Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Post 4106 - Tuesday Night Statements

Well, hello there.

Sorry I haven't written the last several days. My injury to my foot was more severe than I thought. We went out on Friday afternoon. Just that small amount of walking just about did me in. Saturday I was in such pain I could barely walk up the stairs, so I mostly stayed by myself. Sunday was not much better. Monday I felt better, but the power went out before I could write a blog post so nothing from me. 

Today, Tuesday, I felt much better. My foot is still a little sore, but nothing like what it was last week. I really should spend some time thinking about what shoes I wear, or even going to a place that makes shoes for me, as Patricia tells me I walk funny. Like my feet point away from me as I walk, rather than go straight ahead. I have no idea what she means. I mean, I understand what she means; but I see people walk that way all the time, and nothing seems to be the matter.

But whatever I did last week so messed up my right foot that I could barely put weight on it for several days. It hurt so much that sitting down hurt, as it placed extra resistance on the foot for just a split second. I have been using a cane to get around the house for the last several days. 

So, that's what I have been up to.

I need to finish some work to complete the scanning in of these old documents from long ago. I have been trying the patience of the people who lent them to me, and I feel badly about that. I should have spent some time on it today, but I slept in until noon. The power being out Monday night meant I could not sleep using the CPAP machine, so I have been half out of it all day. I am guessing that is the way I was for all the years I was not using that machine, which makes me feel stupid for not having started to use the CPAP machine years ago. 

Two things so far this week. The messed up foot. And the inability to use the CPAP machine Monday night. What other treats await me?

Still following the news. Halifax announced they were going to look at a 5.9% property tax increase for next year. Then, the mayor announced that they were going to ask city staff to come up with a, 3.7 or 3.9% increase instead. Sorry about that. Ha ha. Tee hee. 

Folks, the 3.7% increase was on the table to begin with. You know it, and so do I. By going down from 5.9%, they are now looking like heroes. Never mind that with all the housing being sold at the much higher prices, that the city is making far more money on property taxes now than they ever have. They want more. 

I try not to get too terribly involved in civic politics. It is grassroots and people get quite passionate about things that don't seem very interesting to me. But this tax increase really ticks me off. That, plus all the other BS in the city, really makes us want to live somewhere else. But there is no real supply somewhere else out there. The market is so insane with such little supply that I think we are stuck here for a while. 

Doesn't make us happy.

It is now 12:30am on Wednesday. I think I will turn in. I want to try to get up earlier in the morning than I have recently. Can only do me good.

See you tomorrow.


Thursday, November 18, 2021

Post 4105 - Thursday Night Things

Well, hello there again.

It was a relatively productive day. I wrote and refined an article for Frank about an unsolved murder. Just sent it to my editor a few minutes ago. On Friday if I get the time, I will work on the second article about a missing persons case.

I still have to scan in some images given to me a few weeks ago. I spent hours scanning them in but some turned out blurry, so I have to do those offending pages again. I am not sure what I doing wrong, other than to state that those heavy scrap books are hard to manage at the best of times. I'll try yet again.

My editor wants to talk to me about the information I have been gleaning from this interesting source, and what I propose to do with all of it. It discusses the career of a man who is largely forgotten to today's Halifax, but his brief career is fascinating enough that I think an article might just be warranted. We will see how that discussion works out when we chat next week. 

We have a thing in downtown Halifax Friday afternoon. Patricia has one thing, and I have another. It should be an interesting experience for both of us. 

It is my hope not to sleep in until 11 or 11:30 on Friday. Getting up at a more decent hour is good for the soul, as much fun as it is to sleep in that is. It is like being a teenager again, minus the acne and self recrimination. 

I think I will turn in. 

You all have a good evening and I will talk at you tomorrow.


Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Post 4104 - Wednesday Night Things

Hello again.

I am slightly bummed this evening. Just slightly. You'll see why in a moment.

We went to the closest Salvation Army store today, on Strawberry Hill, to return a shirt we got at another Sally Ann that did not fit me. One cannot try on clothing at these stores any more. You are supposed to hold it up against yourself and see if it fits. I don't know about you, but it seldom works out.

Took the shirt to the store and got two other shirts. Got them home and tried them on. Too tight in the sleeves and around the shoulders. We have to take those back, now, and that is the pain.

I get that we are in a pandemic, but when it comes to trying on clothes before buying them, I do not feel happy with buying something, taking it home, discovering to my disappointment that it doesn't fit, and then returning the item before getting another item to replace it, to see if that replacement item fits me. It is not a good use of one's time.

