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August 4, 2010

Passing Summer

Filed under: Uncategorized by Bill @ 10:44 pm

Summer is in full swing. Heat, humidity, thunderstorms (luv them), beer, boats, bbq’s, beaches. And just when I thought it would last forever something happened to remind me that the end is just around the corner.

It was Saturday night. There were steaks on the grill and cocktails in hand when Karilyn mentioned that she had seen Halloween pumpkins and school supplies on sale at the store earlier in the day. Right then and there my summertime bubble burst. I felt as if someone woke me up during a really good dream.

School supplies? Pumpkins? Already? UGH!!

We spent a good half hour discussing how sick it is to have Halloween stuff in the stores at this time of year before resuming normal conversation.

On Sunday morning I found this poem taped to my office door.


On a quiet beach somewhere on Long Island’s north fork.

Passing Summer
by Karilyn Drago

Already shadows grow longer,
night falls more quickly
creeping up on me, as a lover from behind.
Tree frogs call to one another,
sing the melody while crickets chirp the backbeat
and the spider spins her silken web.

A hot July, air barely breathable,
gives way to these cool evenings
with August yet ahead.
It is a false promise, yet a welcome respite – lie to me.

Today I saw school supplies, pencils and notebooks, alongside pumpkins and scarecrows upon the shelf
whispering of cooler days to come.
Not yet, but soon.

I am not ready to concede, oh no, not yet.
Thirty days and more ‘til Labor Day.
It will be hot again.
Summer, firm in her grasp will claim me once more,
unwilling to yield to September and beyond.

I pour another glass of Chardonnay
and toast the summer stars
as they cling to the coal sky –
the overture –
before Cassiopeia and the golden leaves of her
evening gown.

July 26, 2010

Summer Squall at the Snapper Inn

Filed under: Uncategorized by Bill @ 6:55 am

If you were on Long Island yesterday afternoon you may have heard about the tornado warning and maybe even witnessed a severe summer squall blowing through your neighborhood.

We were sitting on the dock at the Snapper Inn enjoying cocktails and the shade provided by thick black clouds. They seemed to be north of us, so I figured whatever was coming would pound the north shore and leave us alone. How wrong I was.

At first there were only a few drops, then it started to rain hard enough for us to move from the dock to the tent. And then, within a matter of minutes the sky opened up and the wind started blowing. Really blowing… The winds even knocked down a tree on the grounds that had been toppled and saved 25 years ago in a different storm.

According to the National Weather Service the storm came through at 40 to 50 mph and produced wind gusts up to 60 mph. Based on what I saw I don’t doubt those numbers.

Here are some pictures…

Black clouds. Nothing to worry about...

A little rain.

The rain begins in earnest.

Visibility is reduced and the wind picks up.

Driving rain is blowing inside the tent; customers and staff race to close the panels.

Storm damage: Down for the second time in 25 years, this tree's trunk is now broken and cannot be saved.

Not long after the rain started, the skies cleared and the evening sun cast a golden glow on boats in the river.

June 7, 2010

Dust, Oysters and Venus

Filed under: Uncategorized by Bill @ 7:22 am

After a long day slaving away at the computer I went out for some dinner at Kingston’s Clam Bar. It was very windy yesterday and along the way I encountered this dust blowing across a soccer field.

blowing dust

There was so much dust in the air my eyes were burning.

For dinner I had clams and oysters on the half shell followed by a plate of fried calamari, and all washed down with a couple of pints of Paulaner hefe-weizen, a summertime favorite beer.  (Sorry no pictures of dinner.)

After dinner I noticed the planet Venus shining brilliantly in the western sky. The picture just doesn’t do the scene justice, but I hope you get the idea of how beautiful it was.

planet venus

Venus is the very bright “star” in the picture above. You can see the yellow glow of Kingston’s dining room to the right.

