Wednesday, November 16, 2005

I grew up in Bayonne, NJ.

Long the fodder of stand-up comics, Bayonne hangs in there like a small town in Ohio. It's an anachronism - a trip down Bayonne's streets today is like the same trip 50 years ago, so little seems to have changed. I think it's because Bayonne is, well, secluded. The only way in is to the North, except for the Bayonne bridge to Staten Island, and there are only a couple of entrances to the North. The Central Railroad of New Jersey, long gone, has been replaced by a modern light rail line, which could help make the town a commuter's heaven. IF they ever discover it. The waterfront, right in New York Harbor and on 3 full sides, could make the town the yachting capital of the East coast, IF it were ever developed with that in mind. I just learned that waterfront condos were going up on the old Elco Boat Works property, around 26th St., on the Newark Bay side. They only plan a 65 slip marina, which I think is only a few slips more than what's there today, and, while it is well protected, it sure is a long run from there to the Lower New York Bay and out under the Narrows Bridge. But HEY! It's a start! Back in the early 50's, there was even an open fishing boat (a party boat, or head boat, depending on where you're from) operating from the Southern tip of the city -- maybe at the foot of Avenue C -- where I went fishing for the first time. Maybe it wasn't even an open boat -- it may have been a charter, hired by the men of Temple Beth Am. It was a pretty small boat, wood (of course) and I won the pool with a small sea bass. That's where I got hooked on fishing and boats. Edit: the boat was the ZEPHYR - the original, not the Zephyr 2, which sank with its captain.

My parents are long gone and the house I grew up in was razed 25 years ago. I don't think the tulip beds are maintained in Hudson County Park (by the guy with the short leg and 2" soled shoes) like they were when I was there, and plenty else has changed. But not that much. I drive through Bayonne when I go to visit my daughter's family in Brooklyn, and it always brings back the same memories, and the same comments.

Just recently, in the Summer of '06, my sister and her husband took a trip to Eastern Europe, and in a restaurant in Prague happened to chat with some other Americans. These people were from Dallas. Well, the ladies chatted and it turned out that the one my sister was talking with ALSO came from Bayonne. And lived on the same street as we did (Avenue B). 3 houses apart (on the other side) And were a year in age apart. And used to walk to school together. Neither one recognized the other!

Sister also went to a reunion of No. 3 School recently. She keeps more in touch with old friends than I do, apparently. My HS reunion was held this year. It was held in Atlantic City, and I didn't go. I would have if it had been held in Bayonne, though.

Our parents were both teachers in Bayonne; dad in Bayonne Tech and mom in Washington School.


Are YOU from Bayonne? I graduated from BHS in '56 - the Garnet and White. Uncle Miltie's (Named for its owner, Milton Tone, and not for Milton Berle. Sure.) . Botwinik's. The JCC, perhaps. The Jersey Giants at Roosevelt Stadium and the drive-in. My '56 DeSoto and learning to drive down at Constable Hook. Pizza at Dido's, too. Leave me a note!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Speaking of Bayonne...

My email brought this one in, and made me think back to those days again. I just dunno, this poem just gets to me. After all, Sandra Dee DID grow up in Bayonne, and I AM that certain age...

The Land of Sandra Dee
By Anonymous (as cited by Leland Waltrip)

Long ago and far away, In a land that time forgot,
Before the days of Dylan, or the dawn of Camelot,

There lived a race of innocents, and they were you and me,
Long ago and far away, in the Land of Sandra Dee.

Oh, there was truth and goodness, in that land where we were born,
Where navels were for oranges, and Peyton Place was porn.

For Ike was in the White House, and Hoss was on TV,
and God was in his heaven, in the Land of Sandra Dee.

We learned to gut a muffler. We washed our hair at dawn.
We spread our crinolines to dry, in circles on the lawn.

And they could hear us coming all the way to Tennessee,
all starched and sprayed and rumbling, in the Land of Sandra Dee.

We longed for love and romance, and waited for the prince,
And Eddie Fisher married Liz, and no one's seen him since.

We danced to "Little Darlin" And Sang to "Stagger Lee"
and cried for Buddy Holly, in the Land of Sandra Lee.

Only girls wore earrings then, and three was one too many,
and only boys wore flat-top cuts, except for Jean McKinney.

And only in our wildest dreams, did we expect to see
a boy named George with Lipstick, in the Land of Sandra Dee.

