This could be the end of GMG – but YOU might be able to save it!

No, I’m not kidding.  On Thursday, the FCC will most likely vote to repeal Net Neutrality, the rule that prevents Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T from slowing down (a.k.a. throttling) or blocking websites and streaming services.  This means Comcast will be allowed to block your access to GMG for any reason they like.  And they could charge GMG a fee in order to have the block removed.  You and Joey and I will have no recourse.

But it gets worse.  If you have a small business, Comcast could also block your website and force you to pay a premium to get the block removed.  The technology exists for Comcast to block your Facebook page if they like and Facebook will have no recourse to prevent that.

As you might guess, there are those who favor repealing Net Neutrality, namely people at Comcast, AT&T and Verizon.  FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai, who proposed the repeal, is the former Associate General Council for Verizon where he handled competition matters, regulatory issues, and counseling of business units on broadband initiatives.  Perhaps now you’re getting the picture.

Ajit Pai has called Net Neutrality “a solution in search of a problem” which conveniently ignores the many times ISPs did exactly what we’re afraid of until the FCC came to our rescue.  See examples here.  Once Net Neutrality is repealed, the FCC will no longer be able to come to our rescue.

Imagine if the phone company decided to block calls to your mother in Iowa because whatever phone company she uses out there doesn’t want to pay a premium to allow calls from Massachusetts.

“That sort of thing has never happend,” you might say.  And you’d be right.  Because phone companies aren’t allowed to block calls or redirect them or add static or interfere with the sound or video quality  — all things that ISPs will be allowed to do without the Net Neutrality rules.  But wait!  Do you have VOIP from Comcast?  Or Verizon?  Or AT&T?  Better call your mom now and explain why you might not be able to call her after Thursday.

And while you’re at it, you might want to call your congressman Seth Moulton (202) 225-8020 and Senators Ed Markey 617-565-8519 and Elizabeth Warren (617) 565-3170.  Ask them to pressure the FCC not to repeal Net Neutrality.  And if that doesn’t work, perhaps congress can make Net Neutrality the law of the land.

This is serious folks.  The time to act is now.



Would I Be Wrong To Post This Sign In My driveway?

So at the new homestead we have a skinny driveway that opens up to a space where you can easily park four cars with the teeny tiniest amount of courtesy and common sense.  You can clearly see the open space in front of you where you can park three side by side and one in the corner allowing everyone easy access to come and go as they please.


I’d say 5 times out of 10 people that are visiting or doing work pull right to the skinniest part of the driveway and park, making it impossible for anyone parked respectfully inside of them to leave.  Equally if not more frustrating, if someone is coming home they will have to block the person that parked like an asshole in, and then have to go back out to move the car to let them out.

So after having said that, do you think it’s entirely inappropriate to put up this sign right at the skinniest part of the driveway?

BTW Frankie Gwynne says it’s a total power move to park like that big of a dickhead

Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, Robert McNamara, Norman Mailer, Maxwell Taylor & lots more

We just voted. It was easy. No lines. We understand if you don’t like the choices. You probably seldom do. But you still have to choose. We all do. That’s kind of the point of a democracy. We never get exactly what we want, but we all work together for the good of our country as a whole.

More importantly, there are MASS referendum measures on the ballot today that will most likely affect your life far more than the new president will. I woke up today with this song in my head. It’s Paul Simon’s satire of Bob Dylan and politics all wrapped up into one fun song on Simon & Garfunkel’s mega-hit album Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme (all of which we have growing in our garden). Listen, laugh, vote and feel better! Lyrics below the video…

I been Norman Mailered, Maxwell Taylored
I been John O’Hara’d, McNamara’d
I been Rolling Stoned and Beatled till I’m blind
I been Ayn Randed, nearly branded
Communist, ’cause I’m left-handed
That’s the hand I use, well, never mind

I been Phil Spectored, resurrected
I been Lou Adlered, Barry Sadlered
Well, I paid all the dues I want to pay
And I learned the truth from Lenny Bruce
And all my wealth won’t buy me health
So I smoke a pint of tea a day

I knew a man, his brain was so small
He couldn’t think of nothing at all
Not the same as you and me
He doesn’t dig poetry
He’s so unhip that when you say Dylan
He thinks you’re talking about Dylan Thomas
Whoever he was
The man ain’t got no culture
But it’s alright, ma, everybody must get stoned

