Some amazing collisions in our summer skies this summer and to really appreciate it you have to look at the darkened sky over the sunset starting tonight. It will be pretty easy to pick out Venus as the brightest object above the horizon. Then check out Jupiter which is sitting above Venus. Kind of cool but why are we looking at them? Because from here to the end of the month, keep track of how Venus tracks towards Jupiter. If you do, by the last day of June you will think they are going to crash into each other! It is only on July first that Venus edges by below Jupiter.
On June 30th, Venus will be so close to Jupiter that by using a decent set of birding binocs with wide field you will be able to see Venus and four moons of Jupiter along with Jupiter at the same time! An inner and outer planet with circling moons! Comet 67P not to scale.
Then we can go back to figuring out where the Rubber Duck shaped Comet 67P is. This will be easy because the lander named Philae the European Space Agnecy sent woke up last week! The lander is sitting on the Rubber Duck’s head and we may be able to get photos of what happens to a comet when it heats up this August as it sweeps around the sun. Can you imagine photos of the Rubber Duck’s head popping off? (Joey and Craig are hoping!)
A photo of 67P if it landed in London. The Philae lander sitting on the head is the size and weight of a standard washing machine. But the gravity of this Mount Fuji sized comet creates an apparent weight for the lander of only one piece of paper! When this sucker heats up, fasten your seatbelts!
And here is where I got the photo of 67P Rubber Duck at the Bikini Speedo Tourney. David Cox is amazed.
There are some interesting mushrooms growing over here next to this tree. Should I post the next shot? Your call. Leave a comment.
[EDIT two days later]. Finally, someone asks about the mushrooms, EJ, wants to know. When I first posted the David Cox shot I was sure I caught a dodge ball player watering a tree in the background. But I looked at all my shots and a moment later got a clear view of the innocent players getting dressed after the game.
Hey, I’m just pulling my pants on!
Dock Square, Bearskin Neck, the other neck on Cape Ann full of wonder. Check it out. The shops and galleries are stuffed full of new stuff while keeping the old good stuff.
When: 4-8PM and beyond, Tonight, First Friday of the month all summer.
Where: Rockport; Bearskin Neck, Dock Square and up Main Street.
Feature: The Art Nook Gallery on the Neck. Go all the way down and turn right into Helmut’s Strudel. Have a small coffee and a cinnamon roll with raisins. Make sure and get the raisins. Trust me. Then three steps right across the street is the Art Nook Gallery.
Take a selfie of you standing in front of Stefan Mierz’s freshly painted”Rockport Harbor Sunrise.” Stefan or Kathleen Miller will shoot it with your phone. Send it to Rubber Duck. Blue Duck will be shooting her Selfie at 5 PM.
Rubber Duck: “Do you see what I see?”
Blue Duck: ” I think they add more than fluoride to the Rockport water …”
The Rubber Gun goes off at 11 AM but if you want a chance at winning the race you need to put some cash down on a rubbery bill before that. Rubber Duck is increasing her odds by buying four ducks at 10 AM. Her Rubber Duck Army of 88 crazy Rubber Ducks that have shown up on her porch will cheer them on.
Where: Mill Brook is that lovely park and stream that flows into Front Beach, Rockport Center.
What: Rubber Duck Race to benefit the Rockport Council on Aging
What the Duck??: The “Rockport Stuff” Facebook page has been aflame with controversy for the past few days with Duck Gate but officials have promised that all ducks will be tested for proper inflation and the winner will have to pee in a cup post race.
Controversy was squashed once Rubber Duck Race officials disqualified any entrant with feathers or actually having a quack. These two will be spectators.
You might think ho-hum, I’ve been to Bearskin Neck over the years many times, but you should try it out again. Lots of new stuff. Two examples:
A new turn-around and new breakwater at the end! There is still the “Pass at Your Own Risk” sign but now it is so much easier to walk all the way out to the #6 harbor beacon. It really needs a good storm to wash the grit off it left from mashing 13 ton rocks into a flat top but you should try it out now.
There’s a party out on #6 ATON.
New artists! I’ll highlight just one but there are tons of new artists and shops out there. One gallery you have to stop in to see is David Arsenault. Leaf through his website but you have to see these in person. The very familiar, Good Harbor Beach, Old Garden Beach swing. After viewing if you go back outside on Cape Ann you realize you are living in a painting.
You’ve sat at this picnic table before enjoying a sunset haven’t you? New owner, same table, different sunset.
Click on Bearskin.net for the latest including first Friday Nights in Rockport or click on the frequently updated Bearskin.net Facebook page.
Rubber Duck Approved.
Four years? Seems like just yesterday.
Homie: “You’re not from around here are you? May I show you the cove?” Solitude of the lonely Homie. Cold, lonely, rubbery, but Patriotic! A little stand offish at first. They’re eyes locked and Homie was in love. “So how many children should we have?” Homie wasn’t wasting any time. “I have a lovely nest on Milk Island.” You’re not listening to a word I’m saying!” “We could make it work!”
Is it safe to come out?
Rubber Duck out on the Town at another Fred Bodin Christmas party.