We fell for Frankie Avalon, Annette was oh, so nice,
and when they made a movie, they never made it twice.

We didn't have a Star Trek Five, Or Psycho Two and Three,
or Rockey-Rambo Twenty, in the Land of Sandra Dee.

Miss Kitty had a heart of gold, and Chester had a limp,
and Reagan was a Democrat, whose co-star was a chimp.

We had a Mr. Wizard, but not a Mr. T,
and Oprah couldn't talk yet, in the Land of Sandra Dee.

We had our share of heroes; we never thought they'd go;
at least not Bobby Darin, or Marilyn Monroe.

For youth was still eternal, and life was yet to be,
and Elvis was forever, in the Land of Sandra Dee.

We'd never seen the rock band that was Grateful to be Dead,
And Airplanes weren't named Jefferson, and Zeppelins weren't Led.

And Beatles lived in gardens then, and Monkees in a tree,
Madonna was a virgin, in the Land of Sandra Dee.

We'd never heard of Microwaves, or telephones in cars,
and babies might be bottle-fed, but they weren't grown in jars.

And pumping iron got wrinkles out, and "gay" meant fancy-free,
and dorms were never coed, in the Land of Sandra Dee.

We hadn't seen enough of jets to talk about the lag,
And microchips were what was left at the bottom of the bag.

And Hardware was a box of nails and bytes came from a flea,
And rocket ships were fiction, in the Land of Sandra Dee.

Buicks came with portholes and side show came with freaks,
and bathing suits came big enough to cover both your cheeks.

And Coke came just in bottles and skirts came to the knee,
and Castro came to power in the Land of Sandra Dee.

We had no Crest with Fluoride; we had no Hill Street Blues;
we all wore superstructure bras designed by Howard Hughes.

We had no patterned pantyhose or Lipton herbal tea
Or prime-time ads for condoms, in the Land of Sandra Dee.

There were no golden arches; No Perriers to chill,
and fish were not called Wanda, and cats were not called Bill.

And middle-aged was thirty-five, and old was forty-three,
and ancient was our parents, in the Land of Sandra Dee.

But all things have a season, or so we've heard them say,
and now instead of Maybelline, we swear by Retin-A.

And they send us invitations to join AARP,
We've come a long way, baby, from the Land of Sandra Dee.

So now we face a brave new world, in slightly larger jeans,
and wonder why they're using smaller print in magazines.

And we tell our children's children of the way it used to be,
Long ago and far away, in the Land of Sandra Dee.

_____________________________________________________________________

A homeowner's tale of woe, or...PHENOSEAL®...NOT!

Phenoseal® is a product made by DAP. It's a nice, white sealant that my builder uses a lot. Well, I had a nice tiled seat built in my shower when we remodeled a few years ago, and I recently noticed that some of the grout was cracked and missing. Out came the tube of Phenoseal. It looked great! Then, maybe a month or two later, I noticed a spot of hard goop on the shower floor, which I had to remove with a razor blade. Also, some of the tiles on the front of the seat (vertical) were coming loose. Puzzled for a while, the light finally went on, and I called DAP to find out if something in the Phenoseal could react with the tile cement, and could the Phenoseal actually melt??

The answer was YES. It seems that the Phenoseal re-emulsifies in standing water, like on the seat top, and it oozed down behind the face tiles. So I pried some of them off, and, to my surprise, there was NO tile cement at all on the backs of the tiles. Only wet, sticky, molten Phenoseal. Now I'm prying off those face tiles, trying to get my builder over to retile the front of the seat (the flat tiles on the top of the seat, where I actually PUT the Phenoseal, still look OK, but I have my doubts about them, now) and get my downstairs shower in working condition again.

Of course, I never found any disclaimer or warning about this on the package -- although I'm sure it must be there in 8 point type -- so now I'm stuck with both a mess AND a couple of hundred dollar repair job.

So friends, be careful about using caulking of any type on flat surfaces -- especially PHENOSEAL.

Pheonseal is sold by a number of marine chandlers for use as a boat sealer. I would NEVER allow it on my boat, knowing now what it does and how it performs in a wet environment. IT IS CRAP!!!

O.K., call me crazy, but I really think a sealant should... seal.

