Showing posts with label Massachusetts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Massachusetts. Show all posts

Monday, April 24, 2017

Borden Flats Lighthouse Hotel

One of my favorite lighthouses around is in Fall River. This is odd, because I tend to romanticize lighthouses as isolated things on the end of a lonely beach. In that regard, it's odd to see one while I'm eating Popeye's chicken in the car.

Borden Flats Lighthouse sits at the mouth of the Taunton River, where it empties out into Mount Hope Bay. If I were a better photographer, you'd see how cool it looks there, but that's why you can read this for free.

Borden Flats Lighthouse was erected in 1881. It, and the flats it sits on, are named for the famous Borden family of Fall River. The Bordens may have had a daughter turn up in the news at some point for some reason or another, I'm not sure....

I think the Borden family may have been into hotels, because the Lizzie Borden house is now a B&B. The Borden Flats Lighthouse, which looks pretty much like a lighthouse to me, is actually a hotel!

The actual good pictures are lifted from the Borden Flats Lighthouse website.

Fall River, a bustling textile town in the 1800s, got a lot of shipping traffic, as well as steamboat ferry action. Mount Hope Bay is rather shallow, and Borden Flats were ship-wrecking treacherous. It was formerly marked by an unlit beacon. $25K was set aside for construction of the lighthouse.

It went into action on October 1, 1881. It had a kerosene-fed fourth order Fresnel lens, and you know that I have no idea what that means. It got a modern plastic lens in 1977.

It was electrified in 1957, automated in 1963, and the fog bell was replaced by an electronic foghorn in 1983... a mistake in my view, but I also don't live near/have to listen to it.

The 1938 hurricane didn't topple Borden Flats Lighthouse, but it did give it a Pisa-style tilt that you notice once someone points it out to you. They built an additional caisson around it to keep it from having a ruined-castle style look.

In 2000, the lighthouse was auctioned off to Cindy and Craig Korstad, who are in the Buy Lighthouses And Turn Them Into Hotels business. I think they dropped $53K on it, then many K more renovating it.

It stands 50 feet tall, it has a 250 mm white light that flashes every 2.5 seconds, The foghorn goes off every 10 seconds, or- as Elwood Blues said when showing his apartment to Joliet Jake- "so often you won't notice it after a while." It is an active US Coast Guard aid to navigation, and is of the "Spark Plug" variety.

It seems to be tastefully decorated, and it looks delicate enough that I will be on the "Don't touch anything!!" prohibition orders from my photographer when we tour it.

That's right... you can tour it for $20 a pop. You can also stay the night, for rates as low as $299 a night off-season.

Here's what I can learn about it from the website without calling the people like a real reporter does:

- Swimming is "strongly discouraged"  as this is both a shipping channel and not too far down the coast from where the last fatal shark attack in Massachusetts happened. The current is around 7 knots, and the lighthouse is surrounded by large, diver-paralyzing rocks.

- It runs off solar panels, so having Chief Brody kill the shark by tricking it into biting the electric wire running to the lighthouse isn't a viable exit strategy.

- Just like when it was built in 1881, the lighthouse has a DVD player and can get local stations on the TV. It lacks WiFi.

- The best access is from Borden Light Marina, the trip takes 5 minutes. I'm not sure if they ferry you over themselves. It would be a heroic swim, especially while carrying luggage.

- BYOB allowed, no smoking inside.

- You call 911 for emergencies, unless you know the Sea Mafia or perhaps even Aquaman. They say that the Justice League only keeps Aquaman around in case trouble arises at the Borden Flats Lighthouse.

- The Coast Guard has 24/7/365 access rights to the lighthouse.

- Sunsets are amazing from the lantern room. I'd imagine that the rest of the day is pretty nice up there, too.

- The lighthouse, like every other one, is haunted. The ghosts seem to be a giggling little girl, a classical music fan, and one of the keepers entering the lower floor while you're on an upper one.

- If you dream of buying a lighthouse, understand that there is Herculean maintenance involved. "You can't buy it and visit it once a year, your investment will wash into the sea." Much of the hotel revenue is poured back into the lighthouse via renovations and maintenance.

- Two guests only, and no pets allowed... even seals.

- The picture below is from US Coast Guard, circa 1900:

Ned Point Light In Mattapoisett, MA

We paid a visit to Mattapoisett, Massachusetts to check out Ned Point Light.

Ned Point Light is also known as Ned's Point Light by the locals. It was built in 1838 for $4500 of those 1838 dollars. John Quincy Adams was instrumental in getting the funds. It is older than Mattapoisett, which was part of Rochester until 1857.