June 1, 2010

Scene on Memorial Day

Filed under: Uncategorized by Bill @ 6:41 am

This Memorial Day weekend was s busy one for me, but I did manage to spend a little time in Southold and Greenport on Long Island’s north fork. Of course I had my camera with me…

Whenever I visit Greenport I park on 3rd St. by the Shelter Island ferry dock and East End Seaport Museum. This saves me the headache of dealing with the impossible parking situation on Rt. 25/Main St..

By chance this time I ended up parked directly in front of the Chowder Pot Pub. I’ve never been there before and the temptation was irresistible. I sat on the deck outside overlooking Greenport Harbor, had a pint and some wings, and enjoyed some live music too. Not bad at all…

Then I took a walk around town and stopped by Crabby Jerry’s. This is right next door to Claudio’s Clam Bar (so close that I could hear their band) and much less crowded. There I enjoyed a pint of Greenport Harbor Brewing Summer Ale while watching the boats come and go and the crazy crowds at Claudio’s.

It was back to Chowder Pot for a quick snack and then back to mom’s house in Southold.

This is a test of alt

The Chowder Pot Pub.

The band caught me taking their picture.

The band caught me taking their picture.

A creative billboard near the ferry terminal.

My view of Claudio's from Crabby Jerry's.

A man and his miniature horse near a vineyard in Southold. (Very, very cool.)

March 14, 2010

Wind Storm on Long Island

Filed under: Uncategorized by Bill @ 9:56 pm

Well, this storm took me by surprise. I was expecting wind and rain but nothing like this.

It was pretty windy yesterday morning when I got up, and then at around 6:30am I heard a noise and the loud boom of a pole transformer exploding. Fortunately, I didn’t loose power, but the folks on the next block have been without electricity since yesterday morning.

This morning I went for a drive to survey the storm’s handiwork. I cannot believe the amount of damage I saw right in my own neighborhood. If this is any indication of what happened to the rest of the island, then this is a genuine disaster.

Suffolk county is estimating $30 million in damage, while LIPA is scrambling to restore power to thousands of residents. I heard that Con Ed has more outages than they did during hurricane Gloria. Incredible.

Check out these pictures. View them full size to really see the damage. (I’m told that the occupants of the green VW escaped without serious injury.)

February 28, 2010

Scenes of a Snowy February

Filed under: Uncategorized by Bill @ 6:39 pm

It’s been a snowy winter for us here on Long Island and in much of the country for that matter. If you have to get up and go to work, then snow is a major pain, but even as I’m cleaning off my car and cursing the weather, I am struck by its beauty.

Every flake is different and they’re so small it’s hard to believe they can pile up so quickly and cause so much trouble. (Are there more snowflakes in a blizzard then grains of sand on the beach? It hurts my head to even think about it.) In spite of the inconvenience, the delays, and the aggravation, I always find the time to snap a few pictures.

February 14, 2010

Low Pass Filter on the Great South Bay

Filed under: Uncategorized by Bill @ 5:09 pm

I love the Great South Bay. Not only is it a source of fun and fish (Bay Scallops, Dogfish), but if you hang out here on a regular basis you can observe some pretty interesting natural phenomena too.

A while back I posted about temperature inversions and sun pillars, and this morning I saw a naturally occurring low pass filter on the water’s surface.

Most folks wouldn’t have noticed, or cared even if they did notice, but as an engineer I find things like this fascinating. So what is a low pass filter and what’s it doing on the bay?

Okay, it’s simple. Think about when you talk to someone through a door. Their voice sounds muffled because the door blocks the high notes (high frequency sounds) and only lets the low notes (low frequency sounds) through. Because the door only passes low frequency sounds it’s acting as a low pass filter.

In music low pass filters are used to reduce hiss in recordings. In your car the shock/spring assembly at each wheel act as low pass filters to smooth out all the small bumps in the roadway.

Back to the bay… The wind had blown a lot of slush into a small cove near the Long Island Maritime Museum. In the pictures below you’ll notice that the slush is wavy, but has no ripples on its surface.

