December 17, 2017

Brick House Cigars

Posted on October 2, 2014 by in What's In My Ashtray ?

Fine Cigars

Fine Cigars

This issue we stopped in at our favorite local cigar shop, the Smoke Ring in Webster, Texas and I thought I had died and arrived in heaven. They have moved, but just next door to much BIGGER accommodations and increased their stock it seems 10 fold.  It’s so big now the Boss and I had to separate, so I could see it all.

She always picks out all of my cigars anyway, so I went to have a look around on my own. You can expect a full feature story in an upcoming issue on this Good News for all of our LOCAL readers.

I guess I’m a sampler man at heart because when the Boss brought home a Brick House Cigar Sampler box from our little excursion, I got all excited like a little kid in a candy store.

It had four cigars in it: a Mighty Mighty 6-1/4″ x 60, a Mighty Mighty Maduro 6-1/4″ x 60, a Toro 6″ x 52 and a Robusto 5″ x 54.  Three were a dark reddish-brown in color and one of them was a dark black Maduro.

See the rest of the story at starting on page 30.


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Rimfire Ruger 22/45 Lite

Posted on October 25, 2013 by in Man Cave, Sittin' At The Gun Shop

I was down at the gun shop the other day when I spied a new addition in the display counter. It was the new Ruger 22/45 Lite and I was immediately drawn to it. I’d guess the styling of the pistol is what first attracted my attention, and when I hefted it I could see why they named it the 22/45 Lite. I know last month I reviewed the Ruger 10-22 International rifle, so I guess I’m stuck on the ubiquitous .22 rim fire cartridge for some reason.

It’s certainly NOT because the ammo is as cheap or plentiful as it used to be, I just grew up with a .22 rim fire and I’ve always liked them. I am also a big fan on the 1911 and this Ruger is so similar in feel and has almost the same ergonomics as a 1911. I am drawn to it as a training/practice gun.

Get the full review starting on page 18 at

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Antique Automobile Club of America

Posted on March 29, 2013 by in Classic Rides

Antique Automobile Club of America

 Antique Automobile Club of America

Hershey, PA

1934 Ford Pick-up truck

1934 Ford Pick-up truck, this was the Bosses favorite vehicle in the entire museum. I think she has great taste, and I’d be happy to drive her around in this fine classic ride.

The Antique Automobile Club of America is a fine museum that features beautiful examples of automotive history from around the world.  The have Car, Bus, and motorcycle sections as well as a few trucks, the Kissmobile and a few other oddities.  This modern museum is three floors and around every bend there are more treasures.  There is a small admission fee to view these classic cars, but it’s well worth the price.  I must have taken several hundred photographs, but here are the best ones.

1980 Rolls Royce Corniche Convertible

1980 Rolls Royce Corniche Convertible






1960 Ford T-bird made entirely of stainless steel

In 1960 the Allegheny Ludium Steel Corporation ordered two 1960 Ford Thunderbirds custom made with T306 alloy and T304 stainless steel. The body panels were made by Ford and the assembly was done by Creative Industries in Detroit, Michigan. The cost $25,000 plus $5,000 for polishing. Truly unique automobile.

These are just a few of the photographs in the article.  To see all of the beautiful Classic Rides go to the March 2013 edition of the Santa Fe Good News Magazine by clicking the link at:



















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Her Duty Gun

Posted on February 13, 2013 by in Man Cave, Sittin' At The Gun Shop

Her Duty Gun

Smith and Wesson 6906

 I was off and the kids were at grandma’s for a few days and I finally had a day to myself because the Boss was at work.  She had firearms qualifications that day and  I knew about it because she had me detail strip her Colt Commander and clean it till it looked like new.  The range officer for her department was a hard-ass who did pistol inspections like a like a Nazi SS officer.  He had gotten on to her the previous year for having a miniscule amount of burnt gunpowder under the forcing cone of her Smith & Wesson model 686 revolver.  She brought it home to me to clean and explained that she needed her gun to be re-cleaned because the range officer wouldn’t let her shoot her qualification course till her revolver passed his inspection. So this day she called me in a frantic tone and said that her gun wasn’t working right, and she couldn’t qualify with it.  I asked her what was wrong with it and she couldn’t tell me exactly, just that she couldn’t qualify with it.  I told her that I would be right there.



Bobbed hammer, ambidextrous safeties.

I went to the range that her department was using and started looking at her gun.  She set me up a target and I fired a magazine through it at the seven (7) yard line and fired a small group.  Then she tells me that the problem was really at farther distances.  I had her move the target back to the 25 yard line and that’s when I had to actually look through the sights and found the problem.  The front sight was bent quite a bit to the left.  It was just enough that it changed the point of aim, but not enough to be easily noticeable by just looking at it.  She explained that she had dropped it several months ago on a set of concrete steps, but she didn’t think anything about it. Now that I told you about this so I can explain how the purchase of the Smith and Wesson 6906 happened.

