GMG Tech Talk- Revising My Recommended Camera List

I have been a huge fan of the Canon Powershot s95 and have not hesitated to recommend it to our readers time and time again for it’s compact size and oversized sensor.  The Powershot s95 is easy to recommend to people but I should let people know that it isn’t necessarily the best camera for those who want big time zoom range and before I go any further I should tell you that just recently they announced the successor to that camera the Canon Powershot s100.  

The powershot s100 was recently announced and you can read about what they added to the specs from the s95 here at one of my favorite tech gadget blogs, Engadget

Canon unveils PowerShot S100 and SX40 HS high-end point-and-shoots

For the condensed version of the article in Engadget, –

The S100 features improved low-light performance thanks to its f/2.0 lens and new, larger 12.1 megapixel CMOS censor (gone is the CCD of yore). It also has a GPS receiver for embedding location data in your photos.

Both cameras will cost $430, with the S100 set to ship in early November

Right now you can buy the Powershot s95 for $359 which I still would do because I don’t consider the bump up to 1080p video and a slight increase to the sensor worth the extra $70.  Either camera will be the best performing camera you can own that you can still comfortably keep in your pocket and take great pictures indoors in low light.  Basically this is the perfect carry around camera for 80% of the picture taking population.  The only negative with the Powershot s95 or upcoming powershot S100 is that they are limited in zoom range.  To date, and believe me when I tell you that I’ve done the research, there is NO camera that will give you that large sensor with a long zoom range so the trade off you are making with the Powershots are if you plan on trying to zoom in across a harbor and want that type of ability you can’t get that far but they excel in dimlit lit situations.  It excels indoors and around town.

You can get the Powershot s95 on sale here for $359 


and preorder the Powershot S100 if you want the slight bump up in specs here


Now I’d like to offer some suggestions for alternatives for folks that want a great camera that still has the ability to be pocketed but offers a great zoom range.  Many of you know that I’m a huge fan of Sony Cameras and have bought every two years or so the latest in the same line of Sony zooms.  When I started the blog I used the Sony DSC-H3, then bought the updated Sony DSC-H20 and just recently have upgraded to the Sony DSC- HX9v which I paid $359 but just this past week they dropped the price to $319 on Amazon  Now I will tell you that in very poor lighting the Canon Powershot s95 or S100 will outperform my Sony HX9V but for the type of shooting and for lots of the subjects that I need to be able to capture, the 5 times zoom just isn’t enough for me.  It’s plenty for the soccer mom but not someone that is trying to capture a seagull from 50 yards away.  So I am willing to sacrifice some low light performance in the name of being able to just about always get that shot of that thing that happens to be just out of photographic reach of the Powershot.  If they made a camera that had a ten times zoom, a sensor the size that the Powershot’s have and the size that is still being able to comfortably carry in your front pocket I’d buy it in a second, for three times the price but they don’t, trust me I research cameras every single day.  If they made one I’d own it.

The Sony HX9V, my current walkaround camera-



The HX9v specs are fantastic.  The ones that matter to me most –

Full HD 1080/60p with dual record of stills and movies

Sony G lens with 16x optical zoom in a compact camera body

3D stills and 3D Sweep Panorama mode: change the way you view your world.

So if you like my photos and want to buy what I would buy if you want to be able to zoom in on subjects it’s the Sony HX9V, if you do mostly indoor shooting and family pictures it is the Powershot S95 or preorder the Powershot S100

Here is a Flickr group with photos from users that own the Sony HX9V-

click pic for slideshow-


Here is a link to all my top picks fro camera gear.  Anything on this list is what I use or want to use and represents what I consider the best intersection of price/performance/portability.

as always if you have specific camera questions, email me at and I can help you make a decision on which camera to buy for your budget and needs.

Lobster Gear Repurposed for Oyster Farming From Bill O’Connor and Cat Cove Tide Pool Touch Tank Webcam

Hey Joey,

Augmenting the lobster catch: Oyster aquaculture in modified lobster traps


I stumbled upon this in at the Cat Cove Marine Lab website and thought you might find it interesting.  Apparently the oysters did pretty poorly on the North Shore due to water temp, but my little foray into oyster harvesting was quite different, and completely by accident.

A few years back, we had a party at the house and I bought a bushel of Blue Point oysters that were supposedly being farmed off of Martha’s Vineyard.  I prepared half the bushel for the party and the other half I left in the mesh bag, which I hung off our mooring to keep them alive long enough to eat them.  Well I eventually forgot them out there and the mooring ball disappeared that winter, so we dropped a new mooring in its place the following Spring.

