Monday, January 30, 2017

Boston Slang, Deep Cuts


We stumbled across the Glossary Of Boston Slang on Wikipedia a few moons ago, and we thought we'd rifle through it and draw some items to your attention.

A few things need to be addressed before we start.

1) The glossary, which by name implies that Noah Webster pored over it, instead has that edited-by-teens look.

2) Your author, although born in Boston and a former resident of Dorchester and Quincy, is very very Irish Riviera. I moved inland once, and went back to the shore in 5 years. This geographic isolation will show in the slang that I recognize.

3) Many terms mean one thing in the city and another thing in the suburbs. Both forms are generally and technically correct.

4) We intend to treat several terms as either Retired or Redundant, both by Prominence rather than Obsolescence. They have been beaten to death in many a meme, and someone who assumes that a Massachusetts audience is just learning these words is most likely a Californian.

Among these terms are:

Wicked
Pissa
Wicked Pissa
Dunkin'
ZooMass
Jimmies
Fenway Frank
Packie
The Cape
Bubbler
Statie
Fluffernutter
Tonic (which may have died out here anyhow)
The Pru
The Pike
Lobstah
Marsh Vegas
The Hub
Gobbler
Regular Coffee
The T
The Irish Riviera
The Dot (We almost included "Dot Rat" below, but it got the chopping block)
Masshole
The City Of Sin
The Vineyard
Bang a U-ey
The People's Republic
Hoodsie
Beantown
The Green Monster
Frappe

The elimination of these overused terms means that my own list below will be of the Deep Cuts, Junior Varsity, 200-level class... and I'm OK with that.

5) We may or may not tangle with where-is-it-prevalent questions regarding sub/hero/grinder and other linguistic mysteries... kinda depends on how much filler I need, to be frank. (Ed: Frank is actually the author's brother)

6) I may come across as a rube to some of you, especially if you are older or more urban than I am. It's all good, and I will take enlightenment in the comments.

7) While we may use a town nickname or two to get a laugh, we already did a Local Town Nickname article.

8) I'm not working with Boston Accent versions of regular words. I'm looking more for local patois.

Let's look over some terms, shall we?

Swamp Yankee

The word "Yankee" means different things to different people. Our French editor tells me that the term is used in Europe (the French spell it "yanqui," which makes us sound like a Sasquatch type creature) to describe all Americans. The people of the American South use "Yankee" to describe anyone northern, even someone from New York. Northerners ascribe it to New Englanders. New Englanders ascribe it to northern New Englanders, and Maine/Vermont/New Hampshire will all just point at each other when you say it.

There is less wiggle room as to what a Swamp Yankee is.

Basically, it is a rural Yankee, although it goes deeper than that. Depending on who you ask, it can mean "old country family that is no longer elite or monied," "anyone from SE Massachusetts or Rhode Island," or "a term that Irish and Italian newcomers to a rural Massachusetts town use to describe the long-term residents."

"Four or five old country guys, sitting around a general store, having a lying contest" is a good description of the Swamp Yankee. Since even the rural towns are growing and becoming more diversified, the term describes an older and older man every year that passes. The term may even fall out of use, and pretty much has for a lot of people.

Although pejorative ("Yankee" implies industriousness, while "Swamp Yankee" aims more towards a bumpkin), it is very much like like the racial slur "ni**er," in that Swamp Yankees can call each other that name with love, but a city guy might get stomped if he says it in the wrong crowd.

This very magazine was almost named something with Swamp Yankee in it, but many definitions of the term stress a connection to English ancestry, and I'm as Irish as an 11 AM third beer.


Irish Battleship

Speaking of the Irish, this term has nothing to do with the Navy.

An Irish Battleship is simply a triple-decker house in the Irish parts of Boston.

There are some fun stereotypes to work with. Irish families tend to be large, so a triple-decker could spill out 30-50 people if they have bunk beds and so forth. These houses tend to be tall and thin, so as to allow the developer to fit more of them on a street. This gives the appearance of a warship when viewed from the front.

There's a reason that they call it an Irish Battleship instead of an Irish Freighter and so forth. The Irish like a good battle as much as they like a good bottle. I don't have the actual quote in front of me, but I heard something once along the lines of "your average Irish criminal has little use for things like Fraud, Embezzlement and Price-Gouging... but if there is some Fighting to be done, he is apt to have a hand in it."