I been Mick Jaggered and silver daggered
Andy Warhol, won’t you please come home?
I been mother, father, aunt and uncled
Been Roy Haleed and Art Garfunkeled
I just discovered somebody’s tapped my phone

Calling All Music Venues: Turn OFF your TVs until AFTER the Election

David Brooks’ interesting opinion piece in the New York Times points to several sources showing that this election is causing unusual anxiety and I’ll bet two major contributor to this anxiety are all these nasty campaign ads and endless, fear-inducing news coverage that we’re seeing. We’ll we’ve got a cure for that: DON’T WATCH THE NEWS OR THE ADS. Instead of spending the weekend on your couch, go out to experience some LIVE MUSIC and let the music take you away!  You’ve got over a dozen choices on Cape Ann for excellent music and Halloween Parties.  Check out the schedule here.

If you own or manage a restaurant or bar, may we suggest that you turn OFF your TVs — or at least set them to a commercial free NON-NEWS channel so your guests won’t see any of dreadful campaign coverage or obnoxious ads.  Everyone on Cape Ann will thank you for reducing the stress among the population.

Here’s a little bit of fun from 1985 to get you in the mood:


Magnolia Pier Debate Part 2 – Check out this video from 4 years ago — NO Barricades=Safer and More Fun!

4 years ago, I filmed people of all ages (from 5 years old to grandpa) jumping off Magnolia pier, with at least 3 people jumping for the first time — all the while there’s a game of “Pier Tag” going on too.  Pier Tag is impossible when the barricades are up. It’s time for the bureaucrats to man-or-woman-up, stop worrying so much about getting sued and remove the barricades to encourage kids, teens, adults, and grandparents to gather together in a safe, healthy place for some summer fun!  While you’re at it, put the ladders back too. Joey – you think we should have a pole about this?

Rockport Retail: It’s Gettin’ Hot in Here

by Rockport artist Stefan Mierz

Rambling in Rockport

Yesterday, a post went up on GMG written by the venerable Joey C. on his Saturday a.m. shopping experience in the equally venerable town of Rockport, Mass. The post has since been edited in response to the wail that went up from Main Street and parts of Bearskin Neck — a wail that could be heard all the way in East Gloucester, ringing through the antennae of the crustaceans piled up on the dock as Rockport shop owners rose up in protest. (The protest is mostly on Facebook if anyone wants to read along for some insight into what I’m talking about).

It seems that Joey came to Rockport on Saturday no less than twice (which is two times more than a whole lotta other locals) in an effort to procure some goods from some stores that had caught his eye on Instagram, but both times he was thwarted. Once, because he showed up with the not-unreasonable plan to eat breakfast and shop after the stores open (in theory anyway) at 10 am and the other time — after he was stymied the first time — because he couldn’t find parking. A parking pain we have all felt from the regular schmuck just trying to buy a doughnut from Brothers’ Brew to the the highest Selectperson in the land, just trying to buy a doughnut from Brothers’ Brew. In frustration Joey had no choice but to go to Bed Bath & Beyond or worse, maybe Kohl’s — I don’t know, it was some terrible place way far away with a couple of football fields of empty parking spaces — and line the pockets of our Corporate Overlords with his hard-earned dollars.

The point of the original post seemed to be twofold: 1) Talk about how genuinely great the shops in Rockport are, mention how awesome the Rockport Farmers Market is (yes it is!) and give a well-deserved shout-out to breakfast at the Blue Lobster Grille, and 2) Call out the shops for contributing to shopping difficulties by opening after 10am when securing a downtown parking space in Rockport in July is roughly worth the price of your firstborn.

A coupla things. First off, in the eyes of this very lame GMG occasional contributor, Joey stepped up by editing the post to reflect that he did not plan his shopping visit to Rockport with a strategy that included the realities of a shopping visit to Rockport. In Rockport, there’s not much about the retail scene that is like other places. The shops are independently owned, many of them run year-round by the same person (in spite of the assumption that everything is seasonal) who at some point has to see his or her family and take a shower, and then there is the consumer. Residents and tourists in Rockport follow ancient traffic patterns that involve a complex algorithm of when/if the sun is shining, vacation alcohol consumption recovery times, and preferred side of the street to walk on (I’m serious about the last one). Showing up in Rockport just minutes after the sun rises — which, on Rockport time, is more or less 10 am — is an exercise in futility, unless you are planning on going to the farmers’ market, eating a strudel, heading out in a boat, or staring at your fingernails while you sit on an empty bench. It may sound nuts from a consumer standpoint, but there is a method to the Rockport retail madness.

