Tag Archives: Rubber Duck

Rubber Duck says, “Yeah, yeah, Schooner this, Schooner that …”

mellissa

It would be insane to miss any of the Schooner doings all weekend and RD has a plastic card she will carry so as not to miss one event but remember Cape Ann has other stuff going on. Rockport Farmer’s Market stop by Saturday at 9AM and get a jump on the weekend. Pick up Anadama, Abbott Honey, Sasquatch Smokehouse Salmon or mussels. Then go to Schooner festival but take thick slice of Anadama, butter, honey, add smoked mussels and stuff that in your face while watching the Schooners. Do it early so you have room for the lobster mania at Harbor loop later int he afternoon. Almost forgot the tomato jam stuff which sounds as weird as my above sandwich but it’s crazy good.

“Oh My God, It’s a Rubber Duck!”

Let’s reel the tape back to 2004. The European Space Agency (ESA) shot a rocket off to land the spaceship Rosetta on a comet. Rosetta has been cruising since then, swinging past Mars and a few other planets to line up so when this comet swings by the sun on November 11, 2014 she will actually attempt to land on it! Here is where it gets weird. As it gets closer Rosetta has sent back photos of the comet. They are calling it a “contact binary” which means two comets collided very slowly a few billion years ago and stuck.

But on closer inspection the first ESA scientist to look at the photos said, “Oh My God It’s a Rubber Duck!”

See for yourself.

spaceduck

A Rubber Duck the size of Cape Ann is slowly spinning through the universe ready to make a close encounter with our sun on November 11, 2014

I swear I am not making this up. Our own Rubber Duck is starting to act peculiar after I told her the news. I will be posting regular updates of the Close Encounter of a Rubber Duck as we get closer to the the actual contact on November 11. I will be interviewing EJ to find out if her higher beings have lost a bath toy.

 

[edit] Fun Fact. Rubber Duck rotates every 12.4 hours. So imagine a rock the size of Cape Ann (in diameter, dig the thing up and get a big ball), the head is Rockport, the body is Gloucester, the lips enclose Sandy Bay rotating in synch with the tides. Twice a day, jut like the tides the lips point towards earth and you can slip under the bridge without calling to raise it.

Blackburn Challenge This Saturday: July 19, 2014

blackburn

You can still race. Registration closes at midnight tomorrow (Tuesday July 15). Do you want to challenge yourself to something not quite ordinary? Jump in a craft powered only by the paddle or oar in your hands and head north from Gloucester High School down the Annisquam then start turning right until you went all the way around and pulled into Gloucester Harbor and aim for the Birdseye plant and the Greasy Pole Finish?

You get a T-Shirt proclaiming your completion as well as pulled pork, beer and a band at Pavilion Beach.

Rubber Duck will be on the halfway-point boat anchored in Straitsmouth Gap to record your number as you go by. Yell the number out since she has very small eyes and no ears.

Sign up now. No walk-ons. Or come out to a viewing area anywhere on the Cape. The times are similar to a marathon. Fast boats make it in two to three hours whereas working dories take five to six hours. Cheer them on.

Here is a handy map. You can check out the list of boats already registers. 245 boats of all kinds, over 370 paddlers or rowers. Click link on this page to see current list of registrants.

photo from official website

The start which is just north of the MBTA Railroad Bridge on the Annisquam

Blackburn-Challenge-011.jpg

The finish is the Greasy Pole after a circumnavigation of the entire island. WOOT!

Blackburn Challenge Registration is Open!!!

blackburn

Click the emblem to register. It is so easy. Do not be put off by the scary registration form. This is the year you do it. Paddle all the way around Cape Ann with 300 other boats. Rubber Duck has done it five years in a row and although there are amusing videos of Paul exiting his kayak the 23 miles was fun. The cold beer and the pulled pork sandwich at the end was awesome.

Since Rubber Duck now has the Blue Duck with a 225HP Suzuki on the transom she may go around the Cape this year a little quicker than the last five. Yes, she may be wimping out this year. Does anyone want to take the real Rubber Duck on their kayak?