With 40 people who may quite likely be inter-related in each house... if you mess with someone in their own yard, the whole battleship may come out after you.

The triple-decker is how housing was constructed in Irish neighborhoods during that time PJ O'Rourke described as "before city planners discovered that you can't stack poor people who drink."


Tuxedo

The term "tuxedo" has no distinct connection to New England, and is in wide use everywhere. However, our little part of New England has very distinct uses of the term.

The term "Portuguese Tuxedo" or "New Bedford Tuxedo" refers to the practice of wearing a sport coat over a "premium soccer warm-up suit."

The "Fall River Tuxedo," on the other hand, is when you wear a sport coat over a hooded sweatshirt.

The "Irish Tuxedo" is when you're wearing shorts and a winter coat at the same time.



Pukwudgie

This sounds like a racial slur, but it actually refers to little goblins who supposedly haunt the swamps of the Bridgewater Triangle.

The term is from the  Wampanoag language, and Pukwudgies play a role in their folklore.

They primarily haunt the Hockomock Swamp, and have turned up in references as far east as Silver Lake in Kingston.



Whoopie Pie

A chocolate cake sandwich with creme filling. It was invented in Massachusetts, and has since spread nationally.

Whoever invented the Devil Dog pretty much just looked at a Whoopie Pie and figured out how to slim it down and make it mass-profitable. Devil Dogs were trademarked in the 1920s, as were Whoopie Pies. Both has been around for almost a century before they were trademarked, and they were known informally by their current names.

Also known as a BFO, aka Big Fat Oreo or Big F*cking Oreo. The Oreo, however, is a cookie, not a cake.

Southerners in northern bakeries will often mistake this for a Moon Pie, and are disappointed when they discover that there is no marshmallow or graham crackers in it.


Relievio

This game is actually a Massachusetts variant of Ringolevio, a Brooklyn street kid game that evolved from a British game called Bedlam. "Relievio" is a spelling distinct to Massachusetts, however.

It is a much extended form of Tag, involving teams and jails. It is thought to have migrated into Massachusetts from Brooklyn, with minor name and rule changes as it bled into the former resort communities that now form Boston's suburbia.

This was the sh*t back when I was a kid on Duxbury Beach. You have two teams, and each has a jail at an opposite end of the neighborhood. The teams would chase each other around, capture each other, and jail each other. You could spring your team from jail by barging into the jail without being caught.

The Notorious B.I.G. referenced the game in Things Done Changed, calling it "Coco-levio" and referencing the "Coco-levio one two three, one two tree" capture line. He was from Brooklyn, and the same game was called Relievio (with a "one two three RELIEVIO" capture line) around the same time in Duxbury. George Carlin (a bit older than Biggie and I, and a Manhattan kid) referenced "ring-a-levio" in his act several times.

Biggie points to the decline of the game's prevalence as accompanying a period of social decay, but it fell out by mere demographics in Duxbury. Once the 40 kid neighborhood mobs of the Baby Boomer 1960s and 1970s fell off to the bare dozen kids of a Generation X neighborhood in the late 1980s, you didn't have enough manpower for Relievio. Most kids would just default and play the needs-less-kids Flashlight Tag. The same demographic fate is what basically killed baseball for white kids.



White Man

I doubt that this term is in widespread use at all, and I only included it because it made me chuckle.

It's a term for the very Caucasian town of Whitman, Massachusetts.

Wokka Wokka Wokka...



Triple Eagle

This is a term for someone who went to:

1) Boston College High School

and then

2) Boston College

and finally

3) Boston College Law School.



Dee Wee

A variant of DUI, with the last two letters being pronounced as a French website editor might pronounce "yes."

I like Dee Wee because:

A) Massachusetts drinks hard enough that a Driving Under The Influence term needs not only a nickname but an acronym,

and

B) Someone, somewhere was too lazy for the three letter acronym, had to shorten it... and it caught on.

C) It rhymes.


Townie

"Townie" belongs in the Retired category, and I only mention it here because it means different things to different people

Ideally, it refers to someone from Charlestown. However, you can lay the term on someone from Southie or even parts of Dorchester without losing any effectiveness.

Once you get out into the sticks, far enough that the urban connotation is no longer necessary, it means "the locals from that town." It is often used in college towns to differentiate between the local punks and the ones who are in the dorms.