For most shops (multi-generational places like The Pewter Shop or John Tarr’s notwithstanding), opening at 10 am is equally an exercise in futility, with shop owners waiting in vain to make a sale to the approximately sixteen potential buyers that are out strolling Bearskin Neck and/or Main Street at that hour (a count that actually goes down to around seven people when adjusted for the ones who “forgot their wallet” — oldest excuse in the book — because they’re walking the dog or just aimlessly wandering between coffee places). Maybe the Rockport Farmers Market, which is only in its third year, will help change this, as shopping patterns shift to earlier in the day. I hope so.

Secondly, for those of you who read the Facebook thread in response to the original post, the merchants make some valid points, even if these points are cloaked in dismay, sadness, and even one or two expressions of rage.

People who come to Rockport, and maybe even more so people who live in Rockport, have no idea what running a shop in Rockport is like. It’s hard to write about this, because readers will immediately go into Mach-Defensive mode, rushing to explain to merchants everything they’re doing wrong, starting with the brilliant point that no one is forcing anyone to own a shop in Rockport (as though, because shop owners aren’t forced at gunpoint to run a business that means any point they make about the REALITIES of running that business become moot. Which is bizarre. So don’t bother with your “no one is forcing shop owners to own a shop” nonsense comments. I mean, you can bother with them, but I’ll just know you’ve got nothin if that’s your opener.)

Getting Real

Owning a small retail shop is a lot like owning a mom-and-pop restaurant in the sense that literally every single customer that walks through your door — or stands outside of it because your shop is closed — thinks, at some level, that they can do what you do. Imagine how crappy that feels for a second. Every single person thinks they are an expert on your work, when in reality they most likely know next to nothing about retail in general (let alone retail in Rockport), which demands a mix of smarts, financial wizardry, aesthetic gifts, salesmanship, and lots and lots of luck. Because weather is involved. It’s a lot like farming, actually. You have to anticipate what will sell at market six months in advance, throw everything you have ($$$) at it and pray like crazy the sun shines at the right time. Then you have to show up, pretty much all the time, but chances are (and by chances I mean literally, by chance because retail is also like gambling — you are always playing the odds), it will be still be the wrong time for someone, who will tell you how you screwed up. Which could be true, the screwing up, but if nearly every shop is closed in tandem at the hour you want to shop, then chances are there aren’t enough people shopping at that hour and the issue is with consumer patterns, not store owners.

I used to own a shop on Main Street in Rockport, and if I had a nickel for every soul who came in and stood at my counter and began a sentence with “I’ve always wanted to own a shop” or (the always-fantastic) “You know what you should do? You should…” well then I would still have closed my shop because I would be so incredibly rich I would have bought my own island, named it Cape Get Out of My Face I am So Very Tired and moved there.

Story time: one hot summer day years ago, I was standing in my shop in Rockport contemplating whether this was the right time to leave the store to dash to the bathroom. That’s right. Because I did not have a bathroom in my shop, even though I paid a rent that would make your ice cream melt, because several Rockport landlords have decided toilet facilities are optional. Anyway, a woman came in right at that juncture, when I was choosing between the health of my bladder and losing a potential buyer who might wander in and help pay my toilet-free rent. I looked at the woman — might this be a customer? who is always right? — as she stood blankly in the middle of the room, her mouth hanging open. I honestly thought she might need help of a non-retail variety because she she seemed so disoriented and aimless fifteen seconds into her visit. Suddenly she whipped her face toward me, a face distorted in rage and shouted “I might have BOUGHT SOMETHING if you had said hello to me!”  I was shocked. Before I could even respond she spun on her heel and stomped out the door. (Follow up: I chased her up the street and begged her forgiveness at the same scale at which she screeched at me. More confusion ensued.)

Take that scenario and multiply it by a thousand, only don’t forget to account for variations — like the strangers who come in and, when, you say hello in your best cheerily calibrated shop voice, haughtily inform you that when they need help they will ask for it, rolling their eyes at their companion at what a loser you are, accosting customers who want nothing more than to fondle your merchandise in peace — and it all adds up to a lot of stress for the small shop owner. Especially since most of their net worth — and lot of credit — is tied up in that merchandise.

