Last minute Christmas Shopping not a problem in Gloucester

No need to panic. Power Shop the West End of Gloucester Main Street. From Alexandra’s Bread down to the Cave there are a ton of shops brimming with stocking stuffers to real unique gifts. Power shop. Cheese counter at The Cave, do not fall for tasting every cheese. Just say, “Give me a half pound of six yummy cheeses. 15 seconds, grab a few flashy gold bottles of Presecco, some crackers, a cutting board, two minutes, tops. Alexandra’s just grab one of everything including sarcastic socks and a puppy covered apron.

Now Pastaio Via Corta (corner shared with Larsen’s Shoes) one might take some time checking out the olives behind the glass and what is on the shelves. Then “Medium container, six different olives you can reach” and meanwhile grab the Presecco that isn’t called Prosecco and the olive oil that you never heard of.

Hit a couple of bookstores, “Give me three new best sellers female author, murder mystery” 60 seconds a new record. Brought my own cloth bags and Christmas was done in 18 minutes tops.

Too much Presecco? I have never had a bottle go bad or even make it to New Year’s Eve. That’s another 18 minutes. No need to be Italian. I’m Scottish and do you think I am going to the Haggas Shop?

Do it today. Some of these shops might be closed on Monday.


Danielle at Pastaio Via Corta taking a break from making fresh pastas with unpronounceable names to ring up wine, olives, olive oil, more pasta, and other yummy stuff.

But if you want to float my boat stop in at Cape Ann Electric Bikes and pick up one of these beautiful bikes.

Kathy and Dan at Electric Bikes. The minimall up from Common Crow, neighbor of Cake Ann.

Santa Arrives in Rockport!!

The Freemantle Doctor driven by Mike Tupper heads down the coast towards Rockport Harbor filled with screaming children chanting SANTA!!
Rockport Cub Scouts wait in anticipation.
Santa and Mrs Claus take a ride over to Spiran Hall to greet a long line of children who want to tell Santa they all want puppies for Christmas. The tree lighting is at 4 PM.

Rubber Duck Baseball Playoff Cheat Sheet

In case you just woke up from a coma, a handy graphic to keep track of the world’s most amazing sport, baseball.

NL Los Angels Dodgers: Tommy Lasorda, Dodger Blue, no one likes you, please lose in an embarrassing way to the Brewers. Dave Roberts does manage them and his stealing of second base in 2004 is a very sweet memory. Don’t tarnish that with this sickening baby blue team.

NL Milwaukee Brewers: They have never ever won an NL pennant and so have never even played in the World Series. Yelich is amazing and adorable in closeup shots. Front row Amy, same description but might be more serious. She inks in every pitch of every game. Never even takes a bathroom break. More reliable than Price.

AL Houston Astros: Won it all last year on the back of Altuve. Completely annoying. Please lose to the Red Sox in dramatic fashion.

AL Boston Red Sox: Three World Series Championships in this century. No one else comes close. Are four too many? No way.

If it so happens that Brewers and Red Sox are in the World Series the nation and the world will be rooting for the underdog.
I’m hoping the Sox give Yelich and Amy a big case of the sads by Halloween.

ps. The only thing that would have made it all perfect is Frank from Gloucester calling into the radio station today to chat about how Sabathia got screwed by the ump (He was terrible.) I can hear his voice in my head right now. R.I.P. Frank. We miss you.

Scuba Diver Missing off Cathedral Rocks

Search for a missing scuba diver off Cathedral Rocks, Pigeon Cove

update 9/5/2018 7:00PM:

ROCKPORT — Lieutenant Mark Schmink reports that the Rockport Police Department is engaged in s a search for a missing diver at this time.

Crews responded to the area of Cathedral Rock near Cathedral Avenue and Green Street at 5:15 p.m. after a scuba diver came ashore reporting that his companion, an adult male, was missing.

A United States Coast Guard cutter is on scene along with the Rockport Harbormaster and Rockport Fire Department, and crews are engaged in an active search and rescue operation at this time. A Coast Guard helicopter is responding from Cape Cod and state and regional dive teams are responding to the scene.

The reporting party told authorities that he was diving with a friend about 150 yards off shore. Further updates provided as necessary.


ROCKPORT — Lieutenant Mark Schmink and the Rockport Police Department report that the body of a missing diver was recovered Thursday morning.