It was made with stones that they found nearby. The contractor (Leonard Hammond), who also owned the town tavern, didn't finish in time. Stalling an inspector at his tavern, he had a crew try to make it look finished. The inspector stepped into the lighthouse and fell through the floor, which was merely planks laid over barrels.

It used to have a lightkeeper's house, but that was floated across Buzzards Bay to Bourne, where it now serves Wings Neck Light.

Ned Point Light was deactivated from 1951-1963. It was restored by locals in the 1990s.

It isn't open for touring, other than once a week in the summer. It's 39 feet high and has 32 granite steps.

She guards the northern edge of Mattapoisett Harbor.

The Three Sisters

Fast Food Oversaturation In Wareham?

If your doctor told you that you needed more cholesterol, you might want to get into the Fatmobile and bring the pod to East Wareham.

Sonic Drive-In, an Oklahoma-based restaurant chain that banks much green in the South, is slowly edging into Massachusetts. They have set their sites on Wareham, via the Patel family, owners of a bunch of Taunton-area convenience stores.

We had to go to Somerset to get these pics, but of course you know that I stopped for a salad on the way and didn't eat any artery-clogging fast food. We include the pictures for SE Massachusetts people who have never been to a Sonic. They're rare around here.

The same area of Wareham is also getting an Olive Garden.

As near as I can tell, the Sonic is going onto the property currently occupied by an oil-change shop, so your fries will have a Pennzoil taste to them. The Olive Garden is said to be going across the street from Barnacle Bill's.

How much is too much?

A lonely stretch of East Wareham is now host to a veritable takeout Mecca. You can get Burger King, Subway, McDonald's, D'Angelo's, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Taco Bell, Wendy's, Krua Thai, Pizza Boy, Rice Bowl and Dunkin Donuts. I'm not throwing Papa Gino's, Lindsay's or Bailey's into the mix, as you can't order from your car there. I'm pretty sure that the 99 only closed because the building floods in heavy rains.

It's the Cardiac Highway!

We're not Food Snobbing anyone. Stephen, one of our writers, hasn't cooked his own food since 2011 or so. However, about one hundred yards of East Wareham, a depressed region of a small town, now has every fast food place in the Northeast.

They could use a White Castle or a Carl Jr's/Hardee's, but there is only so much Cranberry Highway.

Buzzards Bay had a Burger King fail, which isn't easy. Other than the Hooters: Cape Cod and the Falmouth/Kingston Pizza Huts, it is the most high profile failure of a major fast food chain in the area.

You order off this screen, into the sort of speaker that you used to see at drive-in theaters. Someone skates out with it, and you get into the goods. I need both glasses and a taller car.

Jessica and I passed on the tater tots, as I ate them every day for 4 years in high school. I got the SuperSonic Bacon Double Cheeseburger (pictures below), which came with fries and a soda for about $10. The burger was a-ight, but the fries were Ore-Ida quality.

My meal had over 1500 calories and 2200 milligrams of sodium before I counted the milkshake (it had about 3000 calories with the milkshake... meanwhile, famine victims in refugee camps are happy to get 1200 calories a day), and the unknowable portion sizes makes it impossible to gauge how many calories I stole from Jessica's food. The recommended daily allowance for sodium is 3400 mg, but I consider that to be a piddling sum ascribed to a 105 pound woman. I'm a slim 240 man, so I should get to have twice as much sodium as mortals are allowed. I plan on buying a salt lick and just posting it up in my office somewhere.

I didn't get a pic of it, but when I took the bun and tomato off of the burger, it looked somewhat like William Dafoe.

Jessica got the Chicken Strips Sampler Platter, which was 3 whack strips, more Ore-Ida fries, and onion ring and some toast. That also ran ten bucks, and you can see it below somewhere.

Jessica's chicken did not look like a celebrity.

My man Hardcore Logo got the Chicken Strips Kids Meal, which came with a shake and some Justice League stickers. He didn't let me steal any of it.

The rollerskater (who was a guy) was friendly enough. He's out hustling for his dollar, so I'm not making fun of him. I have had worse jobs. He was the first fast food employee I have ever tipped, aside from the Dunkin' and Marylou's girls.

That's your restaurant review. I made my journalistic bones as a sportswriter. Stacey's French, but she also isn't writing this article. We did go from Cape Cod to Somerset for these pictures, so we deserve some credit.

They must have been out of the Brazilian Man rollerskating waitress neon signs, which is understandable.

Does the population of Wareham have enough kids who know how to roller skate to staff a Sonic these days? You may not want to go there until the girls get their skating legs under them, lest you get a milkshake to the face (doh!) like the cop in the Happy Days intro.