She said she wanted a new pistol that was lighter and fired a 9mm bullet.  We went to Shooters Corner in Texas City and there happened to be a stainless steel 9mm in the display case.  She picked it up and commented on how light it was.  The 6906 has an alloy frame and a stainless steel slide.  It has a double action/single action trigger, meaning that the first round is fired like a double action revolver and the follow up shots are fired like her Colt Commander.  A deal was struck and the damaged Colt was traded for the new Smith and Wesson 6906. Now the Boss was happy, but that meant that we had to buy her a new duty holster to fit the new pistol and we decided on a Safariland SS-III high security holster.  She was always worried that in a tussle a suspect might gain access to her weapon.  We bought this holster and a new double magazine holder.  I changed everything out and off to the gun range we went so she could shoot it.  The new holster has three locks on it and she had to practice with it for several days before she could draw her pistol in a period of time that I didn’t have to measure with a sun dial.  I think she made about three hundred practice draws before the new holster got broke in and she could get her pistol out fast enough that I felt comfortable enough for her to go out on the streets with it on her hip.


Rounded, white dot, fixed rear sight.


The Boss really liked the 6906 because it was light and the 9mm recoil was nothing compared to the .45 she had been shooting.  She commented that we should have started off with this pistol instead of the Colt Commander.  Anyway she was a great shot with the pistol and found it easy to transition from the first double action trigger pull to the single action follow up shots. With a fully loaded magazine she had twelve rounds plus one up the spout giving her thirteen 9mm +P rounds from the holster and two magazines loaded with twelve rounds each for a total ammo count 37 rounds.  She went off to shoot her annual qualification course and she shot in the high nineties on a hundred point scoring system. The Boss carried the Smith and Wesson 6906 for the rest of her law enforcement career without any problems.  When she transferred to the warrant division of another agency and wore plain clothes, the small light weight 6906 worked well for her there too.


After she decided to leave law enforcement the 6906 came to me and I had a use for it.  Because it was lightweight and stainless steel, I carried it for a backup gun when I was in uniform.  My bullet resistant (NOT Bullet proof) vest had a pocket in the front, and the 6906 fit perfectly in this pocket.  Mind you we were not allowed to carry back up guns at that time, so I had to hide it from my supervisors.  The flat profile never poked through the pocket, and my supervisors never knew about it till …… I was attacked by a suspect that ran up behind me while I was out on a disturbance call, and walloped me on the head with a four foot long barstool leg.  He was at a dead run when he did this, so all I could describe was a very fast youthful black male which is not much of a description.  My fellow officers had him identified and arrested by the next day, and he plea bargained for 27 years in prison.


Flat sighting plane, and fixed white dot front sight.


After I was hit on the head, naturally I was bleeding like a stuck pig (No Pun Intended), I left the disturbance and drove myself to the emergency room.  My Captain came to check on me just about the time I was taking my uniform shirt and vest off.  This is when it I got caught.  The Captain moved my vest and the 6906 fell out of its pocket and clattered onto a steel cabinet top.  The Captain got angry and told me that I should have warned him that there was a gun in the vest.  The pistol was on safety and nothing happened, he was just scared because he didn’t expect to find a gun unsecured.  Anyway nothing else was said about it and I was happy because I could have been written up for a rules and regulation violation and gotten a suspension.  It ended well I guess, except that walloping I got manifested itself into a disabling injury that caused me to retire early from the profession that I so dearly enjoyed doing.


The S&W Model 6906 is a semi-automatic pistol, chambered for the 9mm cartridge. It is a model in Smith and Wesson’s well-regarded 59-series, envisioned as pistols that could be easily concealed, but possessed sufficient firepower to serve as service weapons as well. It has a traditional double-action weapon with a 3.5-inch barrel, equipped with a slide-mounted safety/decocker. The magazine capacity is 12 rounds, however it is also able to accept the 59 series magazines holding 15 rounds. It has a stippled, squared off trigger guard and a smooth combat trigger.  The fixed rear sight has a white outline and rounded edges and it is quite easy to pick up the white dot front sight.  The one piece grip is removable by punching out one pin that runs through the frame.  The 6906 was introduced when Smith and Wesson introduced its “third-generation” series of semiautomatics.  It has an alloy frame with a stainless steel finish.  The slide is stainless steel. It was the same pistol as the Model 6946, which was similar to the 6906 but operated in double action only mode. Although the 69-series of pistol is no longer produced, the polymer-framed Smith & Wesson M&P compact possesses similar dimensions, and the same barrel length and magazine capacity (in 9mm).



Smooth combat trigger and stippled front trigger guard

In its retirement from active duty this Smith and Wesson 6906 9mm that served the Boss and I so well has been delegated to be her nightstand gun to deal with things that go bump in the night.  Each year she fires all of the loaded magazine rounds and they are replenished with fresh ammo.  Technically I guess it’s still on duty doing what it’s supposed to do.  Thanks Smith and Wesson for making a quality pistol that has protected the Boss and I for so many years. I hope you enjoyed this article and always remember to practice your shooting skills often, get a legal carry permit and above all – always be legal in thought and deed.  Till next time be safe out there and remember to support the NRA to protect your gun rights.