DAP REPLIES:
"Thank you for contacting DAP Inc. with your inquiry, based on the description of your application in your "blog" it would appear that the product that the product that you selected was not the best choice for your intended application. DAP Phenoseal Vinyl Adhesive Caulk Does It All is a water based adhesive/sealant formula which is not recommended for use in below waterline applications (FOR BEST RESULTS: Do not use below waterline.)...

Based on the description of your application, we would generally recommend the use of a 100% Silicone Rubber Sealant.

Thank you, Jason"


"NOT RECOMMENDED?" That's an understatement, if I ever saw one. Then WHY do they call it (and these are THEIR words) "DAP Phenoseal Vinyl Adhesive Caulk Does It All?" "For best results..."
Jeez. What an understatement. In a submerged environment, it simply FAILS. BEST RESULTS???

In my mind, these bastards still owe me $200, to boot.

Follow-ups:
September 18, 2006. I finished cleaning the affected area and re-cemented 4 new tiles onto the front of the seat. On Tuesday, I'll clean out some of the grout on the seat and grout the whole area. I never did this before, so I have hopes but not expectations. By Thursday evening, the shower should be ready for use again. If there's any more Phenoseal damage, I'll report back.
August 18, 2007. I see a face half tile on the end is starting to stick out. This wasn't one that I replaced previously, I don't think. I'll let it come out some more before I try to remove it. What a fricken mess. I hope the whole world reads about this garbage product.

Did you find this information helpful?
Leave a message below just to let me know that this information is really getting out and MAYBE making an impression, no matter how small.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

OH CHIP. Our boating Adventure

Early in 2004, at the beginning of the boating season, we left the breakwater and set out for a day on the bay. Ticka-ticka-ticka-ticka-ticka was the sound the Merc (2000, 200 EFI, about 125 hours) outboard started to make. Slowing down to a crawl, and heading back to the harbor 1/2 mile away, the sound continued and then -- the engine stopped. Seized up. Nada. A call to TowBoat/US brought help and a tow ($350, but covered by insurance) back to our slip. It seems we had a metal chip -- OK, it was BIGGER than a "chip" -- it was a piece of gear that broke, destroyed the lower unit totally and, in effect, put an end to the 2004 season for us. Merc was no help - 2nd owner, out of warranty, blah blah. $4,668 and a month later, we were back on the water.


Should I have this made into a necklace?

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

There's a first time for everything

After boating and fishing for what seems like an eternity, I finally caught a rockfish (striped bass) on my own boat. This little feller measured EXACTLY 18" -- the minimum size for a keeper in Maryland.



This was also the first fish of any kind caught on the T3, so it felt GOOD. Tonight we'll stuff it with veggies, and steam it on the grill. Should be just the right size for two.

I had forgotten how tiring a day on the water can be. Even though we were anchored, the movement of the boat knocks the crap out of you! After cleaning up the boat, I peeled off all my soaking wet clothes, jumped in the shower, and took a well-deserved NAP. Hey! I gotta be alert for the puzzle at 6 tonight.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Too Darn Hot. Just Too Darn Hot.

Here I am, on Maryland's lovely Eastern Shore, my little boat a 10-minute walk from the house, and I haven't been out on it all week. 92. 93. 91. Humidity you could cut with a knife. I'm too damn old and fat to want to go sit on a boat in this weather dangling a line overboard. Christ, I'd probably die of heat prostration doing it. The air conditioning in the house is nice. It's comfortable here, but I could be in ANY a/c place on earth and be COMFORTABLE. I need to have my head examined. I bought a house down here, and a boat so I could go fishing and crabbing, and the only crabbing I do is about the heat and why I stay inside.

At least there are crossword puzzles to do.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

UPS (Unquestionably Poor Service) and me

I'm pissed off at UPS. We sat here all day Friday with our thumbs up our asses waiting for a package that was "on time" all week. Watching the UPS tracking site, we could see that it arrived in Secaucus, NJ at 3:22 AM on Friday morning. Usually, it's then immediately shipped out to the Bound Brook distribution center for delivery to me the same (promised) day.

NOT TO BE! All of a sudden, the delivery date was changed to Monday with no explanation, and the package didn't move from Secaucus for 17 hours. THEN, they sent it to Newark, where it was scanned in, and again scanned out almost immediately. That was 2 1/2 days ago. Why Newark? Who knows? Maybe it's on a plane to Beiruit or Berkeley California. It's a mystery.