I dated a girl from Charlestown (she ruled... she had 5 kids from 4 men, all of whom were in jail for robbing armored cars, and the principal of the school that I taught at- who grew up in the neighborhood-  told me "She's a wonderful girl, sweet, never misses Mass... but if you just even take her out to dinner, she'll be pregnant before the check comes.") once. When I brought her to Duxbury Beach for a bit of ucking,  we crossed some unknown line between Charlestown and Duxbury where she stopped being the Townie and where I became the Townie. Offhand, I'd draw that line at about where the Route 128 Split is.



From The "U" When It Was Only A "C"

Many people from Massachusetts- myself included- went somewhere like Salem State, Framingham State, Worcester State, or Bridgewater State. Shoot, I went to a pair of 'em.

At some point, the state switched those schools, formerly known as Bridgewater State College and so forth, into universities. Thusly, Salem State College became Salem State University.

Universities are more prestigious than colleges. Someone like me, who has a Bridgewater State College diploma up on the wall, can front like I was smart enough to get into a University just by saying "I went to Bridgewater State." This works even if, say,  I was a moron, who BSC only let in the door because I was an orphan with a Pell Grant in each hand.

It can backfire, as there is a Bridgewater State Hospital for the criminally insane (it once housed the Boston Strangler) in the same town which is also called "Bridgewater State," but the right man can work that to his advantage in most social situations.

However, if you catch someone fronting on their Framingham State College education like they went to a University, you can shut them down by going "You went to the 'U' when it was only a 'C.'"


Rotary

This is another one that should be retired. However, the author lives near a bunch of these, has written about them at length, and knows that someone reading this article as a prep guide prior to a Massachusetts visit may need to know some things. The centre does not hold.

What everyone else in the world calls a "traffic circle" or a roundabout" is called a "rotary" in Massachusetts. There is actually something called a "rotary" in real life, but it isn't what we have in Massachusetts. We use the term incorrectly, and great and potentially lethal differences exist between how one drives in a rotary, a roundabout and a traffic circle.

The funny part is that rotaries/traffic circles/roundabouts fell out of favor in the US, and were gradually phased out to the extent that they are now nearly extinct... except in Massachusetts, where they are still prevalent. That's right... the people who don't know the rules now define the rules.

The even funnier part is that, as far as I can tell, there are no rules in a rotary other than No Left Turn. The best way to deal with it is to treat it like stealing a base.... get a lead, pick your spot, explode full-speed, slide through the base...

Stacey, our French writer, uses a sudden zero-to-seventy snap of her wrist to illustrate the same method, and it looks very much like the motion one would use to start an outboard motor.


Brazillion

An indiscriminate number used on Cape Cod to answer the "How many dishwashers/painters/movers/laborers/whatever are on Cape Cod?" questions that sometimes arise during regional planning discussions.

Much like other intangible terms like "the code of the West" or "la plume de ma tante," it is a term that, as Hunter Thompson once said, "can mean just about whatever you need it to mean, in a pinch."


Mooncusser

We tend to assign Piracy to places like Somalia these days, and perhaps rightfully so.

However, there was once a time when America was more like Somalia than Somalia was. Cape Cod, which is a mess of little islands, hidden coves and known-only-to-locals currents, was prime ground for piracy, privateering and smuggling.

Smugglers like darkness, as they often depend on rowing ashore without anyone noticing. When the moon was shining, it increased the chances of being seen. Hence, they would "curse" at it.

"Curse" becomes "Cuss" very quickly on the lips of people who are famous for not pronouncing their R sounds.

"Mooncusser" was a prominent enough term on Cape Cod that it was in solid contention when newly-formed Monomoy High School was kicking the mascot idea around a few years back.


Peking Ravioli

This one snuck up on me. I had no idea that this term was not used outside of Massachusetts. The rest of the world calls them pot-stickers, dumplings or- properly- Jiaozi or Guotie

The term arose from Joyce Chen's restaurant in Cambridge, and it was named "ravioli" in an effort to lure in Italian customers. Attempts by Chinese restaurants to lure in Italians and Irish-who don't consider a meal to be a meal without bread- are also why the Hung Lo Kitchen in Yourtown, Massachusetts still throws some bread in with your order.

The meal itself dates back to the Song Dynasty, and versions of it have been found even further back.


New Bedford

New Bedford rules, and one of the reasons she rules is because she has about 10 nicknames. Even your author, who studies and writes about junk like this for a living, doesn't know all of them.