Anyway, I could go on as I have stories galore, both from my store and those of friends. Like the time a customer — except he didn’t purchase anything — put a 14-inch vintage knitting needle up his nostril nearly (hopefully) into his brain in order to demonstrate his sideshow prowess to a lady friend, or that one time a customer — except she wasn’t — used the corner of another friend’s store as a bathroom. Actually, maybe I should have realized that last one, using a corner of the store as a litter box, was an option. I never would have had to leave the store then.

I should add, because I need to clarify, that having the shop was wonderful, and I loved working in Rockport and connecting with locals and visitors from all over the world. I really miss those days in so many ways. It’s just that getting advice from strangers when I was already about to pass out at the counter from working 7 days a week is not one of them.

The Takeaway (with Tissue Paper and a Gift Bag)

In short, while it’s important for shop owners to listen to consumers, especially ones who are as supportive of local businesses as Joey, it is also important for consumers to listen to shop owners, and not assume the worst — that they are willfully refusing to say hello, or that they purposefully refuse to stock whatever it is you want to buy, or that they are rolling around at home in a pile of undeclared cash that they raked in from all those suckers who came in to buy a candle or a card — or whatever it is that people assume. Buying local is a two-way street, a marriage between small business owners and their customers, and just like in any relationship, mutual respect goes a long way.

Being Offended Is Apparently All The Rage and It Sucks…

Posted by Toni Nicastro this morning and I couldn’t agree more.

Yesterday I’m accused of being rude for doing my all dogs are trained assassins bit.-

So I have to go and explain the goddamn joke for those highly sensitive “I want to act offended over everything” types in a post (see post here)

I just found out that Amy Schumer who has what’s probably going to be one of the biggest movie hits of the summer coming out and is AN OVER THE TOP OUTRAGEOUS COMEDIENNE was accused of being a racist in The Washington Post. Everyone knows shes AN OVER THE TOP OUTRAGEOUS COMEDIENNE. OVER THE TOP OUTRAGEOUS COMEDIENNES say OVER THE TOP OUTRAGEOUS THINGS in their acts. It’s what every comedian has done since the beginning of comedy. Don Rickles, Joan Rivers, Eddie Murphy, George Carlin. They’ve all said inappropriate things for laughs and we’ve all laughed with them. It doesn’t mean we’re racist, it doesn’t mean Amy Schumer, Eddie Murphy, Don Rickles or Joan Rivers were or are racists. It means they are doing what comedians have been doing for centuries and what the American public has been paying to see and support forever. Until now. Until the age of twitter and social media when soundbites can be taken out of context and reported as if these are true feelings and not jokes.  And when the Washington Post says it doesn’t matter if they are meant as jokes or not I agree with Bill Burr who say bullshit it doesn’t matter if they are meant as jokes or not. That’s the whole difference and it’s A HUGE DIFFERENCE.
Read this article by Debra Kessler

Washington Post Writer Who Accused Amy Schumer Of Racism Never Saw Her Standup or TV Show
By Debra Kessler on July 10, 2015

and listen to Bill Burr’s podcast from last night where he talks about the latest “Outrage” it styarts about 5 and a half minutes into his podcast which you can listen to here-

Thursday Afternoon Monday Morning Podcast 7-9-15

I’m Offended That You’re Offended. So take that and stick it in your pipe.

Everybody just needs to clean all the sand out of their parts and get on to living.

Dustin Hoffman as Lenny Bruce-

A GMG Tradition Unlike Any Other- The Annual Friends Don’t Let Friends Buy Ugly Red Mulch Post

I think we’re going on 5 or 6 years now and at some point you’d think I wouldn’t have to remind folks but at the first signs of the palletloads of brown and (icky) red mulch showing up at Shaws I’m here to save the design challenged folks of the world that just might not understand how trashy the red mulch looks.  For those of you that might need a refresher I’ll dial up the way back machine to posts from 2012 and 2013-


Orange Mulch Is A Fail

Posted on June 19, 2013

Someone needs to clue me in on how you could go to the landscape supply joint and make the conscious decision to buy orange mulch over the nice dark brown (almost black) compost mulch. I’ll go dark brown mulch all day long over toxic waste neon orange mulch. It’s just way more aesthetically pleasing. I don’t know a whole lot about landscape supply costs. Maybe they pay people who opt for the neon orange mulch to take it away from their landscape supply yard. I can’t think of a single other reason someone would choose it over the classy dark brown. They actually dye it that hideous orange color. You gotta be a savage to get the orange stuff, no? What am I missing here? image





Posted on July 23, 2012


Can We Spring Forward Just a Little Bit More?