A couple of years later I was snorkeling out in the cove beyond the mean low tide mark and came across the lost mooring ball suspended underwater on a column of oysters! Apparently there was enough in the mesh bag to reproduce and they just grew down the mooring chain.  They literally reproduced themselves out of the bag somehow.  The weight of the oysters pulled the ball under the surface eventually.  I would see the oyster column occasionally when servicing our moorings over the years,  and it eventually just fell over underwater. I still see oysters out in the cove though!   

Anyway, I thought you might find this study informative.


You can also check out their live streaming tide pool touch tank webcam by clicking on the pic below-


2011 Lanesville Music Fest Pics From Laurie Ure

Hi Joey,

Thank you for your excellent coverage of the Lanesville Music Festival last week.  We appreciate it!  We had a great day, with beautiful weather, fabulous music, great food and fine people (and dogs!).  Our day included initiating our beloved mayor as an official "Lanesvillain."  I’m attaching pics of some of the highlights.

-Laurie Ure, LCC board member

Hockey Heroes at the Blue Shutters

matt and here for the beer


We thought GMG would get a kick out of this photo of the "hockey heroes" who were here this weekend at the Blue Shutters.  The Stanley Cup Champion Bruins have yet to take the ice for the coming season, but at the Blue Shutters Beachside Inn we already have hockey fever. Our resident Bruins legend, Matt Ravlich, was back again for a week with his wife Geri and her cousin Barbara. But what made the Shutters a real hockey town for the weekend of Sept 16-18: the arrival of the "Here for the Beer" women’s hockey team. The girls — who come from all parts of eastern Massachusetts — were here for a hockey tournament in Gloucester, and fortunately this overlapped with the Ravlich’s stay here. We couldn’t resist snapping this photo of Matt with some of the team — you’ll notice Matt holding the Blue Shutters version of the Stanley Cup, which we presented to him earlier this summer. We’re looking forward to having all these folks back again next September for more hockey fever at the Blue Shutters.

Tony, Patty, Ed and Annmarie
Blue Shutters Beachside Inn
One Nautilus Road, Gloucester, MA 01930

"Celebrate Wearable Art!," the seARTS Fall Benefit hosted by the wearable arts group of seARTS

Clare Higgins writes-

We don’t want anyone to miss out on "Celebrate Wearable Art!," the seARTS Fall Benefit hosted by the wearable arts group of seARTS.  See over 70 "looks" by fashion designers and artists on the runway and shop with 17 fabulous local and invited artists! Purchase art experiences from our "Art Experience Marketplace."  Enjoy a fabulous brunch from Timothy S. Hopkins Catering. We’re also proud to announce a special appearance by Mayor Carolyn Kirk, who will distribute the Viewer’s Choice Awards.You can get a sneak preview this Wednesday night September 21 at 7:30 PM, when Cape Ann TV interviews Wearable Artists about the show.

Today, Monday, September 19, is the deadline for reserving your place at "Celebrate Wearable Art!" If you mail a check Monday, please call us at 978-281-1222 and let us know so we can reserve your seat, or you can buy tickets online through Tuesday, September 20th at midnight. For online tickets, please visit our website or our blog. After September 20th, please call our office to see if any places are available and if so, they will be reserved on a first come, first serve basis.

We look forward to seeing you at what promises to be a great show!

Loren Doucette Cape Ann Artist

Loren Doucette Cape Ann Artist

Loren Doucette is a working artist painting and residing in Gloucester, Ma with her husband Rick and son Andrew. She is currently studying painting at Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, Ma.

For the past ten years she has been exploring landscape, portrait and abstraction in watercolor, oil and acrylic. She has decorated homes and businesses with her custom mural work as well as T-shirt designs and logos. She recently started a face painting businnes offering services at parties and events.

You can Check out her Artwork and New Blog by clicking the links below;

Loren Doucette Cape Ann Artist
Centennial Ave. by Loren Doucette


Magnolia Peeps From Terry Weber

Good Morning Magnolia!

click here for Terry’s slide show

As you know, Saturday was a beautiful day with plenty of sun and a cool breeze, so I took a walk around Magnolia with my camera. Everyone was outside–sunning, working on their yards, and smiling! At the start of my walk I noticed this busy bee…


I also noticed a GMG sticker on the car of Bob and Lynn Bird, so I approached them and they gladly posed with their pooches: Willy, Asta, and Trixie. They’re representin’ in Magnolia!

doll tanning

As you can see from this doll’s smile, even she was enjoying the day. More pics in the slide show….