Will this be enough for Sonic- who for some reason can't seem to come to some sort of spokesmanship agreement with the Sega hedgehog- to hold up on the Cranberry Highway against the heavyweights?

We'll goof on the Olive Garden in some future article where we have pictures of one. We consider going to an Olive Garden for Italian food to be akin to going to Red Lobster for seafood. It works if you don't have Italians around to call BS on it.

Olive Garden competing against Mezza Luna should be a devastating loss, but people like franchises. Don't count the OG out of it by any means.

Here's Jesse's dinner. I stole her onion rings before the picture could be taken... because I'm eeeeeevil.

Note that Sonic and Olive Garden are two more businesses who declined to move into (and perhaps revive) the Main Street area of Buzzards Bay. The only big names willing to dance with Buzzards Bay are Subway and Dunkin' Donuts, and we know that Dunkin' would set up in Aleppo if they were allowed.

How much fast food can one region consume? Will the added presence of Sonic be too much for BK or lil' Miss Wendy to bear? Wendy's in Wareham is sort of smelly, and Sonic may just walk them out behind the barn and put them out of their misery.

... or maybe Wareham needs more fast food? Does more fast food exist? Wahlburgers may be a bit high end. I'm not sure if Jack In The Box still exists. In-n-Out Burger or Phatburger (Fatburger?) may not make it here. I'm not sure if dropping a White Castle in Buzzards Bay or East Wareham works, especially for B Double. Chick Fil-A will help along people looking for a less gay-friendly chicken sandwich, but would you run the Bourne rotary for one?

Will the East Wareham economy survive if it is reduced to a bunch of people selling shoddy hamburgers to each other? If that happens, will employees eventually just be paid in hamburgers?

Will the very town of Wareham fracture along supper preference lines, with the higher-end West Ham and their Longhouses and Red Robins break away from their more ghetto McChicken-eating cousins in East Wareham?

Only time will tell.

Playing ring toss with onion rings makes the hardened arteries well worth it.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Aggressive Turkeys Rampaging Across Massachusetts

You may or may not have noticed the Turkey Aggression going on around you.

Turkeys are not a creature that you should fear, and that headline up there is more me not knowing what else to write than an attempt to start a Mercury Theater-style panic. A turkey can injure you, make no mistake, but we'll get to that later in the article.

In the Spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love, and half or so of the turkeys are male. Love is in the air if you're a turkey, as it is mating season. I'd like to meet the person who scientifically named the turkey's mating season "the Gobbling."

Gobbling starts in mid-March, the peak runs mid-April through May, and broods start appearing in June. Turkeys get a bit aggressive during mating season, and can also be touchy when the Bay Bays are around.

Take that, tie it into our headline, and you'll see where we're headed today.

I know that broods aren't supposed to appear until June, but this guy started early and had his Bay-Bay payoff before Tax Day... unless those are hens, at which point I apologize to the turkeys in question.

Turkeys are native to America, and the nation of Turkey has no native, primordial population of them. Turkey/country lent her name to Turkey/bird via the European poultry trade with the Ottoman Empire. Opinions vary on the specifics (colonists may have mistaken American turkeys for Turkish guineafowl, which was imported all over the Mediterranean from Constantinople/Istanbul), but that's the basic etymology.

Massachusetts was crawling with turkeys by the time the Pilgrims arrived, and the Native Americans were eating them by 1100 AD or so. European explorers introduced the turkey to England in 1550.

As the Other White Meat expanded across Massachusetts, they cut down the forests and used the leftovers for farmland. Turkeys, being both a forest-dwelling bird and a tasty bird, did not fare well following the arrival of Mr. White and his family. Turkeys did not survive the 19th Century in Massachusetts, with the last native one being killed (on Mount Tom of all places, wokka wokka wokka) in the 1850s.

Farmland began to revert to forest in Massachusetts during the Industrial Revolution, as farm goods were imported into the state by the new railroads. This presented an opportunity for turkeys to return, although resettlement efforts in the first 70 years of the 20th Century failed in Massachusetts. Part of the problem is that these efforts involved farm-bred, Butterball style turkeys, and they fared poorly upon their release in the wild.

1972 saw the importation of wild turkeys from New York, and these 37 birds (and overflow from neighboring states) prospered into the 15,000 or so thought to exist in Massachusetts today. They were fully situated in SE Massachusetts by the time of a 1996 study.

Remember, kids... you can run down and have one of them, or you can walk down and have EACH one of them.