Nicknames include New Beddy, New Beige, Beige, New Beffuh (born of the same mom as Meffuh/Medford, I'd bet), New Betty, Baby Lisbon, New B and even The Whaling City.

You have to wave these around very carefully, as what might get you a laugh in one bar might get you a chain-whipping in another. With the exception of Baby Lisbon, you never know which is which.


Greenie

This is a term for a worker of Irish descent who is in Massachusetts illegally.

There is a layered meaning to the term, with "green" working along the lines of "new, naive, inexperienced" as well as the green of the "green card"... which a true Greenie wouldn't have, anyhow.

However, the main thrust of this term is the Irish reference. I'd recommend knowing but not using this one, as it could get you stomped by a roofer in many a pub across our reading area.

Mike Greenwell patrolled left field in Fenway Park for many a season with this nickname, and I have no idea if he knew about the meaning.


Shanty Irish

While we're on the subject, this term falls into the same pejorative region.

It is not a term in itself, as it needs something to modify. It is very much like how "wicked" is used in Massachusetts.- no one ever says "wicked" in a stand-alone sense. The heading should technically be "Shanty Irish ____," and only isn't because I needed an extra paragraph.

You can use it in front of "house," "town," "family," and whatever else you might want. A guy who I used to work with, who no doubt had a grouchy wife, used to bemoan the "shanty Irish bone" that the Good Lord in all his wisdom had cursed him with. He used to volunteer for extra shifts a lot.


Upper/Lower/Mid//Outer/Up/Down/Out/On/Off Cape

Cape Cod is easy to get around on. Two roads cut right through it. If you get lost, it's a husband's dream... if you just keep driving and your wife doesn't yell out the window for directions, you'll hit Route 6 or Route 28 again soon enough.

So, to make it more confusing, locals have a dozen different terms for navigation that make perfect sense to them and will drive a New Yorker insane. This is before we get to the rotaries (see above).

Upper/Lower/Mid/Outer Cape Cod is easy to explain. Trains used to run out here from Boston, and the terms are born from the towns' relative placement on the list of train stations.

Upper Cape = Bourne, Falmouth, Mashpee, Sandwich

Mid Cape = Barnstable, Yarmouth and Dennis

Lower Cape = Brewster, Harwich, Chatham

Outer Cape = Orleans, Eastham, Wellfleet, Truro, Provincetown

Parts of the Lower Cape appear higher on a map than parts of the Upper Cape do, but try not to worry about that right now.

Other navigational aids on Cape Cod:

"Off Cape" means everything on Earth once you cross the bridges (Sagamore and Bourne). It is used how "Outside The Asylum" is used in Douglas Adams novels.

"On Cape" speaks not of a region, but of a direction. You might tell someone asking for your ETA that you "just got on Cape," or you someone in Dartmouth may tell a tourist to "just take Route 6 to the bridge, and follow it on Cape."

"Out on the Cape" is how Cape Codders speak of people further out (east, sometimes north, sometimes even south... as long as it correlates with Route 6 or Route 28) on Cape Cod than they are.

"Down the Cape" is a) how someone from the mainland refers to someone from the mainland who moved to Cape Cod, i.e. "Steve moved down the Cape," or b) how Cape Codders move along a directions-seeking tourist once they determine that they will find either Route 6 or Route 28 soon enough, i.e. "Get on Route 6 and just keep heading down the Cape." Option B only works west-to-east, except when it is working south-to-north.


South Shore vs South Coast

These two terms should mean the same thing, but. uhm, welcome to Massachusetts! Remember, this is where a single road is concurrently 95 North, 93 South, 128 North and Route 1 South.

The South Shore is considered to be Boston's southern coastal suburbia, and it runs roughly Quincy to Plymouth.

The South Coast is the Greater New Bedford area, and was called so until a weatherman invented "South Coast." It runs from Wareham to Fall River or so.

The town of Bourne's mainland area forms the hinge on the imaginary door between these two, and is the only town that touches both regions. Bourne sort of serves the same Latvia/buffer zone purpose with Cape Cod and the rest of the world.



Friday, January 27, 2017

Defending Marsh Vegas


I'm a big fan of linguistics, regional dialects, only-used-here terms... stuff like that. I've been reading up on it this morning. This page, a Glossary Of Boston Slang, will spawn a few articles. One of them will be called some form of "local terms that I was unaware of, but which rule," once I type it up and everything.

