. And... we did. But the plans we made were not the best ones.

Let me explain. 

We headed out after 1pm, to drive to Windsor. We wanted to go to Haliburton House, where we had never been. Thomas Chandler Haliburton wrote the Sam Slick "sketches" in the 1840's or so. They were very popular in their day. Windsor had Sam Slick days for many years until some wokesters decided that they no longer fit with the times so it was quietly cancelled several years ago. The sketches themselves are written in a style that modern readers would find hard to get into. I sure do. Every time I have attempted to read one of those Sam Slick stories, I wake up hours later with Cheeto's dust on my shirt and the book on the floor. The thing is, I remember my Grade Six teacher going on about Sam Slick and Haliburton and it seems that I should read these tales and make an effort to like them. It will not happen.


We found Haliburton House in Windsor and discovered that the place is not open on Tuesdays. It is open Wednesday through Sunday 10-4pm. So we have to go back, soon.

Shand House is another museum in Windsor, but ditto for the hours. 


We drove to Reader's Haven in the downtown area, which was open. I got a couple of books that I hope to read someday. Hope. From there, we went to Lisa's Cafe not far from the bookstore, as the owner of the bookstore recommended it to us. Patricia had the clams and chips, and she loved them. I had the fish and chips, and I loved them. We started off with nachos which we very much enjoyed. Dessert was a chocolate pie. I asked and was told that every dessert is made from scratch in the cafe. The chocolate pie did not contain chocolate pudding from a box, but was made in the way that you would make chocolate pudding if you loved your children and had time on your hands.

Dinner was about $70 with tip. We will go back.

We returned to the city, learning that Charlie Watts from the Rolling Stones had died on the car radio, and went to the local Sobeys. Got some essentials. After we got home we learned that some Costco's and likely other stores are running out of toilet paper and other required items because of increasing fear of the Covid-19 Delta variant. We are homebodies of the highest order, so if necessary we will hunker down again. 

It is 11pm. I think I will turn in early. The barbecue guy will be here tomorrow morning to fix the small problem with the barbecue we got from them last year.

See you tomorrow.


Monday, August 23, 2021

Post 4055 - Monday Night Nothings


I did nothing today. I slept in. Unusual for me at this time, I took a long nap in the afternoon. We ate leftovers for dinner.

Here it is, pushing midnight. I have spent the last hour or so lining up my next cold case article. I have narrowed it down to a couple of possibilities. Regardless, I will have to go to the archives to research them. Maybe I should book more than one visit. 

I have also been conversing with a source about a well known unsolved murder in this province. 

Nothing in life is easy. I will eventually run out of such articles to write about, at which time I suppose the series will end. Of course, I had no idea that I would still be writing this series five years after I started it, and after more than 60 articles. Most people who have done a series about unsolved crimes in Nova Scotia, or anywhere else, crap out after maybe six parts. So I should be proud of that accomplishment if nothing else.

I think I have solved one unsolved murder. I am pretty sure I have solved the mystery as to why Frank Johnson killed himself and his daughter in 1943. Tina Marie Barron's case had been forgotten by nearly everyone, likely even her own family, until I wrote about it and asked the police why Tina's case was not registered with the province's rewards for major unsolved crimes program. A month later, it was added to the list. There have been other small victories along the way.

I just don't know if the series matters to anyone other than me, my editor and my relatively few readers. 

Nothing lasts forever.

On that happy note, I think I will turn in. We plan to go on a Valley day trip on Tuesday.

See you then.


Sunday, August 22, 2021

Post 4054 - Sunday Night Things

Hello again, my friends.

Sunday night. Hurricane Henri is supposed to hit our shores in a day or so, although that trajectory may change. That is why I decided to tackle applying a coat of stain to the front veranda, the side steps and the back deck. The deck was done a year ago and should be plenty seasoned by now, and accept a couple of coats.

I finished a rough coat on the veranda and then started on the side steps, which are attached to the post that holds the clothes line. The new colour we selected two weeks ago is not compatible with the long-ago choice I made to use a red wood semi transparent stain. It is yellowish on the brown pressure treated wood, and does not look awesome on the old redwood stain. Whatever. Functionality is where it is at.

I allocated one gallon of stain for the side steps. I had plenty left over so I stared to stain the back deck until the gallon was gone. I still have a few gallons of stain for a proper couple of coats on the back deck. Will start that on Monday, unless I decide to apply a second coat to the veranda. Not sure just yet. 