This talk of turkey resettlement means little to you if you stay out of the forest, at least for most of the year. However, just like humans, turkeys get a bit sloppy during their mating season. This leads them out into your neighborhood, and potentially into your lives.

First of all, they are promiscuous. They are not monogamous... when business is concluded, Tom Turkey is raisin' up off the cot. Toms may mate with every hen in the area. Hens will mate several times a season, and egg incubation takes a bit less than a month.

Early batches of eggs only have a bout a 40% survival rate, primarily due to weather and egg/hen predation.  25-50% of hatchlings survive, with foxes, hawks and chilling spring rains offing the other offspring. Like many rural families, they have large families in hopes of having offspring succeed them.

This is why Tom Turkey is so busy about gettin' busy, folks. He has offspring odds to offset. Pimpin' ain't easy, as the rappers say.

This means that from March through May, the party is on in Turkeytown. Much like high school kids, they care little if business takes them into your yard. This leads to increased human-turkey interaction.

Turkeys got a bit cocky around Easter, as they aren't a major menu item for this holiday. He wouldn't be Doin' The Butt at my photographers in November, I can tell you that.

Turkeys live by a code known as the Pecking Order. Turkeys assign everyone in their lives a role in their pecking order, and this role usually involves attempts to assert dominance. Humans fit into this pecking order, and the turkey assigns a sex to a human based on his/her perception of the human's behavior. A "male" human may be challenged (or deferred to) by a tom and followed by a hen.

Being followed by hens is flattering in a way, but being challenged by a Tom is a bad thing. Turkeys can give out a painful peck, and one turkey attack victim described it leaping into the air and doing a dropkick-style move with the talons.

An adult human should be able to beat down even the angriest turkey, but it won't be a pretty fight and you're probably going to come out of it with some scars. A child or an old person may be less equipped to fight a large turkey.

Don't be afraid to stomp an aggressive turkey. It ends the immediate threat, and it teaches the other turkeys who the dominant primordial beast is. Turkeys are dumb enough to attack their own reflections (they are not thought to be self-aware), and one good smackdown is worth a hundred good arguments with that crowd. The sooner they learn it, the sooner they will regard humans as the turkey-sandwich-eating dominant species.

This might save them from a scenario where they would have to be "removed" from a neighborhood. They don't do trap-n-release with nuisance turkeys. Trapping methods used by hunters in the forest don't work on Elm Street in Suburbia, USA. Suburban turkeys who become a nuisance get the ol' Smith & Wesson haircut.

It takes a village of people beating down turkeys to make a positive change. Everyone has to do it, and they have to be consistent. If you get the neighborhood bully to go beat down the baddest bird, the turkeys will learn to fear just the bully, rather than humans in general. If the next human they see looks like a sucker, the turkey aggression begins anew. If they are chased from neighborhoods, it lowers the risk of human/turkey interaction.

Two of my own photographers have suffered turkey attacks this April.

Jessica shot the bottom picture in the article when a flock of turkeys marched right through urban traffic and attacked her car. She informs me that it was very Hitchcockian, but they turkey fled in a minute when she pulled out some Stove Top.

In the picture just above, a turkey attacks the home of Cranberry County Magazine photographer Justin Thyme- who, in spite of her name, is actually a pretty girl. One can understand the turkey's motivation.

Unfortunately for this turkey, Justin has two Rottweilers named Fury and Wrath, they roam the yard from time to time, and they enjoy fresh poultry.

Nature is a cruel mistress, and one man's mommy might be another man's sandwich meat. Ideally, we'd each have our own realm to roam. However, as we noted earlier, the nation of Turkey is full of people...

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Get Your Baby Chickens In Wareham

"Which came first, the chicken or the egg? I ate the chicken, and then I ate his leg."

We rolled deep into the TSC last week, to check the chicks. While "tractor store" wouldn't be the very last place I would look to buy chickens at (there is a strong farming connotation), it also isn't what you open the phone book to when you're looking for one. I'm not sure if getting your chickens at TSC is the same as getting pizza from a gas station, so I won't weigh in either way.

I don't farm much (I can't even grow weed), but it seems that the tractor would be the sworn enemy of little hard-to-see-from-the-tractor creatures who scurry around in the barnyard, such as the chicken.

TSC is in the Cranberry Plaza in Wareham, just off the fabulous Cranberry Highway. If you ain't there... you're somewhere else.

Cute little suckers, aren't they? I don't know enough about chickens to A) recommend raising some or B) tell you horror stories to keep you from doing so. I read "The Egg And I" once, that's about it. I'm not even sure what baby chickens are called, although I'm thinking "chicks."

