This is crazy. Six donuts in a 20 oz soda.

It’s funny when you show this to people.  Depending on the person if they are already predisposed to drinking coke their mind goes to- “Wow I can eat 6 donuts!”  Not- “OMG that’s disgusting!”

You speak to someone that doesn’t drink soda or energy drinks and they’re equally as disgusted by the though of eating six donuts in a sitting as they are of drinking a 20 oz full sugar coke.



This morning’s sunrise walk was made more beautiful by the phenomenon known as a Solar Halo or Sun Halo.

“Halos around the sun or moon are caused by high, thin cirrus clouds drifting high above your head. Tiny ice crystals in Earth’s atmosphere create the halos. They do it by refracting and reflecting the light. Lunar halos are signs that storms are nearby.”

What makes a halo around the sun or moon?

A large ring or circle of light around the sun or moon is called a 22-degree halo by scientists.
We get many messages throughout each year from people who’ve just spotted a large ring or circle of light around the sun or moon. Scientists call them 22-degree halos. Why? Because the ring has a radius of approximately 22 degrees around the sun or moon.

People always ask, what causes these gigantic rings?

There’s an old weather saying: ring around the moon means rain soon. There’s truth to this saying, because high cirrus clouds often come before a storm. Notice in these photos that the sky looks fairly clear. After all, you can see the sun or moon. And yet halos are a sign of high, thin cirrus clouds drifting 20,000 feet or more above our heads.

These clouds contain millions of tiny ice crystals. The halos you see are caused by both refraction, or splitting of light, and also by reflection, or glints of light from these ice crystals. The crystals have to be oriented and positioned just so with respect to your eye, in order for the halo to appear.

That’s why, like rainbows, halos around the sun – or moon – are personal. Everyone sees their own particular halo, made by their own particular ice crystals, which are different from the ice crystals making the halo of the person standing next to you.

That’s a good question that is not easy to answer accurately because no halo frequency statistics are collected except in one or two mid latitude European countries.

We need to distinguish between (a) halos formed by low level diamond dust during very cold weather and (b) halos formed by ice crystals in high cirrus cloud.

Obviously (a) halos only occur in Polar regions or countries with very cold winters (Canada for example is not high latitude).

(b) Halos can occur anywhere on the planet during winter or summer. Their frequency depends on the frequency of cirrus coverage and whether it has had a history such that it contains halo forming crystals. The latter is hard to predict. For example, there are major differences in halo frequencies and types of halos across even 200 miles [300 km] in the UK.

Bottom line: Halos around the sun or moon are caused by high, thin cirrus clouds drifting high above your head. Tiny ice crystals in Earth’s atmosphere create the halos. They do it by refracting and reflecting the light. Lunar halos are signs that storms are nearby.


Bird Author John Nelson’s TV Interview and Upcoming Cape Ann Bird Trips

Author John Neslon shares the following notices of upcoming talks and appearances:
The Writer’s Block interview with John Ronan will air on Cape Ann TV at the following times:
Dec. 24   8:00 p.m.
Dec. 25   5:00 p.m.
Dec. 26   8:00 p.m.
Dec. 27   5:00 p.m.
Dec. 28   8:00 p.m.
Dec. 29   5:00 p.m.

Dec. 30   5:00 p.m.

The two Cape Ann bird trips will be co-led by Gloucester resident Susan Hedman and me and co-sponsored by the Brookline Bird Club and Essex County Ornithological Society. The trips are scheduled for Saturday, December 28 and Saturday, January 4. Each trip will last from 8:30 a.m. to about 1:00 p.m. We will meet at the Man at the Wheel and will be looking mostly for seabirds at the Fish Pier, Eastern Point, the Back Shore, and Andrews Point and Cathedral Ledge in Rockport. The trips are free and open to all comers and don’t require any advance registration. I have attached a few photos of seabirds for illustration, as well as the cover image for my book.

What a mess!

Barrels outside Marshall’s, Gloucester Crossing

One store employee said everything outside is Market Basket’s responsibility. Not sure why they’re not emptied or why people keep adding. It reeks back here. (Barrels by pizza shop were empty.) It is their front door entrance.




Dave Sag’s Blues Party tonight w/Dennis Brennan @ The Rhumb Line 8:30pm 12.26.2019

Dave says, Thursday! At the Rhumbline: Dennis Brennan arrives to close out the year. With a bang! My favorite Boston songwriter, harpist, vogellist, and gadfly really puts the rubber to the road. And I hope you’ll all come by to show us what you got for xmas. I’ll show you mine…. and don’t forget about L’il Steevee Sadler on Guitar and Andy Plaistead, on drums,; They’re worthy, too. And the kids, and what about the cats and dogs? Just put ‘em in the robot and drive on down to Fred’s Palace where the men are men and the women are scared.
Put on your dancin shoes!