UPS's pretty much complete flip reply to my nasty note is that it's rescheduled for Monday. NO SHIT! We sat here all day Friday, to receive the package they said all week was going to be delivered on Friday, and now we have to give up ANOTHER day to wait again. Oh yeah. They also said they have nothing in place to let their custumers know that deliveries have been rescheduled. REALLY?? They have TV ads where a lady purposely falls backwards off a building because the UPS truck is supposed to be there AT THAT EXACT SECOND to break her fall, but they can't fulfill a promise of delivery in a 24-hour window?? DUH! I think I'm missing something here.

Here's the latest note I sent to UPS:

I find your reply flippant, to say the least. Here are the facts:

FACT: I waited here all day Friday for a delivery you said was going to arrive.
Then, at the end of the day (and after business hours), you reschedule it for no reason at all. Hey! My time is valuable, too. I made plans based on YOUR promise.

FACT: It arrived at Secaucus at 3:22 AM Friday. From my experience, this is normal, and the parcel usually goes out right away to Bound Brook for delivery. This parcel never moved. Actually, it remained in Secaucus for over SEVENTEEN hours. It should have been in Bound Brook long before the truck to my home went out.

FACT: When it DID move, it went to Newark, for some unknown reason, where it "departed" at 9:46 PM on the 15th. It hasn't "arrived" anywhere, so far as I can tell. I suppose it might be just be sitting on a truck somewhere, doing NOTHING. Perhaps it's parked outside your Bound Brook facility. Perhaps not. The package hasn't been scanned since 9:46 PM on Friday, which is more than 48 hours ago. Maybe it's even on a plane now, going god-knows-where. You see, the only places it could possible be "departed" to is either my house or your Bound Brook Center, of which both locations are a maximum drive of ONE HOUR from Newark. I do not have good feelings about this.

FACT: Now I have to use up a vacation day Monday to wait for this package. I already gave up a day on Friday for your promised delivery. This is NOT satisfactory performance on your part, and is indefensible. Can you even tell me if I'm going to get it on Monday? I bet you can't. Like I said in the first paragraph, my time is valuable, too.

FACT: I am at the very least entitled to an explanation for the delay. No planes or trains crashed. The package arrived at your distribution center in time for delivery. The weather is delightful - no snow, sleet, hail, thunderstorms, or even fog. If you screwed up, SAY SO. Nobody's perfect.

FACT: This isn't an "inquiry", as you so flippantly call it. It is a COMPLAINT.

FACT: I happen to be a shareholder in UPS. I fully intend to communicate with those who run the company to inform them of your inability to meet a promise or even answer a reasonable question with FACTS.

FACT: The next time I order something by mail or over the internet, I will refuse to accept UPS as the shipper.

HERE'S A QUESTION FOR YOU: WHERE THE HELL IS MY PACKAGE NOW????


_________________________________________________________________________
FOLLOW UP:
At 10:41 Sunday night, the package was supposedly scanned in at Bound Brook. This is interesting, because I didn't close down the computer until after 11 and it hadn't appeared yet, but OK, maybe I didn't look again -- it's possible. I got up this morning at 4:11, and took a quick look to check and saw the entry -- after all, it IS Monday now -- PLUS, at 4:03 it's again scanned "out for delivery." That can only mean that it's on the truck and should make it here sometime today - THREE DAYS LATE.

It doesn't make me any happier knowing that it'll be here today. You see, I was supposed to leave for a vacation on Friday, after the package came. The car was loaded and we were all set. So this fiasco cost us not only Friday, but the whole weekend, PLUS what might be a good part of Monday. I'm still pissed, thank you. I'll let you know what time it arrives.
_________________________________________________________________________
5:00 Monday and still NOTHING. Another wasted day. Maybe he'll show up after supper. Or after breakfast. This is a disgrace. My plan now is to tell anyone I buy something from that I will not accept UPS as a shipper. If it doesn't come today, we're going to tell the vendor that we will NOT accept it and will NOT deal with them any more.
_________________________________________________________________________
6:00 PM on the button. Doorbell rings. End of tale. BUT, driver gives me a phone number and 2 guys' names to call. I call. The guy is very nice. He reviews the history. APPARENTLY, in Secaucus, the package got mis-routed to the Newark Airport Air Hub. I told him that when UPS screws up a ground shipment THEY should immediately upgrade the package to PRIORITY. They mess up, and THEY should fix it. My opinion.