I do know that, if you buy the wrong one- and the definition of "wrong" may be as simple and wide ranging as "male"- it'll be doing the old cock-a-doodle-doo for you every damn day at whatever hour the sun rises until you one day go outside and strangle it with your bare hands.

Life's too short for that sh*t, Hoss... even if you get free eggs.

They grow the dark meat chickens in their own little chicken ghetto, it seems...

Hey nowwwwwwwwwwww... I usually have to pull out the credit card for this kind of action.

99 cents is a damned cheap price for something that will grow up to either produce eggs or fill a dinner plate. I'm not sure how McNuggets are made, but it sure seems to me that these little fellows are about the same size and shape.

They are only selling chicks until a week after Easter, so be sure to hustle down and get clucked.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Late Season Snow Information

Late-season snow facts:

- According to WBZ, Boston has had snowfall of 12 inches or more after March 20th once, in 1997. More on that in a sec.  Boston has 6 instances where 6 or more inches of snow fell after March 20th. Worcester has had 12 such events.

- Spring starts at 12:30 AM this Sunday, March 20th.

- The average date of Boston's last snowfall is March 25th.

- The latest measurable snowfall for Boston was a half inch on May 10th, 1977. The latest we've had non-accumulating snow in Boston was June 10th, 1955.

- This source tells me that New York and Atlanta both have the same day, in different years, for latest snowfall... April 25th.

- Most of New England had frost on August 23rd in 1816, and lake ice was seen around the Bay State into August.. This was due to the eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia, which gave everyone red, smoky skies and drove worldwide temperatures down. New England had her corn crop fail, and all sorts of food prices skyrocketed. June snow fell in some parts of New England. It is known as The Year Without A Summer. They had one period where it went from 95 degrees to 35 degrees in a half day.

- Three late-season snowstorms stand out in our history. One was that May 10th, 1977 one from The Farmer's Almanac. The record is a bit later in the year for the Berkshires. The other late-season trace snow events of note in our history are the ones I was yapping about up above.

- Our second storm of note was the 1997 April Fool's Day Blizzard. Over 25 inches of snow fell on Boston, and coastal flooding tore apart the shoreline.

- Our third late-season storm of note was a 17-21 inch blockbuster that hit Worcester and areas north on April 28th, 1987.

I was a freshman at Worcester State College for that storm, and had just picked up a girl from West Boylston High School for a date... because that's how I rolled in 1987, playboy! We went to a movie, came out, and there were 6 inches of snow on the ground. We had an Italian dinner somewhere, and there was a foot on the ground when we came out of the restaurant.

I had only been driving for a year, and had zero savvy. We nearly hit a plow when we skidded all the way down a hill on Route 9. We also drove into a drift in some guy's yard in Berlin, Massachusetts. It ended well... the homeowner called his sons out to shove my car from the drift, and they came out single file... and each one was bigger than the last. "Don't worry about it, just steer" is how the father replied when I offered to make Katie drive so that I could get out and help shove the car. They literally lifted my car and threw it from the drift.

I got zero (0) play from that date, too. The only time I even got a hug as when we nearly crashed into the plow, and that may have been a case where she was trying to wrestle me into a position where the plow blade hit me first. I really can't blame her.

Anyhow, 17 inches of snow is about as much as we get that late in the year. If you get snow on your lawn after May 10th, you just saw a regional record.

Our own March Madness brackets for Worst Massachusetts Storm Ever

1) 1938 Great New England Hurricane

2) 1635 Great Colonial Hurricane

3) Blizzard of '78

4) Hurricane Bob, 1991

5) Worcester Tornado, 1953

6) Halloween Gale, 1991

7) Blizzard of 1888

8) 1898 Portland Gale

9) April Fool's Blizzard, 1997

10) Hurricane Carol/Edna, 1954

11)  Hurricane Donna, 1960

12) The Great September Gale Of 1815

13)  Winter of 2015

14) 1944 Great Atlantic Hurricane

15) The Triple Storms of 1839

16) Blizzard of 2005

Lower Seeds:

2008 Ice Storm

1698, reported 42 inches of snow in Cambridge

1831 Snowstorm, 3 feet on the Cape

1978 pre-Blizzard January snowstorm

2011 Springfield Tornado

Blizzard of 2013

1993 Superstorm

Saxby Gale, 1869

1969 100 Hour Storm

Winter of 1717

1996 South Shore microburst

Hurricane Belle

Hurricane Gloria

Hurricane Irene

Hurricane Sandy/Post-Sandy Wareham microburst

1960 snowstorm

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Should Route 3A Have A Nickname?