Ok, this will be short and sweet, I promise.

But….winter has to officially end now because I.AM.DONE.

Would you like to know what just sent me over the edge?


We live in flip flops for the majority of the spring…certainly the summer…and even a good part of the fall.  Which, I am sure you are all onboard enough to realize, equals little to no socks in the laundry!

I hit my threshold this morning.  An average week, thanks to normal days, six “hockeys”, a couple of runs, some changes of wardrobe due to stepping in boot puddles by the front or back door, cold feet at night, etc. can easily add up to 40 paris of socks each week.  Shoot me.

I actually look forward to the occasional lost sock…because that means I can throw the widowed match away.

laundry images


For all of you folks that have never witnessed THE MOVIE for 2013, please take the time to do so. You will be entertained.

(for ease of playback on a video of this length, click the play button, then pause it for a few seconds, it speeds up the loading process)

And please come out and support this years event, it’a for the NEXT STEP, they change lives…you could, too!

I Said, “Group Text”

The other day I was complaining about group text.  The thing is that one of the people in the conversation heard me wrong.

If you know what I mean.

It was the peculiar look I got when I said, “Sometimes I just don’t care about the needs and wants of every single person in the group.  And, they’re relentless. All night the texts keeps up.  Over and over and over again” that made me think possibly we were having different conversations.


The dreaded group text.  Absolutely the worst thing going.

So this is totally, totally me.  Without a doubt this is how I feel when a group text comes across my phone.

Rant and Poll- Let me Set The Record Straight On Ugly Sweater Contests

Toby sent me this picture of someone who won the ugly sweater contest wherever he was at yesterday-


Well it seems like the whole ugly sweater contest has officially jumped the shark.  You wanna know the precise moment when the formerly cool ugly sweater contest fad jumped the shark?  Well let me tell you- It’s when cottage industries all over the place started producing “Official Ugly Sweaters” for mass marketing in department stores.

The whole point of Ugly sweater contests was to find one from way back in your closet or your dad’s closet, or a thrift shop.  Anyone that goes out and buys an ugly sweater new off the rack that was actually designed as being an “Ugly Sweater” does not deserve a win.

In my opinion the all time ugliest sweaters were those Coogi sweaters worn by sportscasters in the 90s-


Second point  of reference determining that The Whole Ugly Sweater Contest Has Lost It’s Cool Factor?

Every single sports franchise coming out with their ugly sweater jersey-



I’m not saying there should never be another Ugly Sweater Contest.  What I Am Saying Is That Anyone That Buys An Officially Designed And Marketed AS AN UGLY SWEATER from the Get-Go Sweater, They should Not Be allowed to win the contest.  Has to be vintage or get out of here with that new off the rack designed-as-an-ugly-sweater Ugly Sweater.

So Toby find that woman who took home whatever the prize was for winner of the Ugly sweater contest at your party and strip her of that title.  She doesn’t deserve it.  Only way she brings home the title in that contest is if no one else shows up in an ugly sweater at all.

Poll Time-

Seafood Myths That pretentious Foodies Will Try To Sell You On…

You know those pretentious “Foodies” that think they know everything there is to know about Seafood?

The next time you’re invited to a cocktail party and they start in on how “Monkfish tastes just like lobster.” You know what you tell them?

Get out my face sucka!” 

That’s got to be one of the biggest laughs know to anyone who has handled or tried monkfish.  Not even close.  But you’ll hear every foodie spout it out.  Idiots.

Next up is that skatewings taste just like scallops.  Another idiotic statement.  You know back in the late 80s early 90s there were days that we’d handle over 10,000lbs of skatewings at under 20 cents a lb.  And some marketing guru at a rag like today’s “Edible Boston” probably got some idea to pitch the idea that skatewing tasted like scallops and the mindless lemmings that most Foddies are, they bought it hook, line and sinker.

You want to know the best underutilized species?  Well I’ll tell you.  Number one and my all time favorite fish fried similar to smelt is Whiting.

Another great one is ocean catfish (also called wolfish).