40 Railroad Avenue
Gloucester, MA 01930
(978) 283-9732

There’s a school in the old school | Scatterday’s driving classes 85 Eastern Avenue #GloucesterMA

Scatterday's Driving School_85 Eastern Avenue office building_in the former Eastern Avenue neighborhood School_Gloucester Mass December 2019 © c ryan (5).jpg


Scatterday’s Driving Schoolis located on the ground floor in the office building at 85 Eastern Avenue, Gloucester, Mass., in the former Eastern Avenue School. Entrance is at the back. There are various learner permit and driver license packages. Some are concentrated full days; for those, Jeff’s Variety is a quick walk away for class breaks. 

Quick walk from 85 Eastern Avenue office building to Jeff's Variety _ Gloucester Mass ©c ryan

Jeff's Variety and sub shop_20191226_©c ryan

Here’s my pick for best home coffee brewing setup…

Check out my one handed video demo of the Bonavita Wide Base Porcelain Immersion Dripper and Hot Water Kettle. Link to purchase the Dripper here and Kettle here on Amazon

There are so many reasons why I love this setup so much.

Number one is I like the way my coffee tastes.  no plastic parts the immersion dripper is made of ceramic so you don’t get that nasty plastic aftertaste from more expensive “fancy coffee makers with a million parts and plastic reservoirs.

Number two the cleanup couldn’t be any easier.  You just dump out the filter and give it a rinse.  If you’ve had another type of coffee maker that needs to have it’s filters cleaned out you know what a pain in the ass that is.

Number three it’s super inexpensive to brew a good cup of coffee.

Number four the dripper and water kettle are both small enough to put away in the cabinet so it doesn’t have to sit one the counter (I hate stuff on the counters).

Number 5 it’s cheap and well built.

Bonavita Wide Base Porcelain Immersion Dripper

Open/close switch to release Coffee
Single cup brewing with French Press flavor
Easy clean up after brewing
Porcelain construction ensures great heat retention
Uses #4 paper filter or permanent filter
16 ounce brewing capacity
Lid maintains heat while brewing
Fits on a wide variety of cup sizes
Length: 8.25″ Width: 6.75″ Height: 7.50″


AmazonBasics Stainless Steel Portable Electric Hot Water Kettle – 1 Liter, Silver

Electric water kettle with 1.0-liter capacity and 1500 watts of power for fast results (120V ~60Hz)
Cordless design allows for easy filling and serving; power base with 30-inch power cord for flexible placement, plus cord wrap for compact storage
Concealed heating element; BPA-free food-contact materials; removable filter for easy cleaning
Automatic shutoff with boil-dry protection for safety and peace of mind; water window for precise filling and checking levels at a glance
Backed by an AmazonBasics 1-year limited warranty

Watching the Bird Watchers

The Great Winter Birdwatcher Migration has begun once again . These birdwatchers were observed in a peaceful social group enjoying the sun on the back shore. Me e-birdwatcher report includes a nice Back Shore Towhee along with a Blue Crowned Thrush. The thrill of the day though, was spotting the male Red Breasted Puffleg! See him there on the end? Keep your eyes open and you might spot one too!

A Tradition That Continues to Delight- Tony Gross’ Swedish Coffee Bread Christmas Present!

2019  Green Ribbon Tied In The Middle This Year!


This year we got the red ribbon tied in the middle as opposed to 2012  green ribbon tied at the end.

2016-12-19 08.01.30




Tony Gross Comes Through With The Annual Swedish Coffee Bread!

Posted on December 24, 2011 by Joey C


Tony Gross Comes Through Again With His Famous Swedish Coffee Bread

Posted on December 24, 2010 by Joey C

Every year Tony makes Frank and I a loaf of his much sought after Swedish coffee bread. I’m afraid to open it because once you eat the first bite I can’t stop til that whole sucker is gone. (I’m not sure if he puts heroin in it, the stuff is so damn addicting).

Tony Gross 2009 Swedish Coffee Bread

Tony Gross’ Swedish Coffee Bread

Posted on December 21, 2009 by Joey C

Every Christmastime Tony Gross, the skipper of the lobsterboat F/V Sandollar makes a ridiculous number of Swedish Coffee Bread loaves and gives them out to friends.  I made the mistake and called it Nisu but because the recipe comes from an elder in Tony’s family he insists it be called Swedish Coffee Bread.

It’s delicious and best eaten within a day of cooking.  I sure am glad I’m on the list of those who get one every year!

Teacher Training: Yoga for Families of Addiction

Cape Ann Wellness

Saturday&Sunday January 18&19, 10am-6pm
Explore how to hold space for families and loved ones affected by addiction. As yoga teachers we often hold space for so many in their times of need. This mini teacher training will help you to create a safe space for families affected by the powerful disease of addiction. We will use Al-Anon principles in combination with restorative & flow yoga, crystals, essential oils, meditation and more.
You will leave this class empowered to teach your own 60-120 minute flow class and discussion for families of addiction.
This certification will count as 20 CEUs with Yoga Alliance. 18 contact hours. 2 non-contact hours.
Investment: $ 350
There will be the option for one or more attendees to attend on scholarship based on the success of the Yoga for Families of Addiction Gala Fundraiser in November, 2019. For more information about scholarship opportunities, email…

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