That is why, on a go forward basis, I will not purchase any clothing at any store that sells clothing, until such time as I can see if the clothing fits me in the actual store. I have plenty of shirts here at home that I can wear until they fall apart, probably in a couple of year's time. That means saving money on clothes, saving the disappointment, and saving the time it takes to return the item and get something else, which may or may not fit, thereby producing another iteration of frustration and disappointment. 

This is not a major thing for me, or anybody else. There are far greater issues in the world than my frustration with being unable to try on clothes in a store prior to purchasing them. I am just trying to correct this pattern of disappointment and wasted time and money until such time as the pandemic is over and we can return to some degree of normalcy. Life is too short and there are too many occurrences of trying on an article of clothing once I am home and discovering that it doesn't fit, that I don't want to do it any more. So, I won't. 

I feel better already. 

I did not work on those two cold case articles. Sorry. How about on Thursday? I don't think I will be wasting time running to a store to return an item or get some item and trying it on at home or anything, so I think I will be able to focus on some work. 

Friday we will be downtown again. Sigh. I will try to keep the frustration down as much as I can. In and out. Quick as a wink. 

It is now 12:46am on Thursday. I think I will turn in. Getting this issue off my chest should help me sleep very well this evening.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Post 4103 - Tuesday Night Times

Hello again.

Welcome to nearly Wednesday night. 

I got up very early on Tuesday morning, around 7:30. I took the 8am bus downtown because I wanted to try to confirm something at the library regarding a couple of missing persons cases and turned out to have very little luck. I also went to my credit union to confirm that they had received my information about the mortgage, as there is starting to be talk of an interest rate hike in the coming months and I like the rate I am locked in at. All good.

Then, I walked to the Archives to check out something else for a couple of hours. Found nothing. Not giving up.

I am likely out of my mind, spending all this time researching these old-timey cases, but I cannot think of anything else I would rather do, to be honest with you. 

I did not work today on writing either of the two cold case articles I have long promised my editor I would do. Let's try to do that on Wednesday?

Or Thursday. 

Soon. I promise.

Downtown today, I was reminded again how much I dislike being downtown. If the Archives would move out my way, or a closer library branch had the microfilm carts that are downtown, I would be delighted to go there instead. However, I am stuck going downtown, which is overtaken by construction of housing that is affordable to very few, and desired by even fewer. What am I still doing here in the city, anyway? I cannot help but think my time here has passed, so why don't I just get out while the getting is good?

Good questions.

I think I will turn in. It is past midnight and I want to get up relatively early.

See you tomorrow.


Monday, November 15, 2021

Post 4102 - Monday Night Fun Times

Well, hello there again, my friends.

Sorry it has taken me several days to get around to writing another blog post. I have been turning in early the last evenings. Tired. Nothing to write about. I guess.

Saturday, though, was quite eventful. We got up at 5 to cook breakfast and pile in the car and attend a course in producing medicines. Grabbing roots or flowers or whatever, and making a tonic from it, or a salve, or applying it topically somehow. It was fascinating. We kept the notes. At the end of it, we were served a home made lunch, which was out of this world. Squash soup with a lovely salad, along with an assortment of desserts. Plus the freshest water I have probably ever had. And at one point, we had to make our own tea, so I grabbed some of this and some of that and some of something else, put in a tea bag and let is sit in hot water for ten minutes before drinking it. I am not sure what to call that tea, but I enjoyed it.

We returned home around dinner time, after a quick trip to a couple of surrounding communities. I picked up a local cook book for ten bucks. Been looking at it. It is one of those cook books produced by women's institutes in a given community and sold to raise funds for whatever purpose. I had no idea this book even existed until the other day, and now I have my own copy. Kinda sweet.

We have otherwise kept close to home. Haven't gone too far except to get some groceries. That was fun as well. Picked up five boneless/skinless turkey breasts, each of them 50% off. They are resting in the freezer. We figure we will cook two of them for Christmas dinner next month, and have plenty of leftovers. The rest can sit there all Winter if necessary. 

I know that we were going to use Air Miles to pay for our Christmas dinner, but this deal the other day was too good to pass up, so we indulged ourselves. We were getting dirty looks from others in the store, who would have taken full advantage of the deal had they seen the breasts in time. Sorry, folks. Nothing personal.

I spent some time on Monday preparing the next two cold case articles, and have spent far too much time this evening considering a missing persons case from back in the day that suddenly was removed from the list with no explanation. I thought it was this one case; now, I am starting to think it is another. I am not sure. Both of these cases disappeared from the missing persons list some time ago with no explanation. One of these two cases is slightly more likely to have turned out the way an online article explained it, so I am thinking it is this other person and not the first. I am not sure how to go with this. You understand.

