I mean, damn hot! It wasn't too much of a scorcher today, but we've definitely gotten a taste over the last few days of the heatwave that has been sweeping the nation. Feels like a North Carolina springtime.

In other news...NOTHING!


"Hey, is that 10,000 songs in your pocket, or..."

FullPod.JPG, originally uploaded by doctorhectic.

I had just finished ripping my "S" cds into iTunes, and when I dragged the "Recently Added" playlist over, I just happened to be adding the 10,000th song to my iPod. Crazy. Not quite full, but I don't think I'm going to get all my cds on there. I'll have to thin the herd a bit, maybe re-rip some things to save space. I think I'll start with deleting the interview tracks (Billy Bragg, Elvis Costello, Prince, Bob Mould, Mark Bolan...) that were on some of the cds, and then I'll have to weigh some options.

I probably don't need the entire "Star Trek Sound Effects" collection on there, do I?



IMG_1650.JPG, originally uploaded by doctorhectic.

My 1000th flickr image upload! Graybaby and Mouse relax on a new catbed/blanket work-in-progress.


Mrs. Cupcakes and I travelled to the land of Northampton on Saturday, in order to meet up with the Botaknist and attend the mildly overwhelming Webs Tent Sale. We saw llamas, and bought yarn.


And made dinner.

All in all a fantastic Saturday.

Increase your photo mojo...

...with photojojo!


Dinner innovation

Dinner innovation, originally uploaded by doctorhectic.

Who says laziness never gets you anywhere? After another rainy day and a trip to the gym, dinner fixin's at home were sparce, so we just made Trader Joe Potstickers (shrimp variety), and cut up an apple. They were surprisingly good together. The sauce is Newman's Own Sesame with a little bit of Frank's Red Hot added for edge.

How's that for name dropping?


Rain is chili, yo. (and a real find...)

So it has been cloudy, and raining and whatnot, and the subject of dinner came up, and what are we gonna make, and so on and so on and so on. There was talk of the comfort of baked goods, and the idea of chili and cornbread came up, so Mrs. Cupcakes undertook the chili prep and I set out to make the cornbread.

Val's improv chili!

There were fabulous improvisations in the chili-making, and it turned out great. The mushroom marinara was inspired.

The cornbread was great going into the oven, but then I made the fool-ass mistake of adjusting the shelf height. It slid right off, onto the floor, in s-l-o-w m-o-t-i-o-n...

delicious mistake and improv chili

It hit the floor right side up, and 80-some-odd percent slopped out onto the floor. I was upset, but Mrs. Cupcakes was there with the emotional fire extinguisher. Also beer. We did a repeat on the setup, I adjusted the shelf, and round two went into the oven.

round 2

All swell that ends well, and I threw the unspilled, unspoiled first attempt back in the oven to finish it off.

round 1 and round 2

The chili was all set, and both cornbreads looked great. S-U-C-C-E-S-S that is how we spell success...

All that drama was last night, and today was the Wesleyan Library Book Sale, so we went to check out the scene and support the library. I found some local history/info, but as I was staring at a pile of books on the sci-fi table, a particular dust jacket spoke to me...

Season of the Spellsong

"Closer...", said the turtle wearing glasses...
"...intrigued?...", sang the young man playing the Future-Lute3000...
"...come hither...", spake the otter in the Robin Hood outfit...
"...buy this book for $1...", whispered the woman with the 3 1/2ft. long shins...

Season detail

No really, look at what is happening here. What is happening here? At this point in the book sale they were selling plastic bags of books for a dollar and I brought this one up and said I would give them a dollar just for the dust jacket, just for this art.

Upon returning home, Mrs. Cupcakes rushed to her laptop and found the web site for the artist who painted the cover art, Steve Ferris. He was contracted with the Nelson Doubleday sci-fi book club, painting cover art until cutbacks ended their relationship in the mid-eighties. Which is a relief, knowing that the art was contractually required to be produced for the book, and not entirely a product of his own imagination.

The otter, standing upright, and in it's Robin Hood-ian garb is what really makes it for me. I'm still contemplating the Escheresque physics of the Future-Lute3000.


Portland got nothing on us!

Portland, OR this week:

Middletown, CT this week:

I actually checked, and we average about 9 more inches of rain per year than Portland. We seem to get no fewer than 3 inches of precipitation every month, all year 'round, while Portland gets it heavy for the winter months, but much less for the summer.

Music to wash dishes by...

