Thursday, September 9, 2021

New Spot for the Blog from Now On

 This site has been a good friend for the past 12 plus years but it has its limitations. 

To address those limitations I have set up a new web site that offers more features - especially for video and photographs. 

Take a look at for what is brewing. 

This site will remain live but all the new blogging will be done at the new site going forward.

See you there.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Because I am Still Grateful

 Work will continue on the Lantern Room project today. A vendor will take a look this morning. 

I spent a good part of the day yesterday trying to figure out ways to relight some of the web cams. 

The funds that were donated to buy those cameras came in large part from the Stahr family and I do not take that for granted. I would like to see as many back on as I can rig without being in the way of the priority project which is first shoring up the lantern room in anticipation of the winter, then moving to a more long lasting rebuild of the structure with new frames and copper cover. I remain very grateful for their donations and want to see those donations realized and not set aside.

This look is what I came up with yesterday.

This is a rafters view of the runway between the Cottage and the Tower. I will be cleaning up those rafters later in the day and this could be slightly adjusted as a result. For now it is another way for guests to the blog to see what is happening during a tour. There are panels with different stories of the history here, along with several tablets running video and digital slide shows.

There are now four shots missing from what was here before: the Minot camera, The Jetty camera, the Looking North Camera, and the Looking South camera. 

Bringing back a shot of Minot would be a challenge. I have an outside chance of doing it.
Bringing back the others is not as much of a priority as some of the cameras in place cover the angles with a twist.
What I will work on is finding other shots. The ideal would be to somehow cover the front of the Tower and I give those odds to be 50/50. That could happen.  Keep coming back to see.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Four Looks Back Online (and One Improved)

Four of the cameras have been pulled out of their brief hibernation. I have brought the Seawall camera and the South Jetty camera back on line with some razzle dazzle with the wiring. I have just finished figuring out how to bring back a shot of the harbor and the camera inside the light.

It is a good dry day for being on a ladder and dancing with Cat5 cables. 

This last view is a new angle for the Looking East camera. I had long thought I could get more of a storm if I could find the right angle for this and today I think I landed there.

Friday, August 13, 2021

Getting Ready with A Step Back

The cameras that were based in the lantern room have gone into hibernation in order that the Trustees can evaluate the room in order to restore it to full health. 

The only source of power in the Tower is in the Lantern room. I had tried to bring in a source lower down but that effort can be considered a casualty of the pandemic. With the Tower off limits for so long our electrician moved on to other jobs. 

There were evaluators here yesterday and I recognized, (even if they were too polite to say it) that the power strip and the other wires used to bring the cameras to life were obstacles to what they were trying to do. This morning it got cleaned up but in the process 8 of the cameras went off line. 

The Jetty, the Harbor, the South Jetty, the Inside, the Looking North, the Looking South, Minot, and the Seawall were all based off a router found at the top of the second stair. This network was the son of a town project to bring wifi to the parking lot and to the boats on moorings. When that initiative was pulled out by the Town I used the wiring to build the wider network of cameras.

So lets hope that this is only temporary. Perhaps a more clean way of installing the links will be part of the renovation process. There are still 7 cameras covering a lot of the angles. I will be working on turning the Looking East camera so that it pans along the seawall. That is a shot that is really valuable in a storm and I will do my best to bring it back. 

I also have cameras that shared through the blog that pan that way and also cover along the Jetty. Those are down as well but I am going to figure out a way to bring them back up and at least have those photographs and short videos to share.

Saturday, July 31, 2021

July was Full

 As July wraps up there is a great deal to report from Scituate Light. 

A rainy and cold Independence Day set the flowers back while helping the new lawn in the kitchen courtyard to flourish. I cut some of the damaged flowers back and they have come roaring back.

One of the goals of the summer was to build a garden for my predecessor here, Ruth Downton.  The plans were set aside for this summer due to circumstances unforeseen. What happened instead was that I made a down payment with a small garden added around the stone dedicated to Ruth's husband George. I have prepared some signage to be mounted on the fence as well and I am working on getting those printed. The complete package will be in place next spring.