I am going to turn in now. I have an appointment in the morning that leads into the afternoon. I am looking forward to looking into this new information.

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


Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Post 4101 - Wednesday Night Things

Hello again.

It is late on Wednesday night. Technically, Thursday morning.

That thing we were going to do on Wednesday, we did not do. Instead, Patricia went to an appointment in Dartmouth. Afterwards, we went to the Smitty's restaurant on Main Street and had a decent meal. After that, we walked up the strip mall to the Salvation Army store, where I picked up a couple of shirts for cheap. We also contributed a box of sundries to the place, which earned us a 20% off certificate, much appreciated. 

We noticed a few drinking glasses. Since we keep breaking the ones we have, we picked up four "new" ones for 99 cents each, less the 20% discount I just mentioned. 

We returned home, and for whatever reason, I napped for the rest of the afternoon. Probably the rainy weather and the November doldrums.

Thursday is Remembrance Day. We are staying close to home. Friday, the car goes in for its inspection and the next level of service for its warranty and to swap out the all seasons for the Winter tires. It will be an expensive day. Saturday, we have a special thing to go to, which I will tell you all about that evening. It should be pretty neat.

People have been writing to ask me how I am doing. I think I am doing fine. My eyes are a little dry, probably from the CPAP machine, so I keep rubbing them, and I know I should not do that. I am sleeping more than I normally do, and it feels natural, so I indulge myself. Perhaps I should not do that, either. But I feel fine. Thank you for asking.

I have not written those next two cold cases. I have not given much thought to how I will tackle the mountain of content that hit me a couple of weeks ago. It is fascinating stuff, and I know it needs to be written about. I just am not sure how to handle it, is all. A relatively short article about someone who should have a book written about him seems to be not enough. We will see.

I think I will turn in. I don't want to sleep in until noon. 11am is plenty late for that.

See you tomorrow.


Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Post 4100 - The (Sort of!) 4100st Post!

Hello again, my friends.

I am calling this post 4100. The numbering of the posts has got messed up more than once over the years, mostly through my forgetting what the previous post number was and using the wrong number on the next day's post. I threw up my hands at one point and embraced the error. If you look through the blog's previous posts, you will see there are considerably more than 4100 posts. I am sorry about that.

We did not do that thing today that we had pledged to do. Perhaps on Wednesday it will happen. We did go to Bayer's Lake, though. There is a guy who sells fish five days a week and parks at the Kent parking lot. The fish is always very good, so we spent perhaps a bit too much money on it. When we got home, I packaged up the fish and put it in the freezer, where it will keep for perhaps several months. The freezer, which had a bit of space in it, is pretty full again.

We got some salmon at the Timberlea Sobeys as well. It is also in the freezer.

We keep hearing more and more about how bad things are out there. We are heeding those words as best we can. We live within a budget. We stay close to home. We don't go too crazy on the spending. And when we get something like what we got today, or some beef recently, we freeze it in such a way that it is not likely to incur freezer burn.

We also took a turkey out of the freezer the other day. It along with some other things from the freezer, is thawing out in the fridge. We got the turkey between Christmas and New Year's in 2020 for an unbelievably small amount of money, eight or nine dollars. We have plenty of Air Miles with which to purchase whatever we want at Sobeys for Christmas dinner, so we decided to get around to eating that turkey. 

We are counting our blessings. We have things better than many people do. I am lucky to have many of the things I have, even though I worked hard to get them and hold on to them. Lots of people have things much worse, and I am not forgetting that. 

When I started this blog in 2007, I quipped that I wanted a blog that did not have a lot of spelling mistakes in it, as that was something I had noted in many other blogs at the time. I have striven to keep that promise but admit that I did not have any idea that I would still have this blog 14 years later. Because of it, I got the writing gig at Frank Magazine. I met tons of people on the radio and interviewed more than a few of them, interviews you can still read if you want to. I would never have started my cold case series at the magazine or anywhere else had it not been for this blog.

I have tried to make this tiny piece of the internet a better place for you having spent a bit of time here than you might have had had you not. I have my own position on whether I have been successful in this exercise, but will leave it for you to make up your own minds.

I cannot tell you how much longer this blog has left. But I think it will hang around a bit longer, maybe even quite a bit longer. After all, I still have many, many many more blog business cards to give out. 

So, happy post 4100, ladies and gentlemen. This is an auspicious occasion for me, and I hope that by your taking a bit of time to read it, that you at least feel I have not wasted your time.

And that there are no spelling errors.

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


Monday, November 8, 2021

Post 4099 - Monday Evening Things

Well, hello again.

Another day not doing much. This is becoming a habit. 

