Category Archives: 2010

Spectacle Island

Many of my adventures have taken me onto boats for this summer…and my trip to Spectacle Island was no different.

Spectacle Island is a 15-20 minute ferry ride out of Long Wharf in Boston and is part of the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area. Today’s island has been reshaped over the years with dumping, erosion, and the fill from the Big Dig to become one of the highest points in Boston Harbor.

The National Park has a green visitor center that has CLIVUS toilets, expansive views of the city, and covered picnic area.

There are a number of trails to walk along and view the city or the lighthouse.  One of these trails takes people along the shore that is scattered with rocks and the occasional dead fish:

The other main feature of the island is the trash that is coming out of the ground and washing up on the shore…seaglass and pottery shards. As an archaeologist, I am always looking down on the sand at the beach for seaglass and random things. At Spectacle, you don’t even have to search…it is all there, but not for the taking.

The ferry to the islands is almost done, just about another month. I hope to get back out to George’s sometime before then to find the dark space again!

Mahna Mahna

If you have time, I strongly suggest that you go over to the Museum of National Heritage in Lexington to check out the “Jim Henson’s Fantastic World” exhibit. It runs through June 27, 2010 and is awesome if only for the ability to be near a bunch of actual Muppet puppets.  I had already seen Oscar up close and I think I get to count Big Bird since I met and shook hands with Carroll Spinney, but I also got to see Kermit, Bert/Ernie, Rowlf, and my favs the Mahna Mahna guy and the Snowths.  There were also a few others that I did not recognize immediately because they were used for commercials, but had many features of later Muppets.

Now, you aren’t supposed to take photographs (Even though it is an exhibit by the Smithsonian and they let you take gazillions of photos) but I still did. I’m sneaky like that 🙂

A short description:

The Museum is pleased to announce that we will host “Jim Henson’s Fantastic World” from April 3, 2010 through June 27, 2010.  The exhibition features 100 original artworks, including drawings, cartoons and storyboards that illustrate Henson’s talent as a storyteller and visionary. Among the variety of exhibition objects are puppets and television and movie props, photographs of Henson and his collaborators at work and original video productions, including excerpts from Henson’s early career and experimental films.”
You can also download a podcast about the exhibit or borrow a player for free from the people at the museum. You just have to leave your ID with them.


DSCF1743

I love that Ernie has his Rubber Duckie with him. They should have put bottlecaps in for Bert.

DSCF1740

This now adorns my cell phone wall paper. I love Rowlf…he is a wonderful straight line guy.

DSCF1739

Love love love!!!

Done!

  • I have finished grad school! I tried once before and it didn’t take…this time was much better. I graduate on the 14th!
  • I have decided that I need a project for the summer, so I’m going to try and make a quilt
  • The trip to Ireland is coming together…just have to decide how many days I want to spend where.
  • Blah!

Product Review: Utilitech 1/6 HP Utility Pump

This past weekend, I had the unfortunate pleasure of using a utility pump to get water out of my basement.  It was a good pump, but did not come with any instructions or trouble shooting so I was mostly wandering around blindly while inches of water came in through my basement. I thought it might help some people if I wrote about how to use it.

  • The shorter the hose the better. I originally had 100 feet of hose attached to the pump, but that was way too long. I bought it that long so that I could run the hose out of the basement to the front, but my father pointed out that I could get a shorter hose and put it through the drain for the washing machine. Since the power cord was 10 feet long, I bought the shortest hose I could get (15 feet)/
  • Sometimes the pump would not spin. This was because of silt that had gotten into the mechanism.  By drilling the screws out and wiping each part down, I was able to get most of the silt out. Always make sure that the pump is turned off when you do that and try it out before you put the screws back in.
  • Sometimes that even doesn’t work. The only way I figured out how to make the pump start working was to turn it out, put it on the floor, and then unscrew the hose until it started taking in water. Then you have to move very fast, angle the pump on its side and screw the hose back on. This way, it will start taking water up and through the hose.
  • Make sure to give it time to cool down. It has a little engine and it is doing a lot of work, so put it in a cool place.
  • Clean it completely after you are done with it.

Hopefully I won’t have to use this again anytime soon. However, we need to get a few contractors out to fix things in the house and yard.

I bought my pump at Lowes. It was located in the back behind the fridge/sink/toilet display against the back wall.