WTD? Part 5: Where The Duck?

WTD

Where is the Rubber Duck?!? If no one gets it I will start leaving hints at 6PM.  Leave your guess in the comments and win a brand new GMG sticker and a hand blown Rubber Duck. In order to win, get specific. Judging is arbitrary and capricious. The winning answer will contain the most details. If you think someone nailed it, steal their answer, add a detail and pile on. Start with the state, … Is that a leaf fragment of quercus rubra with two needles from a pinus rigida? Clues!!

[edit1] OK, maybe shaved it down too much. David Tapley on Facebook says Falmouth. Nope.

Clue 1: Barnyard Animal

Clue 2: Oldtimers with good noses might get it first.

Clue 3: Anyone remember the pigs?

Clue 4: Who had pigs in Gloucester?

Rubber Duck Dreaming of Future Gin & Tonics With Lime

Rubber Duck is trying to convince Joey to buy a lime tree. Fragrant blossoms that turn into limes that are the tastiest limes for Bombay Gin and Schweppes Tonic. Or skip the tonic, just gin on ice and a nice fact wedge of lime ripened on the tree.

Rubber Duck is trying to convince Joey to buy a lime tree. Fragrant blossoms that turn into limes that are the tastiest limes for Bombay Gin and Schweppes Tonic. Or skip the tonic, just gin on ice and a nice fact wedge of lime ripened on the tree.


After spending the winter in the dusty old shop the lime tree is so happy to be outside in the fresh air and sun. A blast of fertilizer a few weeks ago and it is already cranking out the flowers for this summer’s gin & tonics, and pad thai.

Rubber Duck Tech Tip: Lowrance Elite 7 HDI

Rubber Duck loves her gadgets and she wanted to know what was underneath her rubber butt. Rocks or maybe something fishy worth eating? So she just installed a Lowrance Elite 7 HDI in the Blue Duck.

wheelerpoint2

Driving SSW down the Annisquam River past Wheeler Point. Water Depth 23 feet, Water Temp 45.3F, speed 5.1 knots.

Price point in the mid range for a depth gauge, fish finder, Chart and GPS display. In 2014 it is amazing what these things can do for short money. Double the price and you can get side scan which will show inside the wheel house of the sunken wreck in 200 feet of water. Maybe in a few years we trade up.

So what does this unit do? In the display from left to right. First the overlay numbers gives 23 feet of water under the boat, the river is 45.3 F temp at the transducer mounted on the transom, and Blue Duck is putting along at 5.1 knots. The left most screen shows the track moving south past Wheeler Point. I haven’t loaded the Navionics “Gold” charts which will will give even higher chart resolution. The base map is pretty good though. All 53 green and red channel markers on the river are there if I forget how to stay in a channel. The middle screen is the “Fish Finder” sonar which in deeper water might show some fish “arches” when it sees an air bladder of a fish. The rightmost panel shows “Down Scan” sonar which displays a pretty remarkable view of the bottom. In the current view there is a bump in the bottom as we travelled from 20 to 25 feet deep. One can waypoint mark that bump by just moving the cursor back to the bump. Then by driving back and forth the bump is still there! It will be interesting to see how it displays a feature in 200 feet of water.

All in all a nice unit. It is dead simple to switch screens to all chart, or split two of the views. Disconnects easily for safe keeping. I spent the winter looking at the myriad possibilities and settled on this one for ease of use and features. This model has been out over a year so the bugs are all squashed and the software is version 3.0 (I hate version 1.00 in any software.) The real compass on the console still works and the paper charts are within reach but I might be able to retire the sextant and throw away the Loran C charts. (Do they even broadcast Loran anymore?)

-Paul Morrison and RD (RD will hire out to string transducer wire. She thought it was fun.)