Quick preview: I was unaware that a triple decker house was known as an "Irish Battleship." I also had no idea that "Slampig" was one word, or that Framingham was known as "Dirtyham."

Nothing against Framingham- I've never had a bad date out of that town- but I needed a segue into town nicknames, and people from places like Gettysburg or Amityville will tell you that sometimes bad things happen to good towns.

One thing that jumped out at me during my research was that other towns use the "Vegas" moniker that people from the South Shore like to drop on Marshfield. While I type it now and then, I don't think that I have ever spoken the word "Marshfield" to anyone local. "Marsh Vegas" rules too hard. It is highly prevalent, as is the lazier "Vegas."

We could argue all day about why Marshfield is known as "Marsh Vegas." Some people point to the Irish Riviera nicknaming pattern, some point to a parody (sleepy town named for Las Vegas), some point to former gambling houses, some point to legalized horse betting, some point out that "Las Vegas" means "the meadows," which Marshfield is covered in, some point to the overabundance of commercial signs as one drives down Route 139... no one knows why it is called "Marsh Vegas," but everyone knows that it is called "Marsh Vegas."

Suburbanites like myself tend to forget that, while the South Shore may seem like the whole world to some people, it really is just a little slice of a little section of a little state. Still, I was very shocked to see that there were contenders arising for the Vegas title.


Lexington, Massachusetts, Wakefield, Massachusetts and Nashua, New Hampshire all turn up in the Boston Slang Glossary, laying claim to the Vegas title. Lex Vegas and Nash Vegas do have a ring to them, and Wakefield has the additional nom de guerre of "The Dirty Dirty Wake Vegas."

I have heard "Dirty Dirty" used in rap music by rapper guys speaking about the "Dirty Dirty South," and that's where the term is owned. Locally, I have heard it used for the South Coast region of Massachusetts. It makes more sense with "the Dirty Dirty South Coast" just from the hip-hop genesis of the word, but "Lex Vegas" makes more sense than "Marsh Vegas" and I still intend to advocate for Lexington to drop the nickname.

In fact, they should all drop the term "Vegas.". Marshfield deserves it, Marshfield rocks it harder, and many locals would not know what someone was talking about if they said "Marshfield."

Do I have the right to make this claim? Am I right to make this claim?

"Lex Vegas" yields 41 million results on Google. Many of them are from other states, however. Lexingtons in both Kentucky and Virginia have more prominent usage of "Lex Vegas" than Massachusetts does. That's a red flag right there, player.

"Wake Vegas" loses on Google because Katy Perry did a song called "Waking In Las Vegas," and that's pretty much all she wrote for the Internet presence of "Wake Vegas." I have no intention of hopping through 100 pages of search results looking for a nickname etymology which I plan to disregard anyhow. Eff them.

"Nash Vegas" is even uglier. For one, Nashville, Tennessee stakes a pretty solid claim to the title. To make it more Google-awful, a prominent professional wrestler named Kevin Nash once had a stage name of "Vinnie Vegas," and it kills any Google presence New Hampshire may have hoped for with the nickname.




A search of Google for "Marsh Vegas" yields numerous results, exclusively for Marshfield. There's an Urban Dictionary entry, a Facebook page, and a zillion social media references.

It just fits Marshfield better. They are the only ones who truly own their nickname. Massachusetts deserves better than a second-best Lex Vegas and New England deserves better than a third-best Nash Vegas.

Therefore, I call on Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker to do the right thing and issue an official proclamation proclaiming Marshfield as the only true Vegas, and dismissing the claims to the term by Lexington, Nashua and Wakefield. Anyone caught referencing Lex Vegas will be dragged down to Green Hahbah and keelhauled.

Keelhauling, which is the practice of tying a criminal to the keel of the ship and dragging him under it, was a vicious practice. Those who didn't drown were dragged along a wall of barnacles, to the extent that decapitation happened now and then. It was outlawed in 1853, but it could be brought back in special circumstances.

Special circumstances like someone failing to recognize Marsh Vegas, for instance...





We've done whole articles on town nicknmes.... check it out....

Local Town Nicknames

Sara Curtis in Virginia won't be saying "Lex Vegas" any time soon...


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

January 2017 Nor'easter Pictures, Videos



A powerful nor'easter hit Massachusetts this week. We missed last night's tide, but we got all up in this morning's offerings.


