Author Archives: DIY SKI HOUSE

An Old School Way to Connect With your Customers! – Preventative Septic

Joey C and many folks around town are providing a wake up call for businesses to adopt Social Media. I agree that almost every business should list themselves and interact on facebook and twitter. The one thing that you should also do is not forget about some of traditional methods that have been successful building your business.  This week I got an ACTUAL HAND WRITTEN THANK YOU note for a cleaning of my septic tank. Not only did they do a great job, but sent me a thank you with a magnet. With this magnet, there is no doubt who I am going to call when you know what hits the fan.


Thanks – Patrick Ryan

1 Day Until St. Patrick’s Day!!

People of Gloucester and Cape Ann! It is time to put down the panini press, put the homemade pasta & gravy off for one day and get out there and help bail out the lovely country of Ireland. Every pint of Guinness will help!  Here are a few places I found featuring great St. Patty’s Day events. Post any others in the comments!

Michael O’Leary with Roaring Mary, 3 to 7 p.m. @Seaport Grille
Traditional Irish songs and tunes to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

The Richard James Band @ Minglewood
The Ultimate St. Patty’s Day Party Band!

Saint Patrick’s Day happens to be our favorite holiday at the Farm. So, in celebration of this holy event we will be opening the bar up at 8am for a traditional Irish Breakfast. Throughout the day we will be offering food specials (boiled dinner, Guinness mac and cheese, Irish bread, bread pudding, etc), music, games, tomfoolery, contests, dancing, celebrating and other various shenanigans.

St. Patty’s day with the Tom Obrien Band @ The Rhumbline
Joey C says it is something that needs to be on your life list.

I am also sure that, if you are doing a crawl, something will be going down at Stone’s Pub as well.

Sláinte – Patrick Ryan

Peabody Essex Museum – Check out Eye Spy, Playing with Perception Exhibit

I didn’t get a web business feature for this week, but recently got to Peabody Essex Museum in Salem and wanted to share some pics. If you have never made the trip down to Salem to check out PEM, you need to get one scheduled. It has something for everyone, including young kids. We go right to the Art & Nature center, where the kids are safe to experience much of the exhibit. The rest of the Museum is stunning and a truly visceral experience. After checking out this museum, grab a bite at one of the many restaurants within walking distance.


Thanks – Patrick

How The Snowmen Deal

Dear Joey,

I ran across this pic that I got from our friends in Rockport a few years back. They owned the Hula moon Café. With the weather you have been getting I thought you could relate to it. Dig your self out and remember spring is on it’s way.

Best regards,

Vern and Joy
Middleville Mich



Local Etsy Web Business Feature – Simply Daisy

We are very excited with the response around our Local Web Feature. I am really finding there are some great people exploring new ways to go beyond traditional methods of artisan selling. Today we feature Rockport Artist, Lisa Vincent. This week you get 3 for one. She has 2 ETSY sites and the bonus is she  just put up hot off the press, dazzling Valentine’s Day pieces. What I love with this pottery is that she makes use of vibrant colors. Lisa is inspired by her children and her husband, Eoin, who is an amazing Photographer himself. You can read a great article by Rockport Artists that features some Q&A with Lisa. So get over to the site now and get something that will just make that time when you sit down with tea or hot chocolate just a little warmer. You can also add some of her hand knits and sewn goodies at her InStitches Designs ETSY site.

Artist: Lisa Vincent
Web Sites

Thanks and keep those submissions coming! – Patrick

Tidbits and Deals

A few thoughts for the week to make you hungry. It’s a great week (if you are in the snowblower business)