Seasonal Opening Part III: Rubber Duck filling out her dance card

As you’re pumping out the basement of your restaurant today, washing the lobster bibs, and shining up the nutcrackers make sure you refresh your website and Facebook page. Better yet, send an invite for opening day to all the people who really “liked” you.

Top Dog with a bit a snow

They shoveled out the entrance. Come on down!

Top Dog of Rockport opened yesterday. Hot Chihuahua in the rain?
Red Sox Opening Day in Baltimore Monday March 31.
Topside Grill Tuesday April 1.
Lobster Pool in Folly Cove: Friday, April 4 then weekends rest of April
Red Sox Home Opener next Friday April 5.
Captain Carlos Thursday April 10. Their COUNTDOWN on the right is just weird.
The Rudder Thursday April 10 5 PM
Lobstaland Friday April 11.
Goose Cove Gardens two weeks April 12.
Cape Ann Wale Watch first trip: Saturday, 1:30 PM April 19
Marshall’s Farmstand the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend May 23. Get a farmer Bob card and save.
The Cupboard, around the same time as Marshall’s.
First GMG MugUp at the Madfish Pier. EJ?

More Spinning

Faster Fido Faster!

If you see me on a beach this weekend with a stick, an iPhone, and my dog Stella, it will be because I am trying to replicate this gif. I may even attach Rubber Duck to the end of the stick but I might have to wrap the end with some ham or roast beef. If Stella does not cooperate I will then attach Cheetos and try to get some Homies in on the act. If you think you can do better, go for it. Nichole could go out on the Blackburn Rotary and circle a few times but she should let a passenger handle the stick and meat products. If you have read this whole thing the dog has gone around at least six times. Are you dizzy yet? Doesn’t it look like Good Harbor Beach? I promise to pick up after my dog. -Paul Morrison and Rubber Duck

 

She Always Returns

better late than never

Normally winter is my time to be creative.  My life’s path took me on some unexpected twists and turns this fall and winter, which made it impossible for me to get into my creative space.  As I’m sure all creative people can attest, sometimes the muse goes away for a time.  I used to fret, believing she might never return; but in her own time, she always does.  She unexpectedly re-emerged a couple of weeks ago, and took me, as she always does, in a new direction.  These are a few new pieces I have completed.  This series is old and new.  It is a mixed media combination of my abstract photos of last year, coupled with the glass painting of the prior year.  While sorting things at my mother’s house, I came across a container of unused glass slides, which have and will make their way into many of these pieces.  I have never worked in a square format before, which I am really enjoying, having been inspired by my artist friend, Tom Nihan’s work.  All pieces are 8×8 multi-layered photos and glass paintings, and are whimsical and fun – just what I need now.  In addition to brushes, I am using rubber ducks and ear plugs to paint with.   Yes Paul, RD was instrumental in getting me going, although she has gotten a little messy with paint all over her bottom.

You can see some of my new work at the Spring Art Show at the Magnolia Historical Society Friday, April 11 from 6 till 9pm Opening, Saturday, April 12 2pm till 8pm and Sunday, April 13 Noon till 4pm.  More details coming soon.

E.J. Lefavour

Rubber Duck Quick Tip: Macintosh Photos

Now that even PCMag has selected the Apple Macintosh Operating System as Editor’s Choice, best OS for desktop and laptop the questions about how I do stuff on the Mac is increasing. But I am the worst person to ask. I’ve been using Macs since 1984 so my brain is stuck using methods from all the older programs with all the glitches and work arounds that I keep on using because my brain can’t handle new.

So when someone asks me how to manipulate a photo, I run through my list. iPhoto to resize, change color, Pixelmator to erase background, Photoshop when I want to tilt or animate. But then a Mac Group I belong to points out that most all of that can be done using “Preview”.

Is this how you find out what makes me tick Homie?

Rubber Duck and Homie on their Honeymoon. It went downhill after that.

What? Preview, the tiny built in Mac program that fires up when you double-click on a photo? I thought you could only … Preview a photo. But no, with MacOS X 10.9.2 Mavericks, Preview has added even more easy tricks. 99% of what I want to do with a photo can be done in Preview. I just need to fire it up and look at the menu, “Tools” especially.