We mostly worked Duxbury Beach, but we did manage to snap-shot Green Harbor. The tide, normally a 9 foot nothing, got big ups from the storm surge.


I was using a thirty dollar Wal-Mart phone camera and a badly battered laptop, while shooting in the teeth of a nor'easter. The laptop served as the video host, and you will probably be able to tell that I usually have someone else do the filming.



video



This wasn't a bad storm, maybe a B minus. No structural damage that I could see, although some beach erosion surely went down by the dunes.


I grew up on this beach, and watched a lot of gulls in my time. The smarter ones hunker down somewhere leeward, but sometimes one of them gets bored enough or hungry enough and works the surf. Joe Deady II on the camera for this one.


My old front yard, just after the porch there. It was great fun and easy work repairing that law every spring. We used to have a cobblestone patio, too... cobblestones that my father either bought or "acquired" from some road in Boston. They were very fun to re-arrange every time the ocean did something like this, and I'm a masochist.



video


The main problem residents here will have is that the ocean splashed a few million gallons of salt water over the wall and onto a great many lawns. You can see it happening between the stairs.



My 35 mph photography is improving, but it is a slow process.


The legendary public stairs of Duxbury Beach, home to much 1980s teen debauchery.



video


I had to get off of Ocean Road North before it lived up to the name. That took me through this puddle of seawater. I was pretty much that U-Boat Commander joke from the Tom Cruise pimp movie.


Joe Deady made it outside before I did, but I made up for it later with intensity.



Libby Carr gets into the mix with a bit of second story work over some Hummock Lane flooding. Hummock Lane is named after "Rouse's Hummock," which is what Cable Hill was called either A) before they put the trans-Atlantic cable in, B) when Rouse lived there, C) both, or D) neither.


video

The guy who owns the house with the flooded lawn worked at a golf course when I lived there. No matter what sort of maelstrom befell Duxbury Beach that winter, you could drop a 30 foot putt on it by summer. My yard, by contrast, looked like what grows over a shallow grave after a while if the killer is particularly good at choosing spots that the cops don't look in.



This is what Duxbury's Great Salt Marsh looks like with a spring full moon tide. Unfortunately, this was a mid-cycle 9 foot tide. Any water you can see in this picture is storm surge. I'm at the beach, shooting towards Duxbury Proper.



video


This is when I decided that moving my car from the driveway of the house I was shooting at would be a good idea.


As bad as this may look, A) it didn't get any, uhm, badder, and B) this is getting off very, very easily. as a full moon tide when this storm hit would have probably wrecked some homes.


You never ever let Ol' Glory get slapped around by a nor'easter. A wind sock would have made my job easier, but that's not this guy's problem.


video


They say that a waves don't get  more than 5 feet off this beach in all but extreme conditions, and we were in that neighborhood today. They had a rough tide the night before, and were very lucky that those waves weren't rolling into houses on a full moon tide.


You can tell that I shot this one instead of Joe... because it's blurry as heck. The surf covers up for a lot of my errors.


"I'z unda yoor howz.... shootin' at yer ocean."


I got up on the seawall for a few, but it was camera suicide until the tide eased back some.


Even the porch was a rough go.



I got in where I fit in.


video

Hummock Lane, with Cable Hill/Rouse's Hummock in the background. A newly located Cape Cod Bay, now a street pool, is in the foreground.


RAIN TOTALS AT NOON

North Weymouth, 3.5"
Sandwich 3.24"
East Mashpee 2.75"
Falmouth 2.52"
Duxbury 2.0"

...'been raining since, too.


Rain is actually what washes the salt water out of the lawns, if you're lucky. It's all sand once you go down far enough, and sand drains well.


You can almost see Green Harbor in the background. Green Hahbahhhh... obscured by the mists of the storm.



WIND GUSTS

Wellfleet 59 mph
Minot 40 mph
Cuttyhunk 44 mph
Plum Island 62 mph



Duxbury Beach, summer 1978, after the Blizzard. The house I was doing most of my shooting from is a much larger version of the 4th house from the right. I grew up in #2 from the right.



We made our way south for the tail end of the storm, and got some Sagamore work in.


We got to Saggy well after high tide, so don't think that we don't represent hard down this way.


Sagamore benefits greatly from the presence of Cape Cod, which keeps it from the heaviest of the storm surf.