So, that was my day. Staining a bunch of wood. All the people who think I am privileged because I have a house and they don't, can go stuff it. I dropped hundreds of dollars on that stain a couple of weeks ago and hundreds more to get the house pressure washed. Gee, that bothers me more than it should. They are just jealous but will not admit it. 

Patricia bought a small green house today, one that will live comfortably in an upstairs bedroom and be useful for starter plants and the like. I helped her take it out of the car and get it in the house. I know better than to touch it on a go forward basis. 

I think I will turn in. I want to get up relatively early and resume my staining work.

See you tomorrow.


Saturday, August 21, 2021

Post 4053 - A Week Later...

 Well, hello again, my friends.

Sorry that I haven't written in a week. We were both busy working the Nova Scotia elections over the past several days. We first heard about this opportunity when we went in to vote on August 12th. A friend was there who was also working the election and offered us a job as a Poll Supervisor. It meant that we would be in charge of a particular voting location. 

Not overwhelmed or anything, we attended a day long training on August 13th, from 9 in the morning until nearly 9:30 at night, when maybe 90 minutes off for lunch and dinner. Over the weekend we called the venue and the people who would be working with us. On the day before the election we went to the venue to check it out and started to set up tables and chairs. 

Election day itself, the 17th, we were on the go from five in the morning until 1 the following morning. We actually arrived at the venue at 6:30 and did not leave until nearly midnight, and then went to the district headquarters to debrief for another hour. 

Much of what we did, I cannot talk about as it is confidential. I can say though that election day was perhaps the busiest day I have had since I was in the throes of university, many years ago. Very little time to eat or drink water or even go to the washroom. Just go, go, go all day long. 

By the time we finally got home, around 1:20 on Wednesday morning, we were so tired, and sore and sweaty and hungry and parched, that it was difficult to get up the stairs. Finally turned in around 2.

Wednesday, we were so sore from having been on our feet all day, that we could barely walk. I actually considered using my father's old walking cane for a spell. 

Thursday, we were somewhat more ambulatory. Still sore.

Friday, we felt much better and considered going on a day trip, but the day got away from us.

And today, Saturday, we felt pretty good. Still didn't go anywhere or do too much. 

We will get paid for this work in the coming couple of weeks. It will not be life-altering money, but it will be a nice little bump, something to throw into my savings account, which has taken a beating in the last few months. 

Patricia kept saying she would never do this kind of job again, as it was too grueling for people of our advanced dotage. But I look back with some sense of exhilaration and accomplishment over August 17th. I did my small part to help keep democracy going. I appreciate the opportunity. And if something like this were offered to me again, I would at least consider it.

I would just wear better shoes next time.

I think I will turn in. Patricia is getting up relatively early in the morning and I promised to make us a nice breakfast. 

You all have a good night. See you tomorrow. I am well-rested and ready to resume regular blog posts!


Saturday, August 14, 2021

Post 4052 - Three Days Later

Uh, hello again, my friends.

Sorry I didn't write the last few days. Something came up on Thursday, which required our full attention on Friday, and from which we spent Saturday recovering.

I'll tell you about it sometime. Remind me.

Today was a quiet day, but I did head out for ice cream after dinner. The store by us, which I have told you about before, has quite a bit of stuff in it, but was depleted this evening. And the lady staff member, written about in a now-deleted Facebook post, was on duty this evening. She ended up charging me $44 for not many items, and since my receipt was not itemized, it is her word against mine. I just know that she had to rescan my items a couple of times. I heard the little beep each time, so it makes me think that some items were scanned more than once, but once again, it is her word against mine. I just know that the next time I go into the store, if she is on duty, I will just leave. Life it too short.

That makes two negative retail experiences in just over 24 hours. The first one was after dinner on Friday, when we went to the DQ in Bayer's Lake for ice cream. I waited a few minutes to order the sundaes and paid for them and had to wait for change. And then I joined a long line up of people waiting for their own food. And waited. And waited. We had to be somewhere by 6pm, and it was already 5:45 when I gave up. I gave the receipt to the fellow standing next to me and told him to enjoy the sundaes, and returned to the car, and we drove off to the Friday night thing we had to do. 

We slept in this morning and both took a nap this afternoon. Watched some of those "new" Roku channel shows that were released on the 13th. These are another batch of the shows produced by Quibi last year before that company folded because their business model was ridiculous and absurd. Those shows are seeing the light of day, for free, on the Roku channel. If you have a Roku device, then you have the Roku channel. 

