Early this morning a fire broke out at O'Rourke's here in Middletown. It was gutted.

Sad cleanup pictures here.


Rain delay

Rain delay, originally uploaded by doctorhectic.

On Sunday we went to the Open Air Market & Festival at Wadsworth Mansion, despite the drizzle and the forecast of rain all day. I'm sure the turnout was disappointing to the orgaizers, but there was a great mix of tent stands with everything from propaganda brochures to goat yarn to raw milk cheeses to organic produce to used books. We bought a catnip mouse from the goats and some incredibly delicious cheese from a local cheese farm. They also had the promotional balsa wood gliders pictured above.

Pictures here.


Hectic Ha'day!

Today is my half birthday, or ha'day as I like to call it. 33 1/2 isn't as cool as 33 1/3, but I forgot to mention my 33 1/3 (th'day?).

The original reason I paid any attention to my ha'day was that my friend Marge's b-day is today, so it seemed like a good excuse to have a mini-celebration every 6 months.

I encourage full ridiculous use of your ha'day!


What, me worky?

House hand

Look, I'm filthy!


The house that gave me the filthy hands. The first part from yesterday involved putting up salvaged clapboard on the front of the house.


Today was more clapboard removal from the rear above the porch.


The side yesterday...


...and today.

The house is an ongoing project of a friend of ours who tends toward motorcycles and old house rehab. Fun.


Now debarking

debarking, originally uploaded by doctorhectic.

This is a tree in Chester, CT, where we ended up accidentally this afternoon. Cute stores, artsy galleries, really tasty looking restaurants, and lots of old historic looking buildings.

Pictures here.



The Mighty Tonka!

We just returned from a long morning of an oil change on the Cupcakemobile, breakfast at Mama Roux's, another round of blueberry picking, and a final stop off at Old Maids organic farm.

The farm was self-service honor system in the main barn building, with a few tables and a few coolers/fridges with their different produce and eggs.

Eggs here


There was a table with a scale, and a whiteboard with the prices, so you just figure out what you owe and slide the money in the box on the end of the table, as demonstrated by our friend Heather here.

Heather gets the goods

Besides being a tiny bit closer than our closest Whole Foods, it's a lot more fun to go get the organic goods from the actual farm.

And if you're keeping track, all together we've picked 26 pounds of blueberries in the last two weeks.


Episode 375, the trash man cometh/saketome


Being so close to Main Street Middletown, we are included in the downtown trash pickup, which means that we have trash pickup four days a week, which means you hardly have to think about it, which means I just take out the trash any ol' time.

Sadly, this devil may care trash attitude has done nothing for my curbside recycling schedule. I KNOW that it is every Wednesday morning, I KNOW what goes in what bin, I'm just not good at putting the stuff out there on Tuesday night so it's ready for that 7am pickup. This means that the recycling piles up until I load it into my car and take it to the Middletown Recycling Center. They also accept old appliances and yard waste, including trees.

tree recycling

tree recycling

tree recycling

I'm not sure, but I think they mulchify most of the yard stuff.

With that out of the way, the evening hours were free and clear for tasty beverages. I had leftover saketini fixins, so that is what I had.

Equal parts Cap-Ace and vodka went into my shaker with some ice, and came out sparkling.

Mrs. Cupcakes suggested the cucumber garnish, ala Mikado(LOOKOUT! Crappy website ahead!), one of our local sushi joints.

It was clean and refreshing, and pretty photogenic, but most martini glasses are.


Tiny road trip

This weekend we experienced Greenfield, MA. We went up to visit Rebecca in Easthampton, and took a little drive a bit further north to Greenfield. The People's Pint was closed for vacation, as were several other establishments, but we had a great day just walking around town.

Pictures here.


M-M-M-Middletown Motorcycle Mania!

Excelsior-Henderson with sidecar

Tonight was the first annual Middletown Motorcycle Mania event down on Main Street. I just wandered down to check out the scene for the setup and the first hour. I'm no moto-snob, but a big stack of Harleys and custom choppers isn't really my thing. Out of the first hundred bikes or so that had showed up, I saw one Triumph, one Honda, and the Excelsior-Henderson sidecar rig pictured above. Oh yeah, and the skull bike. I'm sure there were more brands represented throughout the evening, but the bulk of representation was bigger and chrome-yer than my interests.

There was this lovely Honda CB750...