Monkfish, just like lobster. Winking smile

Skatewing, just like scallops. Winking smile

August 11, 2011 016

So next time you’re at the cocktail party with the pretentious foodie, you tell them to keep the monkfish and skatewing on their side of the table and push the lobster and scallops your way.

OK, how dense do you have to be To Go Out Of Town and Stand In Lines That Wrap Around The Store When You Could Shop Locally and get Better Deals With No Lines?

This Out Of Town-

Vs This Locally-

In and Out At Toodeloos In 15 Minutes for 30% Savings-

The begrudging Is Obviously a thing…

So the GloucesterClam – went to a self hosted format and they made the unthinkable mistake of asking for what amounts to a pittance of a donation to help with costs associated with maintaining their site.

In the short time since I posted it I’ve gotten three remarks about the Clam having an ad on the site and asking for a donation as if they had just lit their children on fire and tossed them into a dumpster.

Here’s the post from the Clam-

The Clam Gets a Facelift

By KT Toomey November 10, 2014 Uncategorized

You will notice that the website has totally changed over the weekend. If you didn’t notice, you should probably feel shame in many places around your body.

We decided to do this for a bunch of reasons – better content options, better layout, plugins that can help us track you to the nearest streetcorner, the ability to add a store to sell you stickers and shirts – stuff like that. Our free options were totally limiting us, maaan. We needed freedom, baby, and we had to go get it.

So because that migration and subsequent dozen small frustrating issues took up the majority of my weekend (also I had to make several trips to Dogtown to dump leaves and brush just like everyone else in town), I have no real content to post today. But look, our site is pretty! And it’ll continue to look even better in the next few weeks as we make a few more little changes. Make sure you let us know if you have problems commenting or viewing anything. Unless your comment is terrible, in which case don’t. And be sure to let us know if you like it, or if there’s something else you want to see.

We just added a new feature- you can subscribe to our email list on our sidebar, so you know when we’re doing Clam nights or other events, and you can keep up with the latest in ClamLand. We aren’t going to sell your email to the Russians. Probably.

And now I’m going to make today’s content-less post EVEN WORSE for you. Here we go: the Clam is a labor of love for us, but it does cost us some money for upkeep. We bring you original, sometimes funny content on a daily basis – sometimes we stay up way past our bedtimes to figure out what will make you laugh tomorrow.

It’s been almost 6 months of hard, but fun, work on this blog, and we hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as we have. If you love us, and want to keep us going as long as possible, donate to us using the Paypal button on the left. Even $5 is a huge help to offset stuff like hosting, Clam nights, the gas we use driving around to take pictures that barely relate to our posts, beer to get through Wicked Tuna recaps, and the hush money we paid Marty after he accidentally droned over KT’s top-secret sexy ladyrobot lab.

and here’s the one ad displayed in the sidebar of



So for me to get three comments in such a short amount of time about a tiny ad and the audacity the Clammers had in asking for a donation on their blog, it tells me that it’s definitely a thing.   Not that I didn’t know that there are many many people out there that would begrudge them for asking.  I get it completely.  When my dad or other people couldn’t comprehend why I would do GMG without selling ad space or posting all the community announcements and not asking anything in return I felt and still feel that I got back way more in friendships and appreciation than I could ever make up for with the utter disgust that people who feel entitled to free content obviously feel every single day when you ask them for money for your hard work.

I don’t know why people are the way they are but it’s so very obvious that there is a huge contingency of people that think that content on the web should always be free and if you have the audacity to ask people to help cover the costs of maintaining the site that provides that content then you are just a greedy “out-to-make-money” son of a bitch.

I don’t begrudge the Clammers asking for money and I wouldn’t begrudge the Clammers if their site became so popular that the Huffington Post decided to buy them out and made millionaires out of them.  If you like the content and have the means, I suggest you donate to them.  if you have the means but don’t feel like donating, then don’t.  Just don’t bitch about a mere suggestion that you could donate if you’d like.

If it bothers you so much to have to scroll past an ad on their site or to have to read a post where they ask for a donation then I suggest you re-examine the work you do for a living and how you would feel if someone told you that you really ought to do it for free.

They’re not doing it “for-the-money” trust me.  No successful blog is written “for-the-money”.  You have to have major league passion about a subject because there’s only about a bazillion other blogs or sites people could visit for free written by people that are passionate about that subject matter.  No one writing for money and given assignments could ever deliver the quality of material that someone who is passionate about a subject could over time.