Oh. One more thing. The clothes are too big. Wifey's going to return them (US Postal Service postpaid return label was included in the box. No UPS!!!!).

Followup: The label was postpaid, alright, but the vendor charged us (no credit to my card) shipping both ways, to the tune of about 20 bucks. Then they had the balls to send us a 5-dollars-off-on-your-next-purchase coupon. Screw them. Another catalog firm (Drapers & Damons) down the drain of my shitlist.

Monday, July 11, 2005

1965 Pearson 28 Hard Top Express Cruiser



This was a nice, comfortable boat. The flare to the bow was so exaggerated that she was incredibly dry and it seemed the worse the seas, the nicer she rode. All glass (even the engine stringers), she was as solid as the rock of Gibraltar, and probably heavy as it as well; the single Chrysler 250 couldn't get it up on a plane without overheating. My cousin owned one with twin Chryslers; it planed very nicely. She originally came with a single Chrysler 210 hp, and was also available with twins. 6+' headroom below, and berths that even I could fit in comfortably. We kept her in Long Island Sound (Norwalk, CT) for 15 years or so, where we cruised extensively as far East as Block Island, and even made the trip West to the Big Apple and then North, all the way up the Hudson to Plattsburgh on Lake Champlain with her. We recently learned that she was reborn and lived in Texas for a while. After refitting her, and cruising around Galveston Bay, he put her up for sale in 2007, and that's when I lost track of her.

Here's a shot of her soon after we bought her. No radar, fiberglass spray curtains still on the cockpit rails. Teak handholds not yet installed on the hard top.

How I earned a living without doing much.

I don't think anyone but forms designers will find this the least bit interesting, but here goes anyway.

I like to think that I had the oddest job on earth during my working life. I analyzed and designed FORMS for a big, major Wall Street firm.

The forms you get. The forms you fill out. The forms you sign. If it was a FORM, I designed it. Your brokerage confirmation. Your monthly statement. Your client agreements. All the little bits of paper that departments passed among themselves to do STUFF that had to be done. I had to meet with the people who either needed (or THOUGHT they needed) or wanted the forms, listen to them try to describe what they thought they needed or wanted, and then have to understand what they REALLY wanted, or what the company REALLY needed. Then, I'd execute the design I'd create in my mind, and start the approval process. I was really good at this job. It took a thorough knowledge of my company, its products, federal regulations plus a flair for graphic design and typography. Being a bit of a nerd didn't hurt, either.

I started this career in 1969, at a firm that merged in 1980 with another Wall Street firm. At that time, I physically drew the forms by hand on a big drafting table, with the help of a parallel rule, a couple of triangles, and a set of
Rapidograph pens. If I could, I drew them double size to cut the blobs and sloppiness down by 50% when they were shot in the print shop.




Patches and corrections were made with an X-Acto knife, or razor blades, a light box and white tape. Type was set on an IBM Selectric Composer (Like a Selectric typewriter, but proportional spaced letters, and 3 escapements which g
ave me sizes from 7 to 11 points.






Large type was set with a Varityper Headliner, a monster of a machine which set photographic type on 35 mm white photo print paper, and had a tank with photo printing chemicals. I used a WAXER, which laid a coating of wax on the back of the paper to stick it down to the mechanical. Man, THOSE WERE THE DAYS!! All that, and the forms still looked like shit, as well. I can't tell you how many times I sliced a piece of fingertip off on that light box.

Every now and then, the company would change its logo, or name, or merge with another company, and I'd have to change ALL of the company's forms (there were usually around a thousand active forms at any time). By hand. This task fell to me on an average of once every 18 months - a phenomenon that ABSOULTELY GUARANTEED my employment for 33 years. In all those years, I never had more than two people working for me and usually, it was just me and (if I were lucky) a part-timer.

In 1983, after almost 15 years of cutting and pasting, I was given an Apple LISA computer, which had the first page layout system created (by Compugraphic) for a mouse-driven WYSIWYG computer. The Macintosh came out the following year, and my first "real" Mac came a few years later in the form of a Mac II. For years I designed forms using MacDraw (a program that was GREAT for forms layout, too!) and MacDraw II. Later, FormsExpert II came along, and I was in HEAVEN!