The victim has been tentatively identified as a 47-year-old man from Philadelphia. His name is not being released at this time, pending positive identification and notification of next of kin.

Crews responded to the area of Cathedral Rock near Cathedral Avenue and Green Street at 5:15 p.m. Wednesday after a scuba diver came ashore reporting that his companion, an adult male, was missing. The search was conducted by Rockport Police, Rockport Fire, the U.S. Coast Guard, and State Police using boats, divers, and aircraft.

This morning, Lt. Schmink reported that the operation had transitioned from a search and rescue operation to a recovery operation, and the diver’s body was located at approximately 8:30 a.m.

Smoky Full Moonrise 7:19 PM Saturday (TODAY!)

California and Canada are currently on fire. How can you tell? By watching the full moon rise tonight at 7:19 PM. It will be an orange ball because the smoke has drifted east all the way to New England.

Where should I go at 7:19 PM you ask?  A view east over the water will be impressive. If you want that awesome shot, walk out the Dog Bar Breakwater. The moon will rise behind the the Eastern Point Lighthouse. (Sunset is ten minutes later over Boston from there.)  Rockport also has decent line ups. Just go to the map and move the pin to your location.

Check out Photographer’s Ephemeris (Click here for changeable map.)

I put the pin in the water so the moonrise line would not cover up the breakwater.

Sunday Morning Rockport Girl Butterflies just wanna have fun

For over ten years I’ve been checking out the milkweed in the neighborhood and our yard. Untouched leaves, not a nibble, no eggs, no chrysalis, nothing. Butterflies galore but no interest in the milkweed, just the flowers.

Drinking the nectar, no interest in making babies. All scratched up. Definitely partying all night long.
Stella is also amazed at the Rockport Right of Way elves who must come out at midnight to clear the Atlantic Paths.

In Gloucester: Fireworks. Rockport: We light the outhouse on fire.

Small dragon comes out of the outhouse. Becomes much bigger and rids Rockport of arm hair.

Even from this distance, this bonfire is making Rubber Duck cry propylene tears
Everyone who used to be closer now has no hair on their arms. That is when you move back.

Father’s Day Morning bike ride Plus PSA

I call this “Skip’s Tree” since he takes the best photos predawn right here. End of ride so I’m an hour late. (And I run into Skip under the Keystone Bridge ten minutes later with his camera out.)
PSA (Public Service Announcement) Road Race today. Just don’t get in your car. It’s not worth it.
Quarries are lovely in the morning.
Father’s Day gift. I am designating myself President and Treasurer of the Cape Ann Electrical Bicycle Association. Email me your application for membership to CAEBA.

Eastern Coyote talk tonight, Rockport Library 6:30 PM

Eastern Coyote talks Thursday, (that’s tonight), Rockport Library 6:30 PM.

Please join us for an informative presentation and discussion regarding the Eastern Coyote facilitated by Conservation Biologist and Wild Canid Ecologist Christine Schadler, MS, MA.

While wolf recovery was the focus of her early work, Chris’ attention shifted to the eastern coyote when she moved to New England. Using sound livestock management and non-lethal predator control, she prevented predation for two decades at a sheep farm with known coyote problems. Chris has provided talks to livestock growers and the general public for 30 years on living with coyotes.

Chris is now the Representative for Project Coyote in NH and VT and co-founder of the New Hampshire Wildlife Coalition. She divides her time between teaching, giving talks, and working on her book Becoming Wolf: The Eastern Coyote in New England. Between presentations, she can be found at camp in northern New Hampshire researching coyote feeding patterns and responding to the occasional wolf. She is also the Chair of the Webster Conservation Commission.

Chris earned her MS at Antioch University Graduate School. She has taught Conservation Issues, Dendrology, and Wolf Ecology at the University of New Hampshire (UNH), and is now an Adjunct Professor at Rivier University.

Brought to you by the Friends of the Rockport Public Library

Bill Lee can find Fenway again

In 1969 Bill “Spaceman” Lee found Fenway Park on Jersey Street. They changed the name of the street and the gerbil traded him to Montreal for Stan Papi and a bag of balls. On the back of Fenway Park someone wrote the question, “WHO THE HELL IS STAN PAPI?” and the Red Sox quickly erased it. There were a few of us that kept writing it back on the wall until Zimmer gave up and ran off to New York.