  • Poetry In Unlikely Places Via Wicked Local Beverly -Poetry readings in the shallow end of the Cabot St. YMCA Pool? I find this very cool and I am sure something has already been done or will be done in Gtown.
  • Unique Deals Are Everywhere! Restaurants are really pulling out all the stops during this stormy season to get you in the door. Many are offering deals via social media good for that day. Minglewood  Tavern is blazing the trail by tweeting free pizza for first person in the door deals! Want to get quickfire deals?- you have to follow North Shore Dish on Twitter or Facebook. If you are a restaurant reading this and don’t know what I am talking about, I suggest reading this blog now.
  • Groupon and others hit the North Shore! Joey C has been posting these deals from Groupon, where you pay $25 dollars for $50 worth of goods. Lattitude 43 did a Groupon that sold an astonishing 1721 deals! The way they work is that Groupon takes ~50% of the value paid. So a small business is selling $50 dollar worth of goods for ~$12.50. This is really paying to get people in the door, hoping for repeat customers, banking that they drink a lot and hedging a few bets that these will expire. This is an amazing business model for Groupon and can be a great boost in your business. With purchasing these just be sure you are going to use them. LocalGinger (now Where) is a Groupon clone where you can get some deals on the North Shore as well.
  • Check out Ceia Kitchen in Newburyport – Every once in a while the wife and I love to get out and have a true dining experience. One where we aren’t cutting pizza into 1/20’s or cleaning rice and beans out of my 2 year old’s ears. Last Friday, we hit Ceia Kitchen in Newburyport. From start to finish it was one of my top dining experiences here since I moved from NYC.  The decor, the service, the wine, the menu, the food, and presentation are top notch. What I loved the most was the owner stopping over and spending time to listen and engage with us. She is committed to using social media (CeiaKitchenBar on twitter) and really doing a great job with it. They already have a new menu and I am hearing great things from many sources about the young chef. I can’t wait to go back to Ceia again soon! Here are some pics:


Finally – Can we stop using 2 overused terms in 2011 – Foodie and Craft Beer?

Thanks – Patrick!

Local Web Business Feature – Art Gallery of Kathryn Gentile Roberts

Here is our local web business of the week. A reminder we do this every week on Monday. If you are anywhere on the North Shore and have an online business or ETSY site, send it to me.

Site: The Art Gallery of Kathryn Gentile Roberts

Kathryn is not only a big fan of GMG, but a great local artist using the web as a gallery to feature her art. She is a lifetime resident of Gloucester and her work is inspired by the Cape Ann scenic coast. She has been fortunate to spend her summers as both a child and an adult on our beautiful beaches. I posted some of my favorites from her web site below and she does custom work as well.  Here is from the entry to her web gallery:

I invite you to browse my site to view original Watercolor Paintings, Antique Window Art, Prints and Cards of my original work. Many people are attracted to a special painting for themselves to enjoy for a lifetime, but why not give a painting as a gift for a Bridal Shower, Wedding, Anniversary, Special Birthday, Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.

So check out Kathryn and help support local artists! Thanks – Patrick

An Open Apology To My Neighbors

Dear Neighbors,

I am sorry for “being that GUY” who leaves up his Christmas lights way too long. Especially, incredibly cheesy candy cane lights on a tree that was barely alive before the 25 snowstorms. I was always the guy who said it’s February dang it – get your bleeping lights off your house! In my only defense, I have tried to pull them off but there is 7 feet of snow there. Its been snowing right before Christmas and has it stopped? Our Cape Ann Weather guy (Twitter @capeannguy) reports we have had 63 inches this year – Do You think I get a pass this year or am I the neighbor you don’t want to live next to?

Sincerely – Patrick


Fight The Winter Blues – Embrace All Things Ice Skating!

This weekend the whole family got out and did some skating at a Birthday party. You forget how fun it is to get out and skate. Here are some local places to skate, get equipment or catch a hockey game.

Where To Skate:

Where to get equipment:

  • Pure Hockey – Danvers
  • Build your own rink – These are popping up everywhere. I even saw Ipswich brewery truck pulled up offering brews at someones house.

Check out a Hockey Game:

A few pics of the fam out on the ice. I even got my soon to be 2 year old out there.

Thanks – Patrick – Let me know any other places I missed.

Get Your LOCAL Web Business Featured Here: Todays Feature – Give Your iPod Wood!