MY LIFE WAS CHANGED.
I really enjoyed analyzing and designing forms. There's a small cadre of people who do this professionally, probably numbering under 500 in the whole country. I'd bet there aren't 1,000 in the whole WORLD! We're even organized, and have an annual symposium for and by the professionals in the field.
Hmmmm. Now that I think of it, since there are so FEW of us, we really should be paid a LOT more than we get!

I think a good form design is one that leads you gently through the form without your knowing you're even working with it. The form guides your eyes and moves your pencil gently but firmly, and you don't have to guess what you're doing, what data is expected, or what's expected of you. It isn't ambiguous. It's how I earned my living.

Man, I loved that job.
After 9/11 I asked to be RIF'd, and "they" turned me down. Finally, I had to prove that my "department" (me and a part-timer) was staffed "adequately," and they were finally kind enough to let me go. "They" were afraid that things weren't covered, and immediately hired me back as a consultant. I finally left after 4 days of "consulting." Man O Man. I came, I saw, I did, I left, I wonder just what I did for 33 years to make them feel this way! I made a real good buck, and never had to eat hot dogs every night. Life was good. Like I said, Man, I LOVED that job!

Saturday, July 09, 2005

old skills on a slow news day


Today I bought another 100 feet of anchor line for my little boat. The previous owner only had 100' total (of only 7/16", too) -- enough for anchoring in 15 feet of water on a calm day. The new line (1/2") came with a galvanized thimble installed, but I wanted another at the other end, so I bought a thimble, too. At the boat, I did whatever boat stuff I had to do, and sat down with the new rope and thimble. This must have been the fastest splice I've ever made, because the rope was very lightly laid. I guess it's been almost 10 years since I did any marlinspike work, and I was pleased that I still knew how. It came out quite well, too! The old line seems much tighter laid, and hard. I would have preferred to connect the two with a short splice, but a 1/2" shackle through the 2 eyes will have to do. I don't think I want to fight with that old stuff.

Edit: Summer, 2007. Screw it. I cut the thimbles off and connected the two lines with a short splice. Came out well. Never liked that old rusty thimble anyway. Picked up a 3# Northill on eBay. Overpaid, too, but it's great. I's almost New Years Eve, 2007 now. Summer seems a long way off.

Edit: March, 2011. Sold the boat. New owner very happy. Wife very happy. I have mixed emotions. Will I buy another boat? Highly unlikely. Since the M-I-L got sick, we see the need for simplifying our own lives, and clearing out extraneous things. Boats are extraneous things. We had 40 years of boating; that's enough. Time to move on. Here in New Jersey, there are plenty of party boats for a day of fishing. But my Springtimes will be boring, and I won't be able to bitch about my poor fishing skills any more. I think I'll still remain boatless.

April 2011. The boat is sold. Third boat gonzo. Will there be another? I'm trying to say NO! but, what the hell, if the right boat came along at the right price... who knows? I'm appreciating the bump in my cash flow, though, but I still have that farken' salt water coursin' thru my veins...

Friday, July 08, 2005

a dreary day

rain and rain and rain. Rain in Free Acres brings me back to my Summer days here as a kid. The beating of the drops on the roof and the darkness, accentuated by the heavy shade brings it all back.

Back in 1950, one night, we had a huge storm. Lightning and thunder, like the hammers of hell were let loose. We had an outhouse then, and my father needed to use it. He had lights strung under the eaves, and flipped 'em on, ran like hell around the bungalow, and when he returned, he was soaked. "THAT'S IT!" "NEXT YEAR WE'RE GOING TO HAVE INDOOR PLUMBING!" he yelled. And we did. In 1951, we added a john, and another room, too. From shack to mansion.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

July 4th on Maryland's Eastern Shore

We had a spectacular fireworks display in the tiny town of Rock Hall on the night of July 3rd. Somehow, the town got a fighter plane flyover to start things off, and followed that with 45 minutes of nonstop pyrotechnics. In previous years, we just stood on the dock at the foot of Sharp Street, by the Waterman's Crab House, but this year we thought we'd sit on our little boat (named the T3) at her slip and hope for a good view. What a surprise! The view from the boat was unobstructed. We had a full view of the entire fireworks barge, and got to see everything better than we had hoped. Being on a boat, we also felt the rumbling beneath us.

Rock Hall, MD has a year-round population of 500 or so. This swells to 1500 in the Summer, and being a peninsula, has marinas all around it. There are over 2,000 boat slips in Rock Hall.

BOOM!