You could still get knocked off a rock two hours after high tide. Bourne representin'...

We went to the White Cliffs in Cedarville (Plymouth), but the party was pretty much over by then.


Monday, January 23, 2017

Powerful Nor'easter Hits Today, Coastal Concerns


A powerful nor'easter is sizing up New England, bringing the potential for heavy rain, high winds, power outages and very dangerous seas.

We'll let the National Weather Service tell you:

**********************
Monday Morning Briefing:

The coastal storm that we've been talking about for the past few days is set to arrive today. There is a lot to talk about, so here's a rundown of the potential hazards. Check out the images below for more information.

If you have any questions, feel free to post them here. We'll do our best to answer them as soon as we can.

Winter Weather: Today into Tuesday

- Mix of snow, sleet, and some freezing rain expected across much of western and central MA and northern CT.

- Higher accumulations (2-4") expected across higher terrain near Berkshires and northern Worcester County. There could be as much as 1" of sleet in some areas.

- Less icing is expected than was previously forecast (now under 1/4 inch).

Wind: Strongest Later This Afternoon and Tonight

- East winds gust as high as 60-70 mph along the immediate eastern Massachusetts coast including Cape Ann, coastal Plymouth County, Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, and Block Island.

- Gusts of 40-50 mph expected elsewhere, except 30-40 mph in Franklin and Hampshire Counties.

- Strongest winds expected from late this afternoon into tonight, before winds subside quickly Tuesday morning.

Heavy Rain: This Evening into Tuesday Morning

- 1 to 3 inches of rain is expected, with the higher amounts in RI and eastern MA where locally higher amounts possible.

- Potential for significant urban flooding in RI and eastern MA, possibly flooding of small streams as well.

Coastal Flooding: This Evening and Tuesday Morning

- Pockets of minor coastal flooding expected along the eastern MA coast during this evening's high tide. A storm surge of around 2 ft is expected.

- More widespread minor coastal flooding is expected in the same areas with Tuesday morning's high tide, when there could also be pockets of moderate flooding. A storm surge of 3 to perhaps even 4 ft is expected.

- Most favored areas for moderate flooding include Newburyport, Scituate, and possibly Gloucester and Nantucket Harbor.

- Minor coastal flooding is also possible Tuesday morning along parts of the South Coast including Newport, Westerly, and Block Island. Coastal Flood Advisories may be issued for these locations later today.
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Snow isn't expected anywhere in our reading area. This is good, because 3 inches of precipitation can crank out 2+ feet of snow very easily. Throw in several hours of tropical storm force winds, and we'd be using that B Word which rhymes with lizard.

Instead, we'll get soaking rains, howling winds and pounding surf. The storm should produce 2 fierce tides before the winds shift. Prior to what we previously thought, winds are now forecast to be from the NE at high tide on Tuesday morning, which is bad news for anyone owning a beach house.

Tides are astronomically low, but that will be cancelled out by the 2-4 foot surge. The end result is equal to the worst full moon high tide of any month. After that, it's just a question of how big the waves are when they hit the shore. You can use the math from the chart up at the top to see how the tides will be altered by the surge.

The winds may also take down some power lines, especially when you get closer to the coast. You can check the wind forecast for your area in the picture at the bottom of this article.

Some more NWS stuff. We're doing watches and warnings pertaining to Duxbury, just because...

High Wind Warning

Areal Flood Watch

Coastal Flood Advisory (Monday)

Coastal Flood Watch (Tuesday)

As for us, we plan to take to the road for this storm. The surf will be better on the Cape at the height of the storm, but it might be more practical for us to work the Irish Riviera, maybe Scituate to Plymouth to Sandwich. I may not see my own house for two days.

We'll post our pictures as we get them. Anyone who wishes to contribute can reach us through our Facebook page. We love reader submissions. You're probably a better photographer than ol' Steve here, so you'd have a good chance of taking the best picture used in the article.

We'll be back with an update.


Sunday, January 22, 2017

NFL Conference Championships Schedule, Betting Lines


1/22 3:05 ET At Atlanta -5.5 Green Bay 61    FOX

A 61 point over/under is ridiculous, indicative of a shootout. The funny part is that it may be conservative.

While Green Bay's defense does their level best, both teams are pretty much the easy whore of Mister Touchdown, and will give themselves to him all day. You could very well see more points than a Seurat painting.