Fenway Park is on Jersey Street again and no one died.
Oh wait. Something did die. No one could find the Jersey Laundry for awesome cheap fluff and fold because Jersey Street was only 15 feet long. R.I.P. Jersey Laundry Center. Too late for you.

Fun fact: Before GPS it was handy to memorize Street names to get around Boston.
The alphabet is whole again.


Yawn, Another Sunset on Cape Ann: Wednesday May 3, 2018

But it was 72 degrees Fahrenheit, no wind, no bugs, no mosquitoes, the asparagus just popped out of the ground, summer is stretched out in front of us, and the Ryan and Wood Knockabout Gin in my glass is ice cold.

Like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day describing the one day in his life he would like to repeat over and over, this one. And maybe today too.



Chinese Space Station; Size of School Bus to Crash at Halibut Point 10AM Easter Sunday

Saturday night we should have a Space Station Crash party at Lat 42. Because of the flight path of Tiangong-1, the Space Station which is as large as a regular sized School Bus and Saturday night is included in the 16-hour window of the tumbling fireball’s reentry.
Why Lat 42? Because Lat 42 goes straight through Cape Ann and the Space Station hangs out at that latitude more often than anywhere on earth except for south latitude 42 which is Tasmania. Those devils are throwing a party. So should we.

The exact most northerly position for tumbling school bus is 42.7 north. That is the grout pile centered inside Halibut Point. It will fly straight west to east over the Point 90 minutes before returning to explode over the park spreading flaming debris over miles. 10 AM Easter Sunday is the epicenter of the impact window.


Tumbling Flight path of Tiangong-1 Space Station spends a lot of time at latitude 42.7

[edit] It has been pointed out that the Restaurant is called Lat 43. I will be starting a petition next week to force them to change the name to Lat 42 since Gloucester is latitude 42.6 North. Rounding up is no excuse. Move your restaurant to Isle of Shoals if you want to call yourself Lat 43.

[edit Frid 6:15 PM) 41 hours left. The window has tightened up to eleven hours.

[edit] Update Mar31 8AM. Cape Ann is now out of the range of possible crash sites. Gilette Stadium, Cape Cod, Camp David, and Florida still has a chance of Heavenly Palace falling out of the sky in an inferno of space debris.

2018 Opening Day 4 PM

Aaron Boone is the manager of the Yankees. Judge, Stanton, Sanchez as the new Bronx Bombers.
I think it’s time to hate on the Yankees again like in the old days. Yankees Suck.
Hey, Thurmon, I got something I wanna show you.

Behold: The Perfect Donut

Instead of once a week I’ve been hitting the Brothers Brew Coffee Shop more frequently. My favorite donut, the Butternut Crunch was not running out by 9AM anymore. I figured maybe everyone is on a diet but since my 11 AM purchased Butternut Crunch was fresh and warm I realized that they are just making more of them since I moved to town.

Today, after having a Butternut Crunch yesterday I thought I should slow the pace down and I accidentally stumbled upon the perfect donut. There are some very good fresh donut shops on Cape Ann but hear me out. Or just look at it:

The Butternut Crunch, Chocolate, and Glaze Trifecta. Eat them in that order. Trust me.

Brothers Brew is known for their bacon donut. A donut with a big piece of bacon on top. Rubber Duck reviewed that for Good morning Gloucester several years ago. An excellent donut but not one you can pack away every day unless you want to do a Shamoo the Whale act in Sandy Bay. But the threeway can be your daily go-to donut if you bring two friends.

The lecture on Coywolves last night.

The City of Gloucester Animal Advisory Committee hosted an informative presentation on the Coywolf last night at The Cultural Center at Rocky Neck. Dr. Jonathan Way who is an expert on the habits of the Coywolf spoke for 90 minutes with a lively question and answer period which had to be cut off so we could go to work today.

As a real review, I’ll do that later since there is a lot to unpack. Jon said up front to hold your questions to the end but I knew I was not the only one busting a gut holding back my questions on such a fascinating topic. For now, I will just list a few take-home bullet points of things that were news to me.

• The coywolf is relatively new to the area but it is not an invader, not an invasive species. No one parachuted these coywolves into the east. They migrated naturally from the west to fill the niche vacated by the exterminated wolves. (Blame that on the pilgrims.) If coywolves are an invasive species then virtually every mammal on the planet including man is an invasive species.

