Author Archives: Paul T Morrison

Fun Packed Weekend with Rubber Duck

First a shout out to Maplewood Car Wash. Rubber Duck says there is nothing that makes the day just a little bit sunnier than driving around in a shiny vehicle. And you may ask, “Paul, is that an environmentally sound decision to drive a half ton Pick Up Truck?” and my reply is I rescued close to 5,000 pounds of over 16 year old iron so I put the “Reuse and Recycle” into my tree hugging thank you very much.

You look like ants from here.

You look like ants from here. I just got the #2 at Maplewood!

Then I shovel the front porch so maybe I can get my girl scout cookies delivered. They were unwilling to throw the boxes over the snow drift. And shovel out the oil tank intake but I look at the propane tank (or rather do not look since it is invisible under a fifteen foot drift) and think, “screw that.”

But my first “honey do” Sunday morning is something is wrong with the hot water. Wrong as in, not very hot. Shoot, out of propane? But the stove fires up. I look at water heater. My analytical mind quickly narrows down problem to the exhaust fan is not making the correct noise. The centrifugal fan is usually making a “WEEEEE” noise only it is making a lowercase “ummm” noise. six screws later I find my problem.

I placed mouse on top of blades for illustration only. She was really wedged in there.

I placed mouse on top of blades for illustration only. She was really wedged in there.

A mouse! How did she get there? As I was shoveling the bulkhead doors to cellar just yesterday I was looking a the exhaust port and marveling at the nice job of installation because they put wire mesh in the opening. But inside there is a cooling port for the fan motor that looks like this.

Three openings that a cold mouse seeking warmth would love to check out then take a ride on the ferris wheel of death.

Three openings that a cold mouse seeking warmth would love to check out then take a ride on the Ferris Wheel of Doom.

A few minutes sticking needles in it and if Mister Mouse can get past this he might be small enough to take a ride and get the full Space Mountain E ticket.

But Uncle Mickey went in here! Anyone seen Uncle Mickey?

But Uncle Mickey went in here! Anyone seen Uncle Mickey?

Why Mickey, why? Long story but it is because I did not follow Bill Rowell’s suggestion (Burrhead Oil Rockport) and wrap some insulation on my exposed oil line and it got sluggish and my furnace died and my house was wicked chilly when we got here on Friday and the mouse needed to find a warm place. Speaking of Burrhead, have you ever said, “You gotta start charging me for these emergency visits Bill”. All he did was teach me how to prime and jump start my furnace myself. Bill also cracks me up with his growing up in Rockport stories but I will stop there before we both get into trouble.

Astronomy Orgasm: Threesome Tonight!

Holy cow, New England weather is going to give us clear skies tonight as an impressive threesome happens after sunset.

Here’s the deal. There was a supermoon last night but it’s a new moon so no one saw it. It means tonight it is one humongous thin fingernail. But wait, there’s more. Venus will be blazing away just to the left of the fingernail. But here is the cherry on top. Whip out some binoculars and check out Mars just above Venus! You might be able to get all three in wide field birding binocs. But even without binocs it will look pretty cool.

Look to the right of where the sun set and Venus will be blazing. Mars up and sliver of moon to the right.

Look to the right of where the sun set and Venus will be blazing. Mars up and sliver of moon to the right.

 

Photographers Ephemeris shows where you need to be to catch the three setting over City Hall. Is that Joey’s dock?

moonset

Did I really type “sunset hear”? Well to all the grammarians who just started grinding their teeth I say, “lighten up Francis, I’m not going back to change it.”

 

Credits: First shot I made in “StarSafari” astronomy program. Gloucester Area Astronomy Club Approved. The second photo I made using “The Photographers Ephemeris“. Probably GAAC approved too. Both programs worth knowing how to use.

Homemade Bratwurst on my Ice Dams!

This does not look good.

This does not look good.

After the relentless Snowzilla #1 through #4 even a well insulated house is going to have an ice dam. Ice freezes along the roof line and now any water percolating under the snow gets trapped and backs up under the shingles into your house leaking into that lovely ceiling fan. Turning the fan on high is a fun way to humidify your house but eventually you will burn your house down with an electrical short.

Solution: Roof Sausage and we’re not talking Ambie’s. My favorite looks like Karl’s Sausage Kitchen bratwurst. Take a spare pair of pantyhose and cut the leg off. Fill the leg with calcium chloride (that is the Snow Melt you are throwing on the walkway). If your ice dam is up high, tie a line to the end and toss it up there so it crosses the ice dam.

This is making me hungry.

This is making me hungry.

Done! Like a little beaver’s nightmare that sausage will cut across the ice dam and make a path for the water to drain.

Because we live on Cape Ann you know that one of these storms will eventually arrive and dump four inches of rain and you really don’t want the inside of your house to look like a tropical rain forest.

Rubber Duck Pro Tip: You can buy “roof pucks” to do this but stuffing socks and pantyhose is so much more fun. Go buy the big 50 lb bag of rock salt at Ace or Building Center then pour it into that 5 gallon bucket you have kicking around. Drop a mason jar on top and stick it on your front porch. Now you can fill a sock and toss or sprinkle some on that icy walkway. When you fill the bucket from a 50 lb bag, about two shovel fulls will not fit. Just catapult that up on your roof.