I am sure everyone is aware of ETSY, Ebay & others. Etsy is a great online marketplace site for everyone to sell hand crafted items, paintings, jewelry, etc. Here at GMG we love to feature local businesses in town, but what about folks who live local and market their products worldwide? Well, we feature them too. I am fond of this because most of the time they have another full time job and use this forum to feed their entrepreneurial spirit. If you live locally send us your ETSY site or other web business and we’ll feature it here on Monday at 5PM EST.

I also love ETSY because it is great for any husband who suffers from a condition known as ability to listen to their wife (over 50 million Americans suffer from this). With ETSY you only have to get one key word from the conversation and not hand over the credit card for her to purchase her own gift. Here is my example – Wife was interested in a Jewelry with kids initials. Searched initial jewelry and bang… I found Jeneri Jewelry. She built an amazing custom order for me at a price that is unmatched elsewhere. Wife was incredibly happy! Here is the first feature.

Dinsmore’s  Workshop – Wood Ipod Cases!

Web site:

Mr. Dinsmore works all day in Boston and then heads to his Hamilton home and down to his workshop. How does he take his frustration out after a long commute? By creating awesome 100% hand crafted iPod/iPhone cases & stands. In many of the pictures you can see his design sketches and he is currently  working on iPad stands. I think that is a great idea since the iPad is quickly becoming the showcase magazine rack replacement for your living room.

Taken from his site:

These cases and stands have been featured on television, print and popular websites. From CNN, Washington Post, Boston Weekly Dig  and in many popular websites — including: Gizmodo; Apartment Therapy; ThinkTechno; Mighty Goods and more. They make a great and unique present!

Dinsmore’s Workshop makes original wood iPod and iPhone cases and stands. Don’t choose imitators and copy cats! We use salvaged or sustainable harvested lumber for our eco-friendly products.

So check out MJDinsmore’s site and help support a local guy who was first in this line of high end custom iPod accessories. My social circles have allowed me to run into him from time to time and he is a wealth of knowledge, always smiling and is an all around good guy.

Send me ( a link and some details on your local web business and we will post here.

Thanks – Patrick

Local Man beats 3 Million Teams to win ESPN Fantasy Football League and they give him a BS prize!

Check this article out at Salem News. Here is a quick summary from the article:

Nathan Harrington, a Salem native, bested 3.1 million competitors to finish No. 1 among prize-eligible fantasy football leagues this season on He did it all despite a crippling car accident, despite having no permanent residence and no computer. It’s a feat not even the most ardent fantasy owners would dare to dream possible, and it has him on the verge of finding a new home.

For winning, Harrington received a $3,500 gift certificate to Best Buy, which he is selling to his mother for $2,500. He’s going to use the cash to help he and his family move into a new apartment.

What do you get when you beat 3 million teams, experts, Joey C and others? A $3500 gift card to Best Buy! He turned around and pulled a Groupon and sold it to his Mom for $2500. Does that gift come close to matching how amazing an accomplishment that is? Oprah gives cars out to people just for showing up to her show! Celebrities get schwag bags worth thousands just for going to events! Lets help this guy get something great – I’m sure Joey C would offer him to be a featured columnist for fantasy football tips every week for lucrative pay that we all get or do a classic interview. Who wants to sponsor this guy! Where did your team rank at ESPN or Yahoo?

Thanks – Patrick

More From This Weekend’s Sled Dog Races

Three cheers for the Myopia Sled Dog Races – Yet another great annual event hosted on the North Shore! Think of the first time someone raised this idea to a large group of people to host a dog sled race here – SAY WHAT?  Think of the risk and coordination needed to pull off such and event. This weekend the stars aligned and everyone I saw had a smile on their face. Below are some pics that I got and more coverage at the Patch

Kids taking it all in

Thanks – Patrick


With SNOW not being an issue this year, this event is going to be the must GO TO event of the Winter. They just finalized the schedule and stated that they will be grooming around the clock up until race time. GMG will be there covering the event and is looking forward to watching a local superstar, Lily Stewart (featured in the Winter Edition of North Shore Magazine) . Check out the Race course and scout out a spot to view the race. I am not sure if I’m willing to pay 20 bucks to park near Appleton Farms.

