"new" CDs

...from Half Price Books in St. Paul...

Johnny Cash Collection, Vol. 3 - Johnny Cash (Sun recordings)
At The Organ - The Minus 5
The Best Of - Ben E. King & The Drifters
Tyrannosaurus Hives - The Hives
Remix Album:Happy End Of You - Pizzicato 5
Terroir Blues - Jay Farrar

"At The Organ" is on the Yep Roc label, located in NC. Artists on the 10 year old label include:

Big Sandy & His Flyrite Boys
Billy Bragg
Chatham County Line
The Comas
The Go-Betweens
Kristin Hersh
Robyn Hitchcock
Laika & The Cosmonauts
Legendary Shack*Shakers
Los Straitjackets
Nick Lowe
The Minus 5
Bob Mould
The Reverend Horton Heat
Southern Culture On The Skids
Two Dollar Pistols

They have good company in the Chapel Hill music scene, and along with good ol' Merge Records and other indy outfits in that area are recording and releasing really great stuff.

We had a pile o' holiday cards awaiting us upon our return to CT, and we have a few more things to mail out if you never got one of our cards. Sit tight!

Tonight we have a small NYE gathering to attend. The "theme" is food fit for a King and/or Queen. Mrs. Cupcakes has prepared a "King Arthur Flour Chocolate Indulgence Cake". I have secured a small quantity of red and black caviar, smoked oysters, and as a royal joke, a few tins of "King Oscar" sardines. I wanted to go get a bag of Whoppers™ from Burger King, and some of those paper crowns they give to kids, but the timing wasn't right.

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Our own observation deck at the MSP airport.



Double espresso

Originally uploaded by doctorhectic.
Christmas morning espresso.

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Swedish sausage making

Nigh ev'ry year, 'round 'bout the season, my parents hold a Swedish sausage making party. There is lots of food and drink, and the main attraction is the sausage making in the kitchen, which was happening in that kitchen 20, 40, 60+ years ago. Maybe not ev'ry year, but since my grandparents got together back in '39, using the same recipe handed down from my great-grandmother to my grandfather to my mother.

And it goes a little something like this...

Combine in a pan 3 lbs ground pork, 3 lbs ground beef, 3 lbs potatoes.

Swedish sausage making

...rinse and prepare the sausage casings (they're pig intestines, soaked in brine), and load one on the plunger. Scoop mixture into the plunger, plunge out some sausage...

Swedish sausage making

...and sausage 'til there ain't nothing left.

Swedish sausage making

There is a yellowed, laminated newspaper clipping from December of '61 that has photos of my grandparents and my mother making Swedish sausage, up on the refrigerator every year. I usually miss the party each year, but this year it was held later than usual, so I was in town for it. TRADITION!

As I was driving around reviewing the sights of my youth, I happened upon the demolition of the old Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, which is attached to the new/old Walker Art Museum.

Guthrie Theater

They have ripped off the glass wall that was the outside of the building, and you can see the "lobby" that surrounds the theater space itself, with the double doors that lead into the space.

Guthrie Theater

I only went there for a few performances, some theatrical, some music performances, but it was extra creepy seeing it perfectly still in this half-eaten state.

Guthrie Theater

Speakin' of eatin', Xmas marks the spot! There was some food, I must admit, but I really just wanted to show you this...

Tree on Bag

My dad came home with a bag of groceries, and said there were kids decorating the bags at the store. Nice tree.

Also this...

The Cranky Spreader

A kitchen tool that I got for my mother that consists of a square piece of PVC and a cap with a crank, allowing you to load it with butter, cheese, or in this case, cream cheese, and crank out these thin ribbons of said ingredient. There are also fittings for "Star", "Strings", and "Zig-Zag", but we haven't tried those yet.

And last but not least, also this...

Black Olive Bunny and Owl

My mom learned how to turn an olive into a bunny, so I tried to turn an olive into an owl. With creepy pimento eyes. OLIVE IT! Get it? I made it out of an olive and OLIVE how it turned out.

Happy Xmas!


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Xmas in Mpls (and the STP)

There's only one thing I wanted for Xmas.




It started out sleety/slushy, but by mid-afternoon the flakes were falling. We got a nice blanketing, just in time for Xmas.

We did have one casualty from the tree trimming. Santa lost hold of his skis.

Help Santa!

I went in search of some good ol' Elmer's white glue to help out Santa, and I came across this bottle...


...which was MY bottle...

My glue

...in, probably, mmmm let's say, oh 1984. The bottle label says ©1976. Still works! Thank you Elmer's!


Today is the Swedish sausage making party, the sausage making that has been happening in my family for 3.5 generations, maybe longer. The recipe is the same one that my great-grandmother used. Pictures forthcoming...

Holiday unrelated quiz...

I'm Joshua Abraham Norton, the first and only Emperor of the United States of America!
Which Historical Lunatic Are You?
From the fecund loins of Rum and Monkey.



A Priority Mail envelope arrived yesterday with a present for the cats.

Mouse feigns interest

It looks like sushi, but it's made of felt and filled with catnip.


the set

They appear to be lovingly hand crafted, and there is a label for HAPPEE KITTEE Catnip Sushi Toys, but no card.

Everybody wants some


smells good...

Graybaby really likes it.

Will our mystery gifter please sign in?

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My first etched pint glass

etched pint glass
Originally uploaded by doctorhectic.
A little late for holiday gifting, but I finally got some etching cream so I can make my own custom glassware. I need a little application practice, but it's really easy to do. There's a cool example here.

and I foresee many variations on barware, coasters, candleholders, etc.

Any requests?

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Bucky Holidays!

Bucky Holidays!
Originally uploaded by doctorhectic.
Happy Holidays from the Buck!


Motorcycle Movie Night

Saturday night's feature presentation at Casa Cupcakes (via Netflix) was The World's Fastest Indian. It comes to you (via me) highly recommended.

The film itself was enjoyable, but the real story behind it is more impressive, and the DVD includes a documentary from 1971 with actual footage that was shot about Burt Munro, the hero of the story. The short film was directed by the guy who directed the feature film, Roger Donaldson.

It's the story of a man and his motorcycle. I'll leave it at that.

Also, blogger has finally granted me access to their latest and greatest features including LABELS. I will be trying these out and hopefully use them in place of the list on the left. Stay tuned.

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Denim Polygon Children

Denim Polygon Children, originally uploaded by doctorhectic.

Went to Northampton, MA this weekend and bought some music. Bad Brains live at CBGB, a 45 by some Swedish band called the Rockets, and a 45 of Truck Drivin' Man, as performed by Bill Woods and his San Joaquin Brass Band.

This is a picture, however, of Rebecca's Happy Tunes record player playing Johnny Mathis' Christmas album.

That is all.

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