The plan to do the thing we wanted to do did not happen on Sunday. Nor did it happen on Monday. The latest plan is to do this thing on Wednesday, so sure, let's do it then. 

The new issue of Frank Magazine is out online today; the print magazine hits stores and people's mail boxes in a day or two. It has my John Grant article, which has been online for a few weeks now. They even ran a letter written to the magazine's editor the very day it was published online. I do not get many letters of comment on my work so it is gratifying to see this one.

The article is about whether this politically-connected, South End lawyer killed himself in 1988, which is the popular belief, or whether he was murdered. If it was a murder, it was a big, sloppy, ugly kind of murder that should make any police official think it was anything but a murder. Which is why I think it was a suicide, all things considered. The argument for his death being a murder is that nobody could kill himself by stabbing himself dozens of times. 

I am not sure about that. I have written and read articles about a man who weighted himself down with rocks and jumped into a body of water and drowned, after doing the same thing to his daughter, only after he had beaten her about the head until she should have died, but still she clung to life. 

I knew a man who hanged himself in his apartment using very basic equipment. He left behind friends, relatives, and children who had to go on with their life without him in it. It was a tragedy, and years later, people who cared for him are still trying to understand it.

I know of a man who jumped off the Macdonald bridge here in Halifax. I can only imagine what his final seconds were like, seeing the water approach him, and what that split second moment of impact felt like. I hope there was no pain for that pained man, but I cannot be sure.

In short, I have no doubt what the human spirit can do to the human body once it gets its mind made up to commit a tragic act. 

So, yes, I am inclined to believe that John Grant killed himself. He just did it in a way inconsistent with other methods I have seen, read, and heard about. The genteel press of the day, couple with a medical examiner who was perhaps not the right guy for the job, only added to the mystery swirling around Grant's death.

I wrote the John Grant article to see if anybody would write with more information about him, either to agree with me, or to refute my work. The letter published in the magazine today provides some such information. Perhaps, though, some other information will come in, which will lead to a follow up piece. Hope springs eternal.

Grant killed himself, in my opinion. Meanwhile, from what I have heard, another man believed to have killed himself not long before Grant died, was murdered. Not sure what I can do with that information. We will have to see.

I still have not written the two articles I have promised my editor for subsequent issues of the magazine. I will do it this week. Then, there is the longer term project that will require quite a bit of time to sift through, research, and write. You will see what I mean when it is published in a few months. 

It is now one in the morning. I really should turn in. We have some plans for Tuesday, you see.

See you tomorrow.


Saturday, November 6, 2021

Post 4098 - Saturday Night Shenanigans

Hello again, my friends.

Welcome to Saturday night.

We did not do the thing today that we had discussed doing. We stayed put except for a mid-afternoon trip to Clayton Park and Bayer's Lake. We had brunch at the Lower Deck. We both had eggs benny with salmon. It was fine for what it was. The coffee was okay. The water was fine. I left a nice tip.

Went to the local Dollarama and found a slash guard thingy for a microwave. The one we have had for a long time, rescued from the valley house last year and old even then, has been all but falling apart. Spent $1.25 plus tax for a new one today. Hope it lasts for a while. Funny how an item will be in one Dollarama but not in another one, because the Tantallon store on Friday did not have this item at all. Plenty of them in the Clayton Park store on Saturday.

We returned home and watched some stuff on the pvr. Spent some time watching season two episodes of The Morning Show. 

Tonight is the night we change clocks back. Most of you have smart phones and other devices that automatically change times, but I still have quite a few clock radios in this house and it is a process to remember to change all of them, twice a year. I have done most of the ones here downstairs, but the ones on the main level have not been done, and don't get me started on the clock radios in the top level of the house. Plus, what about the wall clocks in the house, the ones that run on simple AA batteries? That is a job unto itself. Getting stressed just thinking about it. 

Perhaps the thing we did not do on Saturday, we will do on Sunday. Let's hope so. 

I think I will turn in. Want to try to get an earlier start on things on Sunday.

See you tomorrow.


Friday, November 5, 2021

Post 4097 - Friday Night Frolics

Well, hello there again, my friends.

It is now late on Friday night. I did not write the last couple of nights and feel badly about it. I turned in and fell asleep and that was that. It is just as well as we did little those two days.

I was feeling lazy. I should not be. I have two true crime articles to write and one other that I need to finish research on so that I can pitch an idea to my editor. But I did not do any of that at all.

On Friday we did leave the house to pick up some cat food for Newbie and then drove to Tanatallon to get some fresh litter for him. We ended up having an agreeable dinner at Vernon's in Hammonds Plains. I had a hot turkey sandwich with soup on the side; Patricia had ribs and took half of them home for lunch on Saturday. 