I forgot to document/mention another recent Goodwill find. I've been looking for a globe, just to have a globe around the house. They're useful, they look good, and they remind you how weird it is that we live on this big round rockball, hurtling through space. I found a good one.

Action globe
(that blur is "simulated spin")

It's a bit out of date...


...but wait, Scan-Globe?, what can that mean???

Light it up!

Not only does it light up, which is more than I could have hoped for in a Goodwill globe, there are two dials at the base that allow you to vaguely pinpoint a location!

Where am I?

Like Hartford! With the light on it also shows you seafloor topology and prevailing currents!

Vague pinpoint precision!

If you would like a location pinpointed, just let me know.


Say hello to my little friend!

Our second floor apartment has a small porch, and sometimes I leave the door open for our cats to go hang out on the porch. I got a "babygate" from the Goodwill and we use that to block off the stairs so they don't go anywhere.

Today, there was a bit of a commotion out on the porch, as a local chicadee was actually using our birdfeeder. This gets the cats all excited, and I think they spooked the bird, which then flew in the open door and into our livingroom.

House bird

My first attempt at bird evacuation was to pull down all but one windowshade and open the screen to encourage "exit to the light". Our little bird friend was having trouble with the whole ceiling concept, however, and aiming for the opening wasn't easy I guess.

Go that way!

Almost out

A few brief flapping flights around the livingroom, and we decided to head into the kitchen. I took a moment to toss Bucky in the bathroom, and the 2 gray cats into the office room, closing the doors and thereby increasing the bird survival odds eleventy-hundred percent.

Bird on a light fixture

The ugly fluorescent light fixture was our first stop in the kitchen.

Bird on a fan

Followed by a blade of the ceiling fan, which I had thought to switch off as soon as I had sequestered the cats.

Birdcatcher tools

Eventually, between the gardening gloves, a piece of cardboard, and my newest Goodwill chair, I was able to personally escort my little friend back to the great outdoors.

Goodwill chair

Now this is no ordinary Goodwill chair, mind you, or else it woulda been left at the Goodwill. It has a not so subtle secret...

What the?

Drawer of the drawerchair.

Perfect for, um, well...


extra take out utensils!

flask stash!

Granola bars?
granola bars!

OK, so for the time being, I think I'm just gonna stash my playing cards in there.


Yes, that is one set of vintage Playboy cards, but they aren't the typical nudie cards, they just have a cartoon Playboy lady on each ace card. Very tame. More importantly, there is a set of Apple Macintosh playing cards, UNOPENED! The suits are various Mac related iconography, from back when the Mac was that good ol' all-in-one putty colored box. I also have some Bad Badtz-Maru cards, but I think those are in my car.

Any other suggestions for the chairdrawer, other than "You put your WEED in there!"?



Eastworks, originally uploaded by doctorhectic.

Yesterday I ran up to Easthampton for a little cat sitting gig. In Easthampton they have these old mill buildings that are being repurposed into useable space. This one is called Eastworks and contains, among other things, a little natural foods grocery store, a restaurant, a music store, a hair salon, and several specialty shops. They're also condoifying the upper floors, which I have mixed feelings about, but the reuse of the buildings is pretty cool. Click on the photo above for more pictures.

Berryberry good.

Old berry bus, originally uploaded by doctorhectic.

We went a blueberry pickin' this afternoon. Over the river and through the woods is Rose's Berry Farm, which actually operates for almost half the year due to their additional pumpkin and Christmas tree business. Now is blueberries, a few more weeks and it'll be apples and raspberries. They have it pretty carefully choreographed so that you park your car and then catch a ride to a certain area of their fields and you're assigned a bush to work on. We wanted to go for breakfast at the restaurtant (pancakes, waffles, or French toast topped with seasonal berries and whipped cream!), but the wait was really long so we headed straight out to the field.

Pictures HERE.



Brad & Stef, originally uploaded by doctorhectic.

Hello sports fans!

I have just returned this very afternoon from several days in Baltimore, visiting Bert the dog. This also came with the general shenanigans associated with Bert's ma & pa. We saw much of the city, went grocery shopping, drank some mmmany beers, and watched the Orioles play some ball in 100 heat. All the while sweating profusely.

There are 91 photos in the flickr set I just put up here. Not to be missed are the ones of Stef partaking of the bartender's cure for hiccups, a slice of lemon with sugar and bitters on it.

Oh yeah, also, there were 500+ Naval Academy cadets atteding the Orioles game, and, also, I found $80 cash on the floor in the bar at the stadium. WOOHOO!