The full moon has become an occasion when crowds gather as a matter of routine. Sometimes I wonder what the fuss is about but the last two months have seen full moons that were easy to photograph and had a different effect on the sky.

We have also have some thunderstorms that have created opportunities for photographs and video. 
Take a peek. We were visiting in Marshfield when this storm rolled in and used a big pile of towels cleaning up when we got home too late to close the windows.

Another twist to the month was this visit of what was described to me by my bird expert Steve Maguire as a Rock Pigeon.  Birds are not a field in which I have much knowledge and Steve stepped up when I sent out the call for an identification.

One of the projects I have enjoyed as much as any has been the taking of old 4 by 4 pieces and working them into lookalikes to the old buoys that were here when we arrived and that wind and weather have beaten up and rotted away. I bought an electric planner for the wood working and have been using up old paint colors. Cleaning out some stuff from the different corners in which I have stuffed it all was another target this summer. This project has been one way to do it.

That paddle mounted on the wall was given to me by my Aunt Barbara for a long ago raft on Sandhills beach. The middle buoy was used by Carl Chessia in his long ago lobstering days. The others were part of the bring back the buoys project.

The white and yellow banners are nautical flags for the number 100. Another funky way to put the address on the house. The larger banner on the left is the Lighthouse Service banner.

The other way I have tried to reduce the burden on the bookshelves was the building of a Free Library box that is mounted on a post at the end of the driveway. I own a lot of books. More than 5000. I have to winnow that down somehow and feel good about it at the same time. This was what I have come up with in the short term. Come on by and see what you might take away to help the cause. I have just pulled 25 more out to rotate through in the next few days.

Another effort was the writing and the mailing of the latest Scituate Historical Society newsletter. The focus was on the events of 1971 and featured a report by Carl Chessia on the work of the DPW all over town and from the Society President Kathleen Laidlaw on their projects highlighting the renovation of the Mann House. Please consider joining the Society and you can do that very easily by following this link.

Here they are ready to go. There is also an electronic version that includes more photographs of a better quality and saves the Society some money in the process. If you choose to join, please mention if you would like to get the newsletter electronically.

A final story to share begins about 3 weeks ago when Michelle Seghezi who serves as secretary to the Town Administrator sent an email about a filming application that had been filed. The group had been hired by the New England Patriots to create a short video to run before home games in Foxboro. I had the chance to clarify the parameters and the group was completely cooperative in those conversations. 

The night of the shoot was windy but they arrived with two drones and a hand held camera to get the footage they needed. 

Family lore has it that I was taken to the first Patriots game wrapped in a red tartan blanket we still have somewhere.  I know it to be true that the doctor that delivered me was the brother of the original owner of the team, Billy Sullivan. Billy Sullivan also belonged to the golf club where my grandfather was a member for years and years. The voice of the Patriots in the mid 60's was another Bob Gallagher who lived here in Scituate and whose kids went to school with my sister Christine and me. I still have a poster of Jim Plunkett somewhere in storage.  I am still furious at the refs for the roughing the passer call. The tuck rule and all that followed might have offset that some but I can still hate the Raiders and the the Colts and the Steelers and Broncos for beating up my luckless, hapless Patriots in the 70's and 80's. I have held season tickets with my guys since 1993. We bought them four days after Bill Parcells was hired by James Orthwein (and who remembers that guy now?) (For a sense of just how bad things were then follow this link to copy of Sports Illustrated from 1992 with an article by Leigh Montville titled the Patsies: it also includes an article titled, Its Good to be OJ.)

All that is prelude to this video shoot wrapping up and my asking innocently if I could hold the helmet that was used as a prop. I think it was set on the revetment and lit up by drone with the Tower as a back drop. I was told yes I could but to hold on there was something else for me to see. 

They loaded me up with rings. Championship rings. Rings like we dreamed about when they were 2-10 or 1-13.

The first was large but not unwieldy. The last was like wearing a baseball.

As they put them on I began to laugh and couldn't help myself.

I had tricked myself out in a little old school Patriots swag and I laughed and laughed at the good luck that had fallen in my lap.