The Bird Family

The Taormina Sisters and the Misuraca Brothers Gloucester Families Make The Coveted NY Times Wedding Section

Click the title for the whole story at The New York Times

The Taormina Sisters and the Misuraca Brothers

THE back-to-back weddings on a rain-drenched day in Gloucester, Mass., might never have happened if Caterina Taormina’s older sister Patty Hodges did not have a big mouth.

Enlarge This Image

Jodi Hilton for The New York Times

Annie Taormina and Kyle Misuraca after their ceremony.

Patty knew that Brian Misuraca had been in love with Caterina, who goes by Katie, since high school. She shared the secret with Brian’s boss in a chance encounter at a restaurant in 2009, and when word got back to Brian, he left a decidedly mixed message on Katie’s phone.

“I hate your guts,” he said. “I can’t stop thinking about you.”

the rest of the story here


Sawyer Free Library Art Auction


Sawyer Free Library Art Auction

My Contribution:

“Stranded On The Annisquam”

Oil on Panel

There’s some Great Artwork at The Sawyer Free Library that’s up for Auction all through the Month of September. You can get a great deal on some awesome paintings and drawings from some of Cape Ann’s Famous Artists.

The Silent Auction will take place throughout the month of September in the Matz Gallery. The Live Vocal Auction will be held on October 5, 2011 at 7 pm. A Preview Party at 6 pm will precede the auction.

Big Time Thanks To Tim Blakeley From Gloucester Bytes For The Webcam Install at Lat 43

After thanking my man Ed Collard, Sista Felicia, BJ and Amanda, Mark McDonough, Jen Amero, Matty Burke, Frank and Joey Ciolino, Terry Weber, Rick Moore, Donna Ardizzoni, Paulie Walnuts,The Rabbit and Thom Falzarano as well as the entire staff at Lat 43 including super chef Zach Sears and Jen Waitkus I’d like to send a special shout out to my  computer guru- Tim Blakeley at Gloucester Bytes.

Here’s his contact info-

Tim overcame some serious technical obstacles and got our webcam up and streaming just in time for the Celebrate Gloucester Show. Here he is setting it up-

Tim Blakeley Installs Lat 43 Webcam


I can tell you without hesitation- if you need computer work done call Tim.  His rates are reasonable and he is always looking for ways to save you money by finding the parts you may need for less money.  But most importantly, he does the job right.

Why I Am Glad I Brought My Girls to the Fishbox Derby

Having 2 daughters has clearly changed my life in so many ways. I am outnumbered in the household and watch a lot less football. I want my girls to be confident, athletic and smart. So, I get really frustrated when I see t-shirts at major retailers targeted for girls that say “I’m too pretty to do homework, so my brother does it for me” or “Alergic to Algebra”.  This is why I am so glad I was able to catch the end of the Fishbox Derby with my oldest daughter Emma. Why you ask? Check the standings!

We got there for the final runs and caught the great final runs of all the girls, including both overall winners, Ava and Alexis Wiswall. I am always trying to instill confidence in my daughters and while I am not steering them away from princesses, I drop hints that they can do anything boys can do. These girls did exactly that and won it all! Check out the bikes they won.  We walked through the pit afterwards and had a quick conversation with Ava and Alexis’s Dad -He was so proud of his two girls and we caught him taking it all in. Emma told me that she wanted to race in the Ava’s pink car and win!

Here’s to all the Fishbox Derby participants and winners, you are a part of a great tradition. Lets not also forget all the volunteers and parents that make this such a great event.

Thanks – Patrick

2011 Coastsweep Event Last Thursday Pics From Howard Amaral

Hello Joey, Here are several pics of Coastsweep at Plum Cove Beach, Homie was there to represent!

The Cleancity Initiative sponsored a Coastsweep Event at Plum Cove Beach Thursday. Each year volunteers clean and collect data from what they pick up, and submit it to the Ocean Conservatory in Washington D.C. The data is collected from the entire east coast and used to help define what materials are littering our waterways and beaches, and work towards environmental solutions to reduce or redefine how the materials are used. There are more Coastsweep events scheduled for this fall, please volunteer to help out.

“Help us to Keep our Homeport Clean”

Howard P Amaral and Patti Amaral

Coastsweep with Homie 1 copyCoastsweep with Homie 2 copyCoastsweep with Homie 3 copyCoastsweep with Homie copy