The slush, being thicker than water, can’t move as fast as water does. It’ll let long, slow waves pass through it, but doesn’t move fast enough for small, closely spaced waves. So instead of rippling like the water’s surface the slush gently undulates as waves pass through it. In effect, the slush is a low pass filter preventing high frequency waves from reaching the shore.

Only ripple free waves reach shoreline.

Ripples are gone as soon as they hit the slush. 3 to 4 smooth waves are clearly visible toward the center right. (Click for large.)

Ripple free wave crashing on shore. (click for large.)

And there you have it. What a beautiful winter scene looks like through the eyes of an engineer. Oh, and Happy Valentine’s Day.

December 21, 2009

Snowstorm on Long Island

Filed under: Uncategorized by Bill @ 8:14 am

Well, winter is off to a roaring start. If you live on the east coast you know we had snow however, if you’re one of those folks who has moved away from Long Island, here’s what you missed yesterday…

DSC_9349
At 5am there was already 2 feet of snow on the ground and it was still coming down.

DSC_9356
The birds showed up at dawn and they were hungry.

DSC_9358
That’s a lot of snow. Shovel and snowblower teamed up to clear the driveway.

DSC_9374
Elsewhere, larger machines moved even more snow.

DSC_9372
At day’s end a beautiful sunset and clear sky over the Great South Bay.

DSC_9377
Snow covered party boats glow in the late sun. (The shadow of my head is under the G in Stranger, my truck is to the right.)

November 2, 2009

Boat Burning at the Long Island Maritime Museum

Filed under: Uncategorized by Bill @ 7:04 am

Every year on the Friday before Halloween the Long Island Maritime Museum burns a boat. The boats are unrestorable, have no historical significance, and they are huge.

This year’s boat was a 60ish foot party boat that had partially burned earlier in the season. Repairs proved too expensive, so the owner stripped out engines and other valuable equipment, and donated the hull for this year’s Halloween boat burning.

Unfortunately I couldn’t attend the burning itself, but I do have before and after pictures to share. If anyone has pictures of the fire itself, contact me and I’ll add them here.

You’ll note in the following pictures that the superstructure is gone. That’s the part that burned when a fire broke out on board earlier this year.

boat-burning-1

boat-burning-2

boat-burning-3

boat-burning-4

October 13, 2009

Loving Your Blog!

Filed under: Uncategorized by Bill @ 6:16 am

I received some excellent fan mail yesterday:

Hello, Loving Long Island!

Such a cool blog. What I really like is the LOVE you put into your posts. Nice photos, recommendations, recipes, videos how to… a rich, lovely site.

You and Soundbounder have the Island covered. You both make me want to explore more.

Thanks for the work you put in! It IS greatly appreciated!

If that weren’t flattering enough, it’s from Christina Sun, one of my favorite publishers. Her site, Bowsprite: A New York Harbor Sketchbook, features beautiful, informative, and sometimes comical water color paintings of New York Harbor, and entertaining transcripts of radio communications between the boats working there.

(I still haven’t figured out why she always has that radio with her, but when I was working from home I had a marine VHF squawking on my desk all day long just for fun. So if that’s the case, I get it.)

The funny thing is, while Christina wants to explore Long Island, she and Will Van Dorp of Tugster (he has a way with words like Christina has a way with brushes) have me hooked on New York Harbor and the Hudson, places I never thought I would have any interest in whatsoever.

But that’s the whole point of publishing this stuff anyway, isn’t it; to share the excitement and inspire others to come see too?

As for Soundbounder… Well, that’s Mathew Housekeeper. I’m on his site all the time for his excellent photographic coverage of both shores of the Long Island Sound. I don’t know how he gets around so much, but he does.

So, three great sites that I highly recommend. If you love the water, work boats, cool places, great writing, and pretty pictures, then the rest of your day is shot 🙂

Oh, and thank you, Bowsprite for the fan mail. It’s nice to know that all this work is greatly appreciated.

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