Look at all the stuff you can do without actually running a big photo program! Adjust the color and tint, get Info on size, crop to your hearts content and it even tells you while doing so how many pixels so cropping to that 81×81 sized avatar is now simple. “Export” to any file format and done. This touches on only a few tools and tricks inside Preview. Go double-click on a photo and check out every menu item. You might find like I did that you are wasting time using humongous programs and complicated tricks when the Newbie who just bought their first Mac yesterday is way ahead of you.

ps. The text bubbles I did in Preview too! I created the set-up seen here and used “Grab” in timed screen mode so that my crop was visible. Grab is another program that comes with your Mac. What an easy way to grab a Rubber Duck’s head and stick it on a squirrel’s body but that is another post entirely.

pps. One actual photo tip (if you’re still reading this) from an actual photographer That would not be me): when adjusting contrast, shadow, highlights, you can really mess a photo up. The trick to make it simple:

1) Turn saturation to zero, leftmost. That turns off color.

2) Now go ahead with contrast, exposure, shadow, highlights to get the photo to pop in Black and White.

3) Now go back to saturation and bring color back up, then check the tint.  Works for me because otherwise I have no idea what I’m doing and my duck ends up orange with red lipstick applied by Picasso.

can you see her?

Still Life With Rubber Duck

New England Boat Show: Dazed and Confused

Wow, what an unbelievable amount of boat stuff all in one place. If you put all these boats in the water the ocean level would rise at least a few inches.

J&L Marine. The J and the L were way too busy actually working so Rubber Duck manned the booth.

J&L Marine. The J and the L were way too busy actually working so Rubber Duck manned the booth.

tobin

Tobin Dominick showed the Rubber Duck around the Cape Ann Marina booths. The consummate professional Tobin is not about to burst out laughing.

Cape Ann Marina has just way too much cool stuff going on. If you have not had breakfast at the Mile Marker Restaurant lately, order one of the Eggs Benedict and don’t forget the home fries. (Menu here.) These are not your ordinary home fries. They do some kind of magical double cooking of them so they are soft on the inside and crunchy but not greasy on the outside. I could just eat them alone for breakfast but their Benedict sauce has just the right amount of creamy goodness, and their crab cakes … oh wait, they also have a pretty nice marina, swimming pool (buy a punch card!), and they’ll fix your engine. You have to click through their entire web page and dream about summer.

Anyway, why did I label this post New England Boat Show: Dazed and Confused? Find out by clicking more below:

Read more

New England Boat Show Starts Right Now! Feb 22 to Mar 2

This morning 10AM the official start of spring in New England! Type in 415 Summer St, Boston into your GPS and get over to the BCEC right now! Go smell the fresh fiberglass of powerboats, sailboats, shiny stainless steel accessories and marine electronics. You know you need a new anchor, new LED lights, new fishing lure, new depth gauge, new side scan sonar, new boat gizmo of some kind!.

New England Boat Show website. Cape Ann is represented at the boat show. Rubber Duck has a quick tip. Go straight there and buy tickets at the door. The one thing you want to bring is a floor map (click here). Before you go just find all the booths you do not want to miss and circle them. It’s a big show so you might miss something.

Rubber Duck has circled: Brown’s Yacht Yard booths 1850 & 1852, Cape Ann Marina booths 221 & 223, J & L Welding & Machine booth 150. One more link: Jeff Amero of J & L saves his best photos for his Facebook page here where he posts works of art in aluminum.

Rubber Duck will be going Monday from 1 to 4 PM. Patrick Star will be there next Saturday March 1 from noon to 3PM. Bring your camera!

patrickstarmarch1

Saturdays,  February 22 & March 1,  10am–8pm
Sunday,      February 23,                  11am–6pm
Monday thru Friday,                          1pm–9pm
Sunday       March 2                        11am–5:30pm

« Older Entries