The wrong way: Do not use organic, non-gluten, non-GMO, non-fluoride Kosher Pink Gourmet Himalayan rock salt. Well, you can but only buy Rubber Duck brand, $35 a pound with 81 essential minerals. Call now. Also, send in your roof sausage photos to Joey. Extra points if you tie a Rubber Duck on the sausage.

One Last Snow Photo

Photo out my window. There are three cars out there but I can only spot one car antenna. Must be the truck.

Photo out my window. There are three cars out there but I can only spot one car antenna. Must be the truck.

OK, one more, and yes I know about ice dams. Maybe I can sneak my hand out there and turn the grill on high. That might do it.

OK, one more, and yes I know about ice dams. Maybe I can sneak my hand out there and turn the grill on high. That might do it.

Before you know it the planet wobbles the other way and it is 4th of July in Rockport and Rubber Duck is getting soft in the heat from the leftover bonfire.

Before you know it the planet wobbles the other way and it is 4th of July in Rockport and Rubber Duck is getting soft in the heat from the leftover bonfire.

Reason #98 Why Rockport Rocks

We get this big dump of snow and John Penaloza has a harebrained idea it would be fun to flip the lights on at Evans Field and go sledding. Jeff Proposki finds the keys to the light pole and done. People bring hotdogs, hot chocolate, kids, and sleds and this is what Evans Field looked like on Sunday night.

Jen Keough backed way up to get 99 people in the shot.

Where's Waldo?

Where’s Waldo?

Facebook group “Rockport Stuff”. If you live in Rockport, definitely worth joining and checking out.

Cape Ann Staying in the North East Groove

01/27/2015 1533 3:33PM Current Conditions

Wind from the North East is on a long fetch across the Gulf of Maine. Even though Cape Ann is to the west of the highest wind velocity the waves roll out of that groove into Cape Ann.

Wind from the North East is on a long fetch across the Gulf of Maine. Even though Cape Ann is to the west of the highest wind velocity the waves roll out of that groove into Cape Ann.

That wind is holding the highest snowfall belt directly over Cape Ann. This belt is static as the low creeps north.

That wind is holding the highest snowfall belt directly over Cape Ann. This belt is static as the low creeps north.

Hight tide at 4:58PM

A01 Buoy Off Gloucester: A Bit Breezy

ao10730

Wind speed 65 mph, now that is a bit breezy.

Wind gust to 84 mph. That is the highest I’ve ever seen on this buoy.

Wave height climbed to 22 feet and then has been “NA” since 4AM. NA probably means “not applicable” but I have a feeling the indicator crapped its pants.

Water temp 41F at the surface. 41 F all the way down to 50 meters. Well mixed.

The wind is straight out of the north. High tide is at 5PM today. Lock 4WD and I might go see how Motif #1 is handling the waves coming straight in off Sandy Bay.

Stella can’t get out of the house on the lee side with a four foot drift against the door. On the windward side bare grass and she took a leak but poopies are not a possibility when the wind is blowing up her skirt at 65 mph.

Firing up the GMG Santa Tracker

santaradar

Good Morning Gloucester will be firing up the Santa tracking Radar Thingy when Santa is within 500 nautical miles of Cape Ann. Meanwhile, NORAD and Google have far larger Santa Tracking budgets and are currently tracking Santa leaving Kathmandu. Click links below for up-to-the-second plotting of Santa. Santa is currently darting back and forth between India and Russia reaching maximum velocity for the trip. Elves have had to douse him with water several times already to keep him from bursting into flames.

NORAD tracks Santa
Google Santa Tracker

Winter Solstice Tonight at 6:03PM

Festivus for the Rest of Us, The winter solstice, the day that our ancestors  back at least 50,000 years understood to be the shortest day of the year. A day one needs to do weird stuff in order to convince the sun to turn around and come back. It happens at 6:03 PM Eastern Standard Time tonight.

This is the analemma as seen from the Shores of Cape Ann. Our sunrise tomorrow is that little yellow ball at the bottom of the figure eight. The blue ball marks New Year's Day when we celebrate that the sun really has made the turn so we jump in the harbor.

This is the analemma as seen from the Shores of Cape Ann. Our sunrise tomorrow is that little yellow ball at the bottom of the figure eight. The blue ball marks New Year’s Day when we celebrate that the sun really has made the turn so we jump in the harbor.

Some stuff about New Year’s Eve Plunge. See EJ’s post here.

“The Plunge will take place at noon on New Year’s Day at Oaks Cove Beach (Stevens Lane and Wonson Street) on Rocky Neck.”

1/1/2015 is looking to be a pleasant day in the 40s. A nice North Easter is going to blow a gale on Christmas Day dumping two inches of rain into the harbor so it will be at least a tenth of a degree warmer.   After the Polar Vortex of last year, a nice change. The tide will be ebbing to low at 2:08 PM so plenty of beach to spread the blankets on. My one tip: Low tide means running on sharp tiny rocks and barnacles in the water. Wear some sturdy beach shoes. I go with a nice neoprene booty.  Neoprene usage on any other appendage is illegal and you will not receive your official plunge pin if wearing even a tiny neoprene Speedo. There will be a package check prior to the recitation of the plunge poem. The Rockport Information Booth package checker will be responsible for flagging fouls.

A little old lady does a great job answering all of the questions you might have.

A little old lady does a great job answering all of the questions you might have.

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