It is past midnight, and I want to turn in. We have a busy few days ahead of us.

See you tomorrow.


Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Post 4051 - What I Have Been Up To

Why, hello there, my friends.

Sorry I haven't written lately. The first few days, I was about getting ready to go to the cottage. Kept putting it off for various reasons. Finally, a week ago Tuesday, the 2nd of August, I went off there by myself. I took with me a big battery charger, a new lawn tractor battery we had just acquired, my laptop, some reading material, some food, some reading material. I got there mid-afternoon and hoped (hoped!) that I could mow the lawn down there. Due to Covid, and other factors, we had not been able to get there yet.

No such luck.

The battery I took down there was the wrong one. The positive thingy was on the left and it had to be on the right, as the wires in the lawn tractor work that way, and were too short to "cross". There was already a battery at the cottage with the correct polarity, but it turned out to be as dead as a doornail. The large charger didn't seem to work. Not sure why. But the lowly trickle charger we have had for several years down there worked fine. It was a slow process, running from about 7pm Tuesday until sometime in the wee hours of Wednesday morning. 

I got up early last Wednesday and noted that the trickle charger had charged and conditioned the battery, saving me a trip to the local hardware store to get a proper new battery. Carried it out to the shed where the lawn tractor lives. Installed the battery, tightening the screws with a small wrench we keep out there, and was very pleased that the lawn tractor started up perfectly. 

It took me hours to mow the lawn, from 9 in the morning until 2:30 in the afternoon, with a few short breaks along the way. When it was done, I decided to treat myself to dinner in the town of Pictou, so that is where I went, ended up at the Marina Bar and Grill, a pretty decent surf and turf restaurant along the waterfront. 

I had fish and chips. The fish was lightly battered, and not gross at all, like so many fish and chips are these days. The fries were delicious. That, and a Caesar salad for an appetizer, and I was happy, and very full. That did not stop me from driving to the local Acripole Pizza place and ordering two large pizzas. We finished eating that pizza here yesterday.

That may strike you as a strange thing to do, but I did not feel like making a special trip into town to get a Pictou County pizza. There is something special about PC pizza. They use a brown pizza sauce, made of God knows what, which totally changes the taste and even the texture of pizza parlour pizzas. 

People swear by this pizza place or that pizza place while in Pictou County. Acripole is good. The town of Pictou used to have another place, next to Karla MacFarlane's constituency office. Frigged if I can remember the name of the place. But Mammy's Pizza in River John was our fave, by a lot. The place closed last year, but there is an update. Keep reading.

Other towns in Pictou County have their own version of PC pizza. Some heretics eschew the brown sauce for a traditional red sauce in a vainglorious effort to produce something they deem to be special, a gourmet pizza if you will. While those pizza places have their... place, it is not PC pizza, which is supposed to have a brown sauce, made of God knows what. You can have variations of the brown sauce, made of variations of God knows what, but anything else made with variations of brown sauce, made of variations of God knows what, is simply not Pictou County pizza. Period.

Due to its popularity, some people in Halifax try to make Pictou County pizza, never with any degree of success or quality. Sobeys carries Pictou County pizza in the frozen pizza section of local stores, but it is barely more than competent. For some reason, you have to buy PC pizza in actual PC. I think that if a local pizza place made actual PC pizza and did it right, it would do smashingly well in Halifax. 

So, anyway, after my sojourn into Pictou for dinner and pizza, I returned to the cottage and turned in early. Being jostled and shaken and my testicles being nearly ripped out of my scrotum all while sitting on the lawn tractor for hours on end is tiring to a person, and almost literally emasculating to boot. That type of exhaustion carried over through Thursday, when I had to take naps just to get some strength back. Even my CPAP machine was telling me to stop sleeping so much, you're embarrassing yourself.

By Friday I was feeling more like myself, so in the afternoon I went to River John and drove around a bit. I ended up at the library and browsed and got to know the new librarian. Margaret retired a couple of years ago and Stephanie is there now. Margaret was wonderful. In 2010, my mother went to the cottage with Patricia. One night, Patricia wanted to go to the book club at the library and dragged Mom with her. Margaret waited on Mom hand and foot for the better part of two hours while the book club went on. She fetched Mom all the magazines and newspapers she wanted to read and had a wonderful time. Mom had the wonderful time. Maybe not so much Margaret.