Granted, there are more important issues on the table. Syria and Iraq look messy. The Trumpcare rollout has been slightly less than smooth. North Korea is advancing their nuclear technology. There are many problems in the world more important than naming Route 3A something cool.

However, those problems require complex solutions, ones that will most likely not be figured out by a wandering stoner journalist lining up his next road trip. However, I'm just the man to bring this issue to your attention and maybe float a few names out there to sort of jump-start the process. I'm not smart enough for a brainstorm, but I do generate an impressive squall line now and then. That's good enough to name a highway.

One thing that Bourne, Wareham and Sandwich do well is name highways. Sandwich has the Old King's Highway (Route 6A), Bourne has the Scenic Highway (mainland Route 6, between the bridges) and ?ham has the Cranberry Highway. You could also throw in the Mid-Cape Highway and the Grand Old Army of The Republic Highway, but we're getting ahead of ourselves.

Running a road along the Canal and giving it a catchy name didn't get the Muslims and the Jews to stop bickering or anything, but it adds some character to the area, makes it easier for traffic reports and helps the tourists along.

Meanwhile, the 50 mile stretch of road between Bourne and Quincy- Route 3A- has no nickname at all. Wikipedia says it is known as the "Cape Way" highway, but that sort of doesn't really work either functionally (these days), as no one goes to the Cape that way anymore, and stylistically (ever). "Cape Way" blows like the mighty north wind.

Every year at around St. Patrick's Day time, we run whatever Irish-themed articles we have kicking in the archives. "Check Your Irish" is a good one, as is "The Irish Riviera."

One thing you'll learn if you read either article (or read both, I need the money) is that the area between Quincy and Bourne is stuffed with Irish-Americans. That, and the seasonal/coastal nature of the area, garnered the "Irish Riviera" nickname for the area.

Many inland towns have high Irish populations, but the big unbroken run of 33+% Irish goes from Weymouth to Plymouth.

If you stare at a map long enough, you'll also notice that Route 3A runs right through the same area. While 3A itself is inland some and doesn't host the actual Riviera, it connects to every piece of it through a sort of river/tributary system.

If you weigh the factors of 1) no effective Route 3A nickname and 2) the green wave of Irish-Americans in that Plymouth-Weymouth stretch, a solution comes to mind. Give it an Irish-themed nickname.

There are many sorts of nicknames, some official, some not. At least one pol who I asked said I'd have to go to MassDOT. That's if we want to go official. If we just want to introduce a nickname or three into the public domain and see if one of them catches on, all we have to do is write an article and post it a bit.

Let's kick a few around, shall we?

- "St. Patrick's Highway" has a nice ring to it, but it may violate the concept of keeping the church and state apart. That's probably my only official-sounding one.

- "Paddy Road" sounds like an Irish Mob movie, but it is also very catchy.

- "Mick Street" and the Happy Meal-sounding "McStreet" might offend someone, but it won't be someone Irish. The Irish, who were compared with dogs for a lot of US history, are incapable of taking offense. Don't believe me? Approach any college and say "You should be more like the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. How about the Bridgewater State University Crafty Jews?" You're not going to get a callback, player. Meanwhile, Irish-Americans who have never been near Indiana root for Notre Dame. If you think Christianity has anything to do with that, suggest that the bartender at your local sports bar stop what he is doing and hunt through the channels for the Oral Roberts University game.

- I am reluctant to put quote marks around O'Boulevard, because it already has a half of one in it.

- "The Green Mile" has ominous connotations from the movie that will be gone in a generation or two. It will also fit perfectly into those "Massachusetts Roads Make No Sense" memes, along the lines of "The Green Mile is 50 miles long." This nickname also lets us experiment with painting those yellow lines in the road green, which is just the thing to do in resort areas with a hard-drinking population base.

- "Shamrock Lane" sounds like a stripper, but it is also very catchy and relatively inoffensive to people who aren't a bit too familiar with Stripper Naming. The movie with the giant monster (Cloverfield or John Goodman, take your pick) sort of ruined any "Clover Road" possibilities.

- "The Guinness Bypass" would be ugly the first time someone de-barked a Route 3A tree.

- "The Capital Highway" would be a simple power grab. Ireland stopped being the place with the most Irish one potato famine ago. America now has the most people of Irish descent, by a large margin. In America, Massachusetts is known as the most Irish state.  In Massachusetts, the South Shore is recognized as the most Irish part of the most Irish state. Why shouldn't the South Shore thus have Capital status? Ireland can put the Capitol wherever they wish, but we can make a great claim to the Capital status. We should make a reality of that claim by naming Route 3A in such a mindset.