I cannot believe it has only been four years since the Rubber Duck met Homie on a blustery day just like today, April 18, 2011. When I posted that first part of the Rubber Duck saga I was only joking about it being a twenty part series. Little did I know that six hundred posts later the story is still not finished. To commemorate their anniversary I repost the first few chapters. Part I posted April 18th, 2011: (This will be a twenty part series.) Part II posted April 19th, 2011: But first, the back story. Two lonely birds: But soon the connection was made and time stopped. ” “I am so out of here!” But Homie came back of course and took Rubber Duck all over.
By now you have all heard of the party on Friday at Cape Ann Giclee but did you know that there will be four and only four Rubber Duck signed photographs that were shot during the original meeting of Homie and the Rubber Duck? Four people will be lucky enough to walk out with a piece of history!
And there will be other artist’s stuff and beer and Rubber Duck.
This is the first moment when Homie’s eye (just his left one) locked onto Rubber Duck.
Come Party and Check Out The Latest Photography From Your Favorite GMG Contributors
Print Sizes 17” x 22” Priced at $60 Theory Being That We Want The Pieces To Be Affordable and Get Them On People’s Walls Rather Than Stacked Up In A Gallery Somewhere.
April 10, 2015 from 5 to 8PM
20 Maplewood Ave, Gloucester, MA 01930
Joey’s Christmas present was the deluxe GMG baseball cap. When he gave it to me he said, “I want to see you wear it in this year’s Blackburn Challenge.”
Joey. Mister Motivator. I did that paddle five times around Cape Ann and last year I took it off. So I was thinking instead of the GMG baseball cap I would wear a buttermilk pancake instead.
What are you looking at?
But I changed my mind. Why putter around the Cape in a motor boat when you can do it with a paddle? As of last week I am sixty years old. I already checked and there are no age brackets in the Blackburn. Not that I would have come close to even sniffing a ribbon since most of the leather and sinew paddlers in my kayak class are older than me and the last I see of them is around the Annisquam Lighthouse.
So it’s on. I have 133 days to fit into my kayak. Saturday July 25, 2015. Here is a map. Here is a timer. Here is a link to the details of the Cape Ann Rowing Club who do an awesome job on the race with food and beer at the greasy pole finish. And the warmup is the Essex River race on May 16, 2015.
May 16. 64 days away. I’ll do that too or I’ll eat my pancake.
I’ll go faster with a new hat.
It’s March! What’s so awesome about March Rubber Duck? It’s followed by April! And April is when we start making “Seasonal Openings 2015!” From Top Dog usually the last day of March to The Rudder right around Tax Day with Lobsta Land, Capt Carlos, Dairy Train, sprinkled in between. What tastes like spring more than a Fish and Cheese sandwich at The Cupboard? And the snow will melt soon! Look at WeatherSpark for next week:
This next week spends most of the time above that nasty freezing line.
So here is my lineup starting today for things to do to get you in the mood.
Friday March 6: Stones Pub for a Blue Duck Spring Burger. (Blue Cheese Portabella mushrooms, bacon, hold the sprouts between your knees.
Saturday March 7: Wash the car at Maplewood Carwash. It’s not for the car, it’s for you. You will feel better! Drive home slowly. Do not splash.
Saturday March 7: There is something else big today, what is it?
Sunday March 8: Spring Forward! That’s right, drive home from work and the sun is still shining!
Monday March 9: Big Apple announcement. Buy a watch? A retina MacBook Air?
Tuesday March 10: If you are going to grow tomatoes from seeds, sow them now!
Wed March 11: Run around in shorts! It’s 44 degrees out! After this winter that will feel like 85!
Thurs March 12: Have you ever seen Uranus? I have never seen Uranus! But you can this week. As Mars and Venus set in the evening if you scope them out with binoculars they will be very easy to find. Venus is wicked bright. Very close by will be an unblinking tiny blue dot. That is Uranus! Now you can say Rubber Duck showed you Uranus!
Saturday March 14: Pi Day! Biggest Pi Day ever because it is 2015 which means 3/14/15 9:26AM and 53 seconds all nerds head’s will explode with nerdiness!
Sunday March 15: Ides of March: Greg Bover posts an awesome quote from Caesar or Brutus et tu?
Tuesday March 17: Saint Patrick’s Day! Plant your peas! Still two feet of snow in your garden? Start digging. You have to plant them on Saint Patty’s Day or the world will end.
Wednesday March 18: EJ and Brenda Malloy and Jeff Amero and everyone else who has been rubbing it in on Facebook that they are in Florida will be dragging their sun tanned butts back to Cape Ann!
Tuesday March 31: Get your boat in the water by today and you win a prize!
Friday, March 20: at 6:45 PM EDT First Day of Spring, Equinox, equal day, equal night!
Wednesday April 1: Seasonal Openings really get underway. You can make it. Meet me at the Rudder or The Studio, who is going to open first?
Then this happens Sunday April 5th
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. 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.
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 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?
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.
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.
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.
WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT????? YOU DON’T WANNA KNOW.