We got groceries at the Sobeys in Tantallon and returned home. I stored the half price apple cider vinegar and half price extra virgin olive oil in the pantry we keep downstairs and moved to the home office in the next door and here I am, typing away. Newbie is on my lap and regarding the screen as I type the words, probably cursing me for every other word. I hate a lap top editor.

We have not quite decided what we will do on the weekend. We do need to take care of some domestic things this weekend and will likely do at least some of them, but just when is hard to say. It is the nature of being retired that we can do what we want when we want, hampered only by money and lack of imagination. 

Also in the coming days I need to do more research at the library and the archives. Another all day thing. Fun times. 

I am starting to see the downside of the messenger bag thingy that Patricia got me for Christmas a couple of years ago. I know she got it at a good price, which is important; and it is much better than the bag I had at the time, which went to the garbage right after I got this one. I just want a bag that I can seal a bit better and which has a better strap when I walk around with it. Some of the bags I see on Facebook Marketplace have far too many nooks and crannies for holding paper and pens and whatever else. Don't need that. Just an open space to hold my notebook which has my research notes and an interior pocket to hold a thumb drive and the membership card to the archives. I have a perfectly good pencil case in the current bag to hold all the writing instruments I will ever need, so a jumble of side pockets is unnecessary and might actually get in the way. The messenger bag I have now is simple and that is what I like. I just want it to be something I can strap shut quickly, yet open without much effort. 

So, if you see something, relatively cheap, let me know. Thank you.

I think I will turn in. I believe Saturday will be a busy day for us.

See you tomorrow.






Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Post 4096 - Tuesday Night Things

Well, hello there.

Sorry I haven't written the last few days. I have been busy, sort of. Lots of sleep. I think I was fighting something. I do feel better.

We did do a day trip on Saturday to the Valley for the day. There was a Hallowe'en themed craft and food sale in Baxter's Harbour, so against all logic and common sense, we got in the car around 8:45 Saturday morning and drove straight there, arriving around 10:15.

We both got some things. Patricia got a bag of tea from a woman who produces teas out of her home, which is nearby. I got some cookies. We both regretted not bringing more money. There is another such sale in a couple of weeks and we may go to it.

Afterward, we walked around the village, which many think is in the middle of nowhere, and many would not be wrong. It is where my mother spent many of her formative years, including those when she met my father. In the late 1950's, her parents and the three other kids all up and moved to Beaver Harbour, New Brunswick, in search of work. They remained there, which is why I have so many cousins and extended family in that fine province. One uncle moved back to Nova Scotia a couple of years ago, again, and I am pretty sure he is the last uncle I have on either side of the family. 

We have been giving a great deal of thought as to where we want to spend our so-called golden years. They are approaching more quickly than we would like. Remaining in this house in this part of town has its disadvantages, which are becoming increasingly apparent the longer we stay here. Returning to the Valley or some other quieter part of the province appeals to both of us in a fundamental way. 

The city is getting on our nerves. There is never enough quiet. There are foolish rules imposed on us by foolish people at city hall. The downtown is something we avoid unless we have an unavoidable reason to go there, like going to the archives or something. The place is becoming so crowded, and there are too many people kvetching about things that are important to them but not important to us. Instead of being a fun and dynamic place, it is becoming dour and a chore to go most anywhere. We want to get out while the getting is good.

But the market is crazy and we are kind of stuck here. There is no place for us to move to as prices are through the roof.  At least there is a mortgage and we are locked in for some time and are not at the mercy of some landlord who wants to jack up the rent for no good reason. We have to count our blessings. So we are.

On Saturday, we had lunch at the Smiling Irish Pub in New Minas. The food was fine for what it was. Patricia had a burger. I had a clubhouse sandwich with salad. The place is changing its focus after the holidays and will become a place that sells ribs and the like, I guess a barbecue joint, so there will be a new name. 

We returned home mid-afternoon. I spent a few hours Saturday night scanning in the first 30 pages of the court trial transcript for that case all those years ago. I did 30 more pages on Monday and completed the job on Tuesday. 

Sunday we stayed in. We did not buy any candy for the kids and kept the lights off. Only one person knocked on the door, but we ignored them. 

Monday I was not feeling well. Did some of that scanning I just mentioned. And then I had to take a nap late in the afternoon. Patricia felt poorly on Tuesday while I felt fine. Not sure what is going on. Probably nothing.

And now it is Wednesday morning, just past one. I think I will turn in. I still have some scanning of scrap book pages to finish in the morning. 

You all take care of yourselves. 

See you tomorrow.