- "The Leprebahn" is a mishmash spelling of the little Irish pixie and the Autobahn in Germany where you can drive 200 mph if your car (and skills) will support it. We could paint the stripes between the lanes Gold, like the pot o' gold that the leprechaun guards. To save money, we can just declare that we painted them gold, leave them as the present yellow that they are, and hope that it either A) fools the tourists or B) amuses the locals. Stacey, an editor here, is arguing strenuously for a spelling of "Leprechahn."

- "The Edge" is not only a cool name for a road, but it is U2 related. U2 is an Irish rock band that the kids are listening to these days, or 1986 or whatever. That in itself doesn't merit a road, but could the actual real Edge guy be persuaded to record a quick ditty in exchange for having a highway named after him? I float this possibility only because Route 3A doesn't have her own song, like Route 128 does with that Roadrunner song by the Modern Lovers... although someone once told me that Roadrunner somehow references Cohasset (Editor's Note: Christine Frka, a former Frank Zappa groupie, lived and died at the Cohasset house of Modern Lovers founder Johnathan Richman,,, h/t to Nathaniel Palmer) . The Edge could hand us that title with ten minutes work.

- "Beating A Dead Horse Street" comes to mind when it's time to end this article.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Blizzard Inland, Winter Storm For SE Mass, Coastal Flooding, Power Outages


Western Plymouth MA-Eastern Plymouth MA-Southern Bristol MA-
Southern Plymouth MA-Western Kent RI-Eastern Kent RI-Bristol RI-
Washington RI-Newport RI-
Including the cities of Brockton, Plymouth, Fall River,
New Bedford, Mattapoisett, Coventry, West Greenwich,
East Greenwich, Warwick, West Warwick, Bristol, Narragansett,
Westerly, and Newport
719 AM EDT Tue Mar 14 2017

* LOCATIONS...Southeast coastal Massachusetts and Coastal Rhode

* HAZARD TYPES...Heavy wet snow and strong winds.

* ACCUMULATIONS...Snow accumulation of 4 to 8 inches.

* TIMING...Snow develops through 7 am and becomes heavy by mid
morning. Snowfall rates of 2 to 4 inch per hour snowfall rates
possible through early afternoon before precipitation changes
to sleet and then rain.

* IMPACTS...The heavy wet snow and strong winds may result in
tree damage and scattered power outages along with poor
visibility. Roads may become impassable at times from the
heavy wet snow combined with the strong winds.

* WINDS...Northeast 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 65 mph.

* VISIBILITIES...One quarter mile or less at times.


A Winter Storm Warning means significant amounts of snow are
expected. This will make travel very hazardous or impossible.













----------- ---------- --------- ------- ----------
7.8- 8.3 14/03 AM -0.2/ 0.3 1 NONE
12.6-13.1 14/02 PM 2.8/ 3.4 7-16 MODERATE
11.4-11.9 15/02 AM 1.8/ 2.2 7-11 MINOR
9.2- 9.7 15/02 PM -0.2/ 0.2 5 NONE
9.3- 9.8 16/02 AM -0.2/ 0.3 5 NONE
8.8- 9.3 16/03 PM -0.2/ 0.2 2 NONE


----------- ---------- --------- ------- ----------
1.4- 1.9 14/03 AM 0.0/ 0.5 1 NONE
5.4- 5.9 14/02 PM 3.7/ 4.2 3-6 MODERATE
1.9- 2.3 15/02 AM 0.1/ 0.6 3 NONE
1.4- 1.9 15/03 PM -0.2/ 0.2 2-3 NONE
1.2- 1.7 16/03 AM -0.6/-0.1 3 NONE
0.7- 1.1 16/04 PM -0.8/-0.2 2 NONE


----------- ---------- --------- ------- ----------
2.7- 3.2 14/03 AM -0.2/ 0.3 1 NONE
5.4- 5.9 14/03 PM 2.3/ 2.8 5-7 MINOR-MDT
5.1- 5.6 15/03 AM 2.0/ 2.5 5 MINOR
2.7- 3.2 15/03 PM -0.2/ 0.2 4 NONE
2.7- 3.2 16/04 AM -0.3/ 0.2 5 NONE
2.2- 2.7 16/04 PM -0.6/-0.1 3 NONE


----------- ---------- --------- ------- ----------
12.8-13.3 14/01 PM 2.8/ 3.4 4-9 MINOR-MDT
12.7-13.2 15/02 AM 2.7/ 3.2 4-5 MINOR
9.4- 9.9 15/02 PM -0.2/ 0.2 2-3 NONE
9.7-10.2 16/02 AM 0.1/ 0.6 3 NONE
9.0- 9.5 16/03 PM -0.2/ 0.2 2 NONE