I left the library and headed back to the car. Saw some guys working at the building next door to the library. One told me that they were going to open a bistro type place in the coming months and that the would serve... Mammy's Pizza pizza out of it. The business has been sold. Mammy would be like 90 now, so if she is still around, she is putting her feet up and enjoying life. I do so hope that they keep the recipes and at the same time spend some money on the business, as the building the shop ran out of was run down and decrepit. But I am thrilled that Mammy's will soon be back.

I drove down the road toward Tatamagouche and ended up at the Pork Shop, where I got a pound of bacon we are still eating and some beef jerky that I gnawed on that evening. 

While at the cottage when I wasn't running the road and was awake, I watched some stuff on a media player we keep down there. Old tv shows on a hard drive can really keep you entertained when there are few other options around. 

I decided to surprise Patricia by returning to Halifax Saturday morning. I hit the road just past seven ayem, and went into Pictou again for breakfast and to top up the gas tank. I left Pictou and drove for nearly the next two hours to return home just before 10. Patricia was surprised to see me. So was the guy who had stayed the night. 

Ha ha. Just kidding. It was actually a woman. 

Ha ha. Just wanted to see if you were paying attention. 

We got caught up on the previous few days. I showered because I stank like a pole cat as my father used to say. 

The last few days have been about resting except Tuesday, when a local company came by and pressure washed the front veranda and sprayed down the house and shed. The house had never been washed (not pressure washing, soft bristles) in all the years I have lived here, which is in the number of 20. The back end of the house was quite dirty. The soffits were quite unsightly from the upstairs bathroom and master bedroom. Now, they are sparkling clean, along with the outside of the house. It was a bit pricey, but worth it. 

Add to that cost, the six cans of semi transparent stain I bought on Sunday, along with some brushes and rollers. The front veranda, just pressure washed, will be sanded down and stained from one end to the other. I figure I will need two cans of the stuff. The side steps, refurbished in 2020, will take one can. The back deck, now a year old, will need likely three cans of the stuff, once you take into account the privacy panel, my side and the side facing my neighbours. 

It is possible I will have to buy another can for the front and back, but I am hoping that is not the case. 

And, no, we will not hire someone to do the staining for us. We like to do the job in a certain way. That way may not fill someone's definition of "correct", but I am more concerned about functionality and laying on the stain "thick" in areas where there will be higher foot traffic. One time, I actually poured semi transparent stain on the front veranda from the front door, poking my head and torso through the screen window on the door and used the rest of a can of stain on the main entrance to the house. I brushed it out so it wasn't "goopy". And I also put lots extra, probably two more coats, on the front steps leading to the entrance as that is how we enter and leave the house and I wanted to make sure that when it rained, the wood would bead for a long time. Less-walked parts of the veranda could do with perhaps just one coat, and I only used one coat on the slats and posts. That's what I mean by doing it the way I want to do it. I am not sure if I hired someone to do this job that I would end up with things being done the way I wanted them done. 

Also on Tuesday I produced a draft for my next cold case article for Frank. This one... well, you should read it for yourself. It was disturbing less for the content of the unsolved murder, and more for the way the papers discussed nearly all of the players in the story. I had to mention it and comment on it. We will see how much of it survives the editing process. 

So, you are about caught up. Stargirl is back on the air, and we are happy for all the classic comics shout outs. Well, I am. I had to explain the "McNider" mailbox, and who Eclipso was, and who The Gentleman Ghost was, and why Green Lantern's daughter hanging around will not mean that Ryan Reynolds might make a cameo on the show. "Her father would have been the Alan Scott Green Lantern, dear, not the Hal Jordan Green Lantern. Hal Jordan was a member of the Justice League of America, and most definitely NOT the Justice Society of America. This is common knowledge and I am frankly disappointed you did not know this". Whereupon, a projectile mysteriously flew toward my head, and narrowly missed me. I guess The Gentleman Ghost was hanging around the house again. 

America's Got Talent is fun, as alway. We did not watch it for several years, and it occupies a vast amount of real estate on the schedule and therefore fills up a PVR quickly if you are not diligent in watching it. But Katey Day being on the show got us interested and we are enjoying it a lot. I just wish a Canadian channel carried it so we could watch it at the cottage.

It is nearly 12:30am on Thursday. I think I should turn in. This was a 2000 word blog post, so it likely took you longer than two minutes to read it for a change. And it sure was nice to sit down and talk with you again. I missed you. Let's do this again, tomorrow.

See you then.