Get the latest at or their Facebook page

A Few Tidbits for Today

Here are 3 random things I found amusing in the past 24 hours and feel the need to share with our readers. It is information like this that puts us at an advantage when competing with China.

1) The Superbowl of Birding VIII – They put in to host the Superbowl at Foxboro, but got the consolation prize at Joppa Flats in Newburyport. It just sounds funny, but Bird watching is a serious sport. Rolling Stones at Half Time? North Shore Kid has all the details on this event.

2) A North Shore Indoor Playground offers Tanning while your kids play! Found this on a web site while trying to find a place to host my soon to be 2 year olds bday party. The Jersey Shore Cast will love this place when they settle down.

Some things Kids will Love::

* big kids to play with (playcoaches)
* brand new current toys currently advertised or in the toy stores at the moment
* story times
* puppet shows
* costumed characters
* animal shows

Some things Parents will Love:

* our plush Recliners & Couches
* Flavia Gourmet Tea & Coffee’s
* our top of the line Solart Tanning System!!!
* Hydro Therapy Massage Bed
* FREE Wi-Fi, bring your pc & enjoy surfing the net while your child surfs our toys!
* the Assurance that all of our toys are Meticuously Maintained, New & Cleaned Daily
* playcoaches who are on kid level with your child

3) Drunk History – A new series coming to HBO in February where it seems as though they feed history professor types lots of alcohol and have comedic actors then perform the scenes. See and judge for yourself.

Thanks for reading – Do you feel smarter? Patrick!

A True Pub Experience on the North Shore

Bring your kids to most Bars on a Sunday at 4PM and 9 out of 10 people look at you like you are a bookie checking in on the scores. A true Pub to me is one that goes beyond serving drinks and plays a vital social role in the community. It caters to the locals, but welcomes new patrons with open arms. I have not been there at other times, but the Sunday Irish Session (4PM) at O’Neills in Salem fills that void.

Sundays is a time you can come watch the games, listen to some good Irish music and even bring  the kids. I don’t know if the guy who told us to seat ourselves works there or was just part of the welcoming committee.  The wait staff brings a perfectly poured Guinness and dodge the 3 year olds doing the jig. They do this while all having smiles on their face. I like their Irish offerings and recommend their Guinness Stew with a Guinness or a Magners pint!

What other places have a Pub feel around town? I went to Stone’s Pub and immediately felt right at home. They really made us all feel welcome. Kitty O’Shea’s (Beverly) is another favorite Irish Pub in the area. Others?

Thanks – Paddy Ryan

Ski Season Is Upon Us

Ski season officially starts for most of us after the New Year.  If you are not a skier, this is the year to try it. A relatively inexpensive family fun mountain is less than an hour away. I started skiing at 10 years old and feel that if you are going to live in a place that has winter you should be outside hitting the hills in some fashion. For the middle school kids I saw the YMCA doing programs for night skiing, which must be fun for the chaperones.  I recommend some warm ups this weekend before you head for that ski vacation up to North Conway, Vermont or out West.

Ski Bradford

This is our closest mountain in Haverhill. It is not the mountain for extreme skiing, but a great family mountain. They have a great lessons program, where each kid gets almost 1 on 1 attention. Drop ins are always welcome and they have a great lodge.

Here is my little one this week at her first lesson at the age of 3. I am excited to get her out on the weekends with the ski leash.

Check out Warren Miller’s “Wintervention”at the Firehouse Center for the Arts This Saturday

When: Sat., January 8, 3pm & 7pm

Buy tickets on the Firehouse Center for the Arts Website.

If you are a big skier there is no better event to get you ready to hit the snow than this one. It is a big party atmosphere of all ages who come to celebrate the season and see a ski film legend’s latest film.

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