Below is a video I took of what the shooting looked like from the side.

Who knows what August will bring. Luminaria is next Friday and we will mask up once again and open the Tower for tours on Saturday and Sunday. We are keeping the Cottage to ourselves for now until the numbers indicate we have the virus on the run again. The picture below is of the milk and water jugs that are filled with sand and candles and placed so that the jetties and beach are lit up along with the rest of the coast during a boat parade out of Scituate Harbor.

The one piece of misfortune that occurred as the Patriots crew was shooting was that the bulb in the Lighthouse blew out. They were able to do what they needed without it but I was horrified after agreeing to help out and then not being able to follow through completely. I still am horrified.

The next day began with a call in the our electrician. He arrived and tended to a parking lot light that was out and a light that shines on a plaque describing the building of the Light and the Army of Two. He handed off a new bulb to me and I got things squared away.  There was a brighter light last night with the lens cleaned and the brand new bulb.

One last treat. I have a bunch of small cameras that link to my phone. One had a slow motion feature. Trying it out this week here is twenty second of what I got.

The final shot is a glimpse of a perfect day. You will want to look at each of these in a full screen.

Monday, June 21, 2021

A Different Summer Coming

 Lots of news from the late winter, to the spring and into what will be a different summer. 

I did some work back in January on some worn floors. First step was a restorer; the next a wax. These treads needed some attention and the products have held up very well.

The newer floor in the living room was treated too and that transformed a beat up and kinda dingy wood to something that looks much healthier even today.

In February, the bathroom was painted, moving from yellow to Lighthouse white. That's what the hardware store called the new color. The ceiling needed the most help and that room was as cleaned up as could be by the end of the February school vacation.  I also installed a new faucet. Looks like an old pump. That was a valuable upgrade as well. 

Another upgrade was transforming the brick red baseboards in the kitchen to a putty color that fits better with the floor that replaced the old brick. 


From time to time I am offered an upgrade to the web cams and the March upgrades really seemed to sharpen the images.

April was all about the boardwalk. I was told that I could not possibly wrestle those pieces out of the yard and back into place but with some patience and some persistence I got it done. The wind worked against me but I figured out how to use the walk itself as a platform and unroll the carpet. Russ Totman had done a great job getting the path level and after that it was just a matter of thinking it through and lugging the panels onto the wheeler. 

Another project tackled was building a better home for my grill. The spot lies just outside the entry door to the Tower runway. I had had smaller bricks there that had gathered from near and far. I decided a better choice was to use a larger paver and got to work.

The stone that came along with the boardwalk project was repurposed. I got a lot more delivered than I needed to level the walk and some of that was spread into the yard and then to another walk on the ocean side of the house.

Last year there was a good deal of clean up that I could not get to. Julie and my sister Lee stepped up as did several others in the neighborhood. This year I could get my hands dirty and the gardens and curbs got shined up. In early June the annual neighborhood clean up brought in new annuals and new perennials and a dose of mulch. 

The banners went out in April. It continues to be a thrill to see people stopping to read them.  The sewer line was replaced and that led to the digging up of the small courtyard on the ocean side of the house. I am trying to get the grass to grow but a water ban just as the lawn was seeded hurt that cause. The grass is growing but more slowly than it might have had we been able to keep it watered at the start. 

Furniture got moved and the results have worked out so far. A small couch went to the utility room. A bigger couch went to the living room where one of us can be found reading regularly. Two matching chairs went into the former tv watching room. That has become a more polished looking room with the shift. And a tv shifted into this office so that I can keep up with my basketball games while entering grades. Or writing blogs.

I am not on a job this summer for the first time since I was fourteen. One project in the works is too refinish the kitchen table. Another is to build a book giveaway box for the end of the driveway. I have done some wood working already and have hung some wooden buoys on the house that I mill down and paint from scraps of 4 by 4's. There is a chance that there will be more blogging in this time too. Come on back by to see.


New Spot for the Blog from Now On

 This site has been a good friend for the past 12 plus years but it has its limitations.  To address those limitations I have set up a new w...