That 61 points seems conservative, unless you are betting on Green Bay winning in a rout, 46-14 or something like that.

I don't think Atlanta is all that. I was amazed that they beat Seattle, who I am happy to see out of the playoffs. That was the only game I blew last week.

Thusly, I see Green Bay going way the hell up early, with Atlanta scoring enough to keep you from losing interest. However, the outcome will never be in doubt.

Green Bay, 38-24


1/22 6:40 ET At New England -6 Pittsburgh 50.5    CBS

There's a big nor'easter heading towards New England, which I wish would be a foot of snow but will probably be an inch of rain.

(Please note that the Weather Desk and the Sports Desk at Cranberry County Magazine sometimes disagree, and that the Weather Desk thinks that the rain will hold off until the ride home from Foxboro. However, there is a belief at both Desks that, if he really needs to, Bill Belichick can exert some influence on the weather.)

We also have our spies about, and they tell me that the flu/stomach bug is running wild in the Pittsburgh locker room. LeVeon Bell may indeed get 175 total yards, but still have an Uta Pippig ending.

Expect many ROG-ERRRR chants, as the NFL Commish is cowering in Georgia. He is going to hand us that trophy this year, and he's going to learn to like doing it.

Not having Gronkowski is tough, but I get the sense that the Pats are going all the way this year, and Pittsburgh is just the next clown out of the car.

New England, 27-24



Saturday, January 21, 2017

Trump Cat... It Might Happen


A lot of my pets have political names. I had a litter of kittens once named Republicat, Democat, Romneycat, Obamacat and.....and Puffy Cat, who was too puffy to name anything else.

I ended up with Republicat, which is ironic because I lean left politically. My conservative neighbor got Obamacat. My neighbor and I, who never let politics get in the way of a good cat, are both perfectly happy with our opposition party pets.

That's why, in the spirit of Unity, I'm thinking bout dyeing the top of my cat's head orange and calling it Trump Cat.

He was once known as Saint Nick, became Diamond, morphed into Tummy Cat, and now may become Trump Cat. He's a white Maine Coon, he was brought into my life by an X and I think it would look good on him.

Just a little orange on the top... should wash right out once I regain my senses, right?

I'm fairly liberal, but Trump is our President, and we all have to deal with this fact at some point.

I go way, way back with a noted Kingston hair stylist.... once I talk to her, Trump Cat just may happen. It's a shame that animals feel pain, because I have a Yankee Candle that is just the right color.

Trump Cat... he's the pussy(cat) that grabs YOU.

Update to come....80% chance that someone talks me out of it, 75% chance that the Obamacat neighbor sneaks over while I'm at work and kidnaps Tummy Cat until I regain my composure. Otherwise... Trump Cat.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Nor'easter Comin'


Hey there! We wanted to give you the early heads-up, as a powerful Nor'easter is targeting us for Monday and Tuesday.

AS FOR NOW, it looks like a rain event in SE Massachusetts. However, long-range forecasts have a way of changing. Our last blizzard started off as a forecast of "six inches of snow over two days" before evolving into the snow machine which eventually visited us.

This storm looks notable for three reasons:

RAIN.... We're looking at 1-3 inches of rain. .10" of rain is a good soaking, while 3" gets up near Tropical Storm territory. No one has said snow for our area, and I want to stress that before stating that- depending on how fluffy it is- 3" of rain would equate to a couple of feet of snow.

COASTAL FLOODING... Winds along the coast will approach 50 mph, more than enough to push an angry sea towards your beach house. One thing that you have going for you? Low astronomical tides. Duxbury Beach, where we hope to embed ourselves for the storm, has a piddling 9 foot tide lined up for Tuesday morning, as opposed to the 11.4 flood tide that they got during the new moon on the 12th. Tuesday morning looks to be the height of the storm, for now anyways.

LENGTH... This looks like one of those 3 tide storms, which is why relatively weak nor'easters often inflict damage similar to a more powerful tropical systems. The ocean always wins, and it generally wins by attrition. "Attrition" is one of those flighty terms, which can mean anything that a journalist needs it to, but the basic idea is that a series of strong tides will wear down a beach through erosion. I'm not 100% sure exactly how long this storm will drop NE winds on the coast, so some of those storm tides may have winds that don't help the waves directly towards the beach.

This is more of a Heads Up than a detailed forecast. We'll be back with an update as the storm gets closer.