• The coywolf wants to have nothing to do with humans. They also want nothing to do with dogs. They fear both. If you think they are stalking you and your dog it is likely because they perceive you as a threat to their puppies and are tracking you to make sure you are heading away from their puppies. Once you have moved far enough away, they will double back to protect the den.

• This bullet point was a shock: Given the size of Cape Ann it is likely that there is one pack on the island. WTF? How can that be? Coywolves cover a lot of territory each night. More on this later.

• Evidence shows that killing an adult in a pack can easily make the pack split and double in size. So shooting one might not be the wisest policy unless you want more coywolves.

•This last bullet point is the biggest. Do not feed the coywolves. There are plenty of mice, rabbits, voles, bugs, to eat. If you think you are helping them you are dead wrong. You are habituating the coywolf to humans and they will likely become a nuisance and have to be shot. Just don’t do it. Do not leave dog food outside. Make sure your bird feeders are not feeding them, don’t leave garbage out.

•• If you know a neighbor who is feeding them. Report them to the police, to the animal control officer, shame them on “Because Gloucester” Facebook page. Make sure they stop.

•• If you see a photographer who wants a photo of a coywolf putting food out to attract them, report them. Bang pots, make them stop. Shaming on “Because Gloucester” as a last resort.

A science observation: Jon described mitochondrial sequencing, Y chromosome sequencing, using SNP panels, all to figure out what is going on with this animal. From these data it is shown that our local coywolf is 30% wolf, 10% domestic dog, and 60% coyote. The cool thing is that whole-genome sequencing of these animals is right around the corner. That is what I do in my day job. Just five years ago I spent $15,000 to sequence one human genome. I can do it today for $1,200. Still a little pricey but that number will continue to drop and we will know a lot more as to how these animals are evolving. Because they are evolving. Each year, traits are selected for. If this new animal can avoid cars, mate successfully, know how to opportunistically hunt new types of food (coywolves are very good at eating what is available, rabbits, voles, cats), they give birth to smarter animals who fill the niche better. A coywolf who is hit by a car, cannot find a mate, or cannot find food, will not be passing on their genes. We are witnessing Darwinian evolution in real time. These animals are no longer coyotes. They have different behavioral patterns and phenotypes. They are not wolves either and they sure are not domestic dogs. They are a new species, canis oriens, which has stabilized. It is not comingling with actual coyotes, wolves or dogs, they treat all three as threats.

Shoot, I was going to keep this one short. So here is a picture of some coywolves that will be giving birth on Cape Ann around the beginning of April.

[Additional edit 2/28] I have received a bunch of email and messages about the number of packs on Cape Ann. My response and likely Jon’s response: No idea. Anecdotal evidence is dicey. The same three coywolves could walk the perimeter of their terrain every evening and every morning through the same 23 backyards. Would that be reported as 23 packs? An exaggeration for sure but they do lay out tracks that are many miles long. They are looking for something to eat, avoiding people and dogs, but also marking their pack domain to ward off other coywolves. Since Cape Ann is an island with only three leaks (coywolves love to walk the tracks) the pack size might be peculiar. The only way to find out is putting a radio collar on a couple of them. Except Mass Wildlife will not allow that. (long story.)

Is there one pack? Two? Has one coywolf been killed so the pack breaks into two and multiples? No way of knowing without data. From Jon’s experience of pack size on Cape Cod, there may be only one pack. But Cape Ann is known to be the more awesome Cape so Cape Cod data might be irrelevant here. 🙂

Go to this website here to find out why Jon has suggested a new name, canis oriens, for the animal that is living with us on Cape Ann.

Eastern Coyote (Coywolf) Ecology & Behavior Talk Tonight 7:00PM

The City of Gloucester Animal Advisory Committee is hosting an informative presentation on the Coywolf tonight, 7:00-8:30PM in The Cultural Center at Rocky Neck. Dr. Jonathan Way is an expert on the habits of the Coywolf.

Go to this website here to find out why he has suggested a new name, canis oriens, for the animal that is living with us on Cape Ann.

Got a high five from Jim Cantore

He saw the name on the side of the tow truck, “Tally’s Hookers” and he did a SMDH.

Oh, if you are parked on T-Wharf in Rockport you might want to move your car. Or give Tally a call and negotiate. Looks like they took a pass on these last few that were lifting up. How do you get a chain on a floater?
This … may get wetter later.