----------- ---------- --------- ------- ----------
8.6- 9.1 14/03 AM 0.0/ 0.5 1 NONE
12.4-12.9 14/02 PM 2.0/ 2.5 6 MINOR
11.1-11.6 15/02 AM 0.7/ 1.1 5 NONE
9.9-10.4 15/02 PM -0.2/ 0.2 2-4 NONE
10.1-10.6 16/03 AM -0.2/ 0.3 3 NONE
9.3- 9.8 16/03 PM -0.5/ 0.0 3 NONE


----------- ---------- --------- ------- ----------
5.2- 5.7 14/03 AM 0.0/ 0.5 2 NONE
8.9- 9.4 14/02 PM 3.2/ 3.7 9-20 MINOR
7.5- 8.0 15/03 AM 1.9/ 2.3 9-12 NONE
5.2- 5.7 15/03 PM -0.2/ 0.2 6-7 NONE
5.4- 5.9 16/03 AM -0.2/ 0.3 6 NONE
4.7- 5.2 16/04 PM -0.5/ 0.0 3 NONE

Sunday, March 12, 2017

B Word! Blizzard Watch For The South Shore, South Coast

UPDATE: Blizzard Watch now covers all of Plymouth and Bristol Counties!


* LOCATIONS...Southern Rhode Island and east coastal
Massachusetts from Boston to Plymouth.

* HAZARD TYPES...Heavy snow, strong winds, and reduced

* ACCUMULATIONS...Snow accumulation of greater than 6 inches
possible along drifting and blowing snow.

* TIMING...Tuesday and Tuesday night.

* IMPACTS...Rapid snow accumulation as well as blowing and
drifting snow may make many roads impassable. There could also
be scattered power outages.

* WINDS...Northeast 25 to 35 mph with gusts over 50 mph.

* TEMPERATURES...In the lower 30s Tuesday.

* VISIBILITIES...One quarter mile or less at times.


A Blizzard Watch means there is a potential for considerable
falling and/or blowing snow with sustained winds or frequent
gusts over 35 mph, with visibilities below one quarter mile, for
at least 3 hours. Whiteout conditions will be possible, making
travel very dangerous. Be prepared to alter any travel plans.

Please note that Cape Cod and the interior of both Plymouth and Bristol County aren't in the Blizzard mix... yet.

The rest of Southern New England has a Winter Storm Watch.

Also note that the areas with the Blizzard Watch are the areas with (as for now) the lowest forecast snow totals.

Remember, a Blizzard isn't just heavy snow, it involves winds and visibility. As we've pointed out before, you can have a Blizzard with no snow falling at all, but that's an extreme case where you need an iced-over Lake Superior full of dry, fluffy snow and a high wind.

Coastal Flooding will be major and ridiculous. They are forecasting a 2-3 foot storm surge, on what I believe is a 9.9 and then a 10.0 tide on Duxbury Beach on Tuesday morning and Tuesday night. Only an unexpected wind shift will save the South Shore from a major Poseidonistic curb-stomping.

We'll try to embed ourselves somewhere dangerous for the high tides, but no promises. The Cranberry County Magazine Cranmobile barely made it over the Bourne Bridge in the last blizzard, and the house that I usually storm-watch from on Duxbury Beach is rented. We'll do our level best for you, however.

Snow Total Predictions From Local News Stations:

WBZ... " Plan on around a foot of snow for most (give or take a few inches) and maybe two feet.".... don't EVER bitch at me about a vague forecast again, Pam Gardener is getting 6 figures.

WHDH... " I think it’s a lock to say we see a widespread 6″ of snow…  I think it’s a VERY good possibility we see a widespread 10-16″ of snow.  I think it’s also a possibility that we get...closer to 20″ of snow.".... There's your "six to twenty inches" forecast that you see Boston weather girls drop now and then. Brie Eggers may just be in a More Vague contest with Pam Gardener.

WCVB... 12-18" for Emass, 5-10" with some rain for Cape Cod

WFXT... 1-3" with rain on the Cape , 3-6" Plymouth/Bourne/South Coast, 6-8" interior Plymouth/Bristol Counties, 8-12" central/western MA

NECN... 5-15" coast, 10-20" inland

Accuweather... 9.7" in Buzzards Bay by Wednesday AM

Info you may need or want:

Tide Charts

Eversource Outage Map

National Weather Service

Forecast Flood Maps (for hurricanes, but still a useful tool.... maps for all towns in EMass)

NWS Boston Facebook

Nor'easter Blues storm information/reporting Facebook page