Anyone Wanna Explain To These Women Scrunching Their Lips Together That They Just Come Off As Try-Hards? Updated…

What is it with this new trend with women scrunching their lips up for social media photos?

Can anyone pinpoint when this all started and who made it a “thing”?


Yo, your lips get stung by a bee or somethin?


Weird thing is that most of these women are already attractive so I don’t get the lip move.  I get that they’re probably not desperate for a date but what it does reek of is desperate for attention.

Anyway, not that I think we necessarily have a young readership that this would apply to but just in case I can save a youngster that might be reading, not a good look.


OK,I spotted the trend but apparently I’m way behind on this-  has been on the case for a while now.

Worth a looksie.



UPDATE 3 from Know Your Meme-

Try To Look Worse Keene State. You Can’t.

What happened to getting going to parties and trying to hook up when you were in college?

What’s with the violence?

Doesn’t look like my idea of any kinda fun at all.  If the demographic displayed in these videos are the student population from Keene State then their PR department better have some magical wizards or something.  Right now people sending their kids off to school you gotta figure Keene State just raced to the very last pick in the US.  Like if you gotta pick between Keene State and garbage collector you almost gotta go garbage collector.  Beats getting smoked in the head with a bottle.  Not sure how you recover from this kind of bad look.

The kids in this video make the drek that hangs out in the MacDonalds /7 Eleven Parking lot look like the Debutantes and future rulers of America. Mutant City at Keene State Pumpkin Fest.  Mutant City.

RANT: Too many non-profits have an unfair advantage over small family businesses

Before you read this rant … vote for our grant.  It’s free & easy.  Just go here.

People who know us have seen how much Vickie and I support non-profits.  We volunteer our time.  We produce concerts & festivals that raise money for them.  And we donate money when we can.  Gloucester is blessed to have several excellent non-profits with dedicated staff, supporters and volunteers who serve our community well.  You know who they are.

Lately, it feels like some organizations with 501(c)(3) tax exempt status are gaining an unfair advantage in the marketplace.  And last week, several events conspired to drive this point home to us.

It began last Wednesday when an MCC delegation came to Beverly for a proposed Cultural District site visit. The proposed Beverly Arts District (BAD for short) includes The Larcom Theatre, where we present concerts, so we arranged for the MCC delegation to tour the theatre and I participated in a round table dialogue afterwards.  The Larcom Theatre is clearly the largest arts organization in the district in terms of the number of people we connect with annually (over 30K people come to shows at the Larcom from over 320 towns in 30+ states).

But The Larcom is not eligible for an MCC Cultural Facilities Fund Grant because it’s not a 501(c)(3).  Neither is gimmeLIVE.  Currently, the Larcom has no air conditioning, so we don’t have concerts in the summer; and no sound system, so we rent one (an excellent one, BTW) for the season.  If we were a 501(c)(3) we could apply for a grant and use the money for those and other improvements.  But we can’t.  Nor can we hang posters in lots of locations (including Market Basket) that only allow posters for non-profits.

However, the group that hopes to purchase the Cabot Theatre (just up the street from the Larcom) is rumored to be a non-profit.  They won’t pay taxes.  They could get a Cultural Facilities Grant.  They could hang posters where we can’t.  So… our tax dollars are funding our competition, whose 501(c)(3) status gives them lots of other advantages over us too.

Does this seem fair to you?

When I mention this disparity to various people, their answer is usually, “Well, why don’t you become a non-profit?  It’s really not that hard.”  In fact, that’s what Biotech investor Greg Verdine is doing for his new Gloucester venture according to this Boston Business Journal article that I read on Thursday.

Is this really what we want?  Smart business people starting non-profits to gain an advantage in the marketplace?

We’re not talking about poor starving aid workers here.  People who run non-profits in the Northeast make over $148K on average and as much as $3.7 million a year in salary according to this report.

Recently we applied for a Mission Main Streets Grant from Chase Bank.  Getting this grant would allow us to hire people, buy sound equipment, take bigger risks on more expensive artists and maybe even help get air conditioning in the Larcom Theatre (it’s not enough for that, but it could help).  Refreshingly, these grants are only available to for-profit small businesses.  That’s us — a small, family business trying to make a living for ourselves, our crew and our artists by bringing the best live music to your backyard at reasonable prices.  Non-profits have a huge advantage.  Please help level the playing field by voting for us.  It’s easy and free.  Just go here.