The Snowball Effect
Barry Adamson


Song of Grusia
Clara Rockmore

Set The Mood
De La Soul

You're Not Blank
dillinger four

Tread Water
De La Soul

Just A John
Loudon Wainwright III

The Grandmother Wolf
Pretty Girls Make Graves

The Ballad of Kim and Thurston
Faux Jean

(Are You) The One I've Been Waiting For?
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds


Escape Velocity
Man or Astroman?

dillinger four

Just a Gigolo
Louis Armstrong & His Hot Fives

The Adventure And The Resolution
Frank Black

Elliott Smith

Death Race 1997
Volume All-Star

Hang Down Your Head
Tom Waits

the Greatest Hits

Sheena Is A Punk Rocker

Ballad of The Snow Leopard and The Tanqueray Cowboy
Lyle Lovett

...have I mentioned that I generally trust my iPod to shuffle it up, and that I'm convinced that it contains some sort of mind reading, GPS device, whereby it often knows my mood and location? Well there, now I mentioned that.



Breakfast, originally uploaded by doctorhectic.

This is a classic, from my youth, with a variation. The base was always toast, usually wheat, a little peanut butter, sliced bananas, with cinnamon and sugar on top. This variation just uses a slightly toasted whole wheat bagel for the base. So good, and good for you.


Almost forgot...

Yesterday Mrs. Cupcakes and I went to West Hartford, specifically to go to a yarn store called Sit 'N' Knit, which was great and we both bought some yarn, but we also ended up getting some plants and some cheese from a parking lot farmer's market, AND went over to the library's book sale, where Mrs. Cupcakes bought books and I bought CDs...

Peggy Lee, Fever & Other Hits
Fiddle Sticks, Irish Traditional Music from Donegal
Charlie Rich, Super Hits
Indigo Girls, Retrospective
Richard Thompson, Action Packed - The Best of the Capitol Years
Jamiroquai, Synkronized
The Strokes, Is This It

...for $12, TOTAL. 5 of the 7 were shrink-wrapped, new CDs. FOR $12! HUZZAH!


Mrs. Cupcakes and I just returned from Lebanon, CT, where we attended a historical tour of Trumbull Cemetery. Trumbull Cemetery is important in local, regional, and even national history, but I wanted to go for another, selfish reason.

A few years back, I ran across a web site that one of my relatives put together that demonstrates that she can trace her ancestry back to the Mayflower, which means that I can, as well. Not to get big-headed about it, but it is pretty cool to be able to trace family lineage back that far, Mayflower or not.

Upon my recent rememberance of her site, I started checking to see if anyone had settled in CT, and there was a listing for one Obadiah Wheeler, who died "sometime after 1718" in Lebanon, CT. There is no death certificate, specific location, etc., but what remains are several gravestones that were carved by Obadiah, "The finest craftsman of the early inland rural carvers of eastern Connecticut". Now, I am not a direct decendent, but by my calculations, Obadiah was my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-uncle, as I am decended from his brother, Joseph Wheeler, of the MA Wheelers. Well, SOME of the MA Wheelers, anyway.

So, after I found out about Obadiah's Lebanon connection, I Googled him, of course, and up came this little news blurb about how the Lebanon Historical Society was giving a tour of the Trumbull Cemetery, with an "above ground" expert to talk about the stones, and a "below ground" expert to talk about the permanent residents. Today, Sunday, May 7th, 2006. And I found out about him on Tuesday. Serendipity.

iPhoto is currently chewing through the photos of the tour, and spitting them up to flickr as I write this. Fun, fun, fun!


Episode 334 or "Back from the Grave(stone)"

I was doing some geneology review, checking to see if any early family members settled in the CT area, and I found one Obadiah Wheeler, who died in Lebanon, CT, about 50 minutes east of Middletown. One Google later, and I find not only a small bio on ctgravestones.com (stating that he was "The finest craftsman of the early inland rural carvers of eastern Connecticut"), but there just happens to be an event next weekend in Lebanon where you can tour the cemetery where there are 80-some-odd stones that he carved.

Expect there to be 80-some-odd pictures of gravestones added to flickr next week...


O'Rourke's "Feelin' Crabby" Special

We'll start from the top...
fingerling potatoes with zuchini slices, two sample slices of A) gooey zuchini bread and B) raspberry coffeecake, a poached pear sitting atop a brie omelete, and a CT river crabcake, topped with a tomato-caper salsa, one grape tomato, and an orchid.