Juniors Boy

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Whats in my ashtray ?

Posted on January 15, 2013 by in Man Cave, What's In My Ashtray ?

Whats in my ashtray ?

La Fontana Vintage Cigars

Some birthday celebrations are better than others… I recently celebrated my 56th and my lovely bride handmade me my favorite three layer German Chocolate cake and my wonderful daughter ordered me a box of my most favorite cigars, La Fontana Vintage. I’ve been smoking these particular cigars on special occasions for almost a decade now and they are the smoothest, most flavorful and consistently GOOD cigars I’ve ever run across. They are what I call my “go to” cigars when I want to celebrate any special occasion. They have helped me enjoy many Christmas’s, lots of birthdays, and even the birth of my first grandbaby. I’ve been to Miami and smoked what I believed to be a Cuban cigar and it was indeed a fantastic smoke, and these La Fontana Vintage cigars rate just below a Cuban in my opinion.


La Fontana Vintage Cigars.

My wife picked up my first La Fontana cigar for me from a premium cigar store in Webster, Texas (The Smoke Ring 17050 Highway 3. Webster, TX 77598 (281-332-9871) and she’s been picking out my cigars ever since. I immediately became smitten with its sweetness, smooth taste, and easy draw. Over the years we have haunted many premium cigars stores in the lower forty eight states and Hawaii, searching for La Fontana cigars. Some have them and some do not. My latest check reveals only four retail outlets in the Houston metro-plex.

My daughter ordered this box of La Fontana Vintage cigars from a New York company called: Best Cigar Prices, (888-412-4427) on their website at Their prices are very reasonable for the cigars. Sometimes you have to weigh the cost of gas, traffic & time because Houston is not LOCAL.


Good Prices for cigars !


La Fontana cigars are made by Tabacos Rancho Jamastran, in South America. They are made at the Camacho cigar factory and are hand made from start to finish. These cigars are not cheap, but on the rare occasion that someone gifts me with a box of them, I save them. I only smoke them on special occasions. Of course I believe that you can smoke a GOOD cigar and make your own special occasion too! Some people like cigars that are so strong they will blow the top of your head off, but for me smooth mellow smoke, after a fine meal with a cherished vinyl album of Elvis singing his Christmas specials is a good way to culminate the holidays. Merry Christmas to you and yours and have a great La Fontana Vintage cigar with friends during your Christmas celebration this year if you can. Till next time Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Dailey Smoker, and I’m excited to see what new cigars I can review for 2013!

The Dailey Smoker

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Seeing Gods Country

Posted on January 15, 2013 by in God's Country

Seeing Gods Country

Chicago, Land of Ice and Snow

This story is about the first time the Boss and I went to Chicago, Illinois and all of the strange and sometimes funny events that took place… which is really how this whole Seeing God’s Country column came about in the first place.

It was a Friday afternoon as I remember when the money phone rang and we were blessed with a long trip to Chicago. I went down to Galveston and picked up the load of copper tubing while the Boss packed us up for the trip. When I signed for the load the copper company didn’t have a delivery address for me, which I thought was strange. They told me that a man was going to off load me in Chicago and that the copper was actually going to an apartment complex in Indiana. They gave me a phone number to call when I was within 30 minutes of downtown Chicago.

I said OK and off I went to pick up the Boss and Bob, our dog. The copper company employee explained to me that this was the second copper load for this particular company in the last two days. My real Boss was running a flatbed one ton truck at the time, and he too left for Chicago with a load the day before. He also said that there had been a blizzard in Chicago the day before and the snow on the ground was deep. Panic! Panic! I don’t like to drive in snow, so I began praying for good weather right then and there.

It was late in the afternoon when we got started, and I didn’t tell the Boss about the snow storm. No sense in worrying her. So it was me, the Boss and Bob in a 1999 Dodge Quad Cab 2500 diesel pick-up truck with 2500 pounds of 20 foot copper tubing on the pipe rack along with all of our clothing and jackets. Now understand that Bob is a very large Bull Mastiff and at that time he weighed about eight five pounds, so we were a little crowded. I drove from home across Texas to Louisiana on I-10 and then we split off onto I-12 in Baton Rouge and rode it all the way to I-55 and then headed north before I gave it up and asked the Boss to take over. By this time it was daylight, and the last thing I remember telling her before I drifted off asleep was don’t get stopped by the police.

Within just a few minutes, she was hollering for me to wake up because we were being stopped. I immediately asked her if she was she speeding and she said no. I then saw that she wasn’t wearing her seat belt. Now in this old Dodge the seat belt shoulder strap doesn’t run from the door pillar like on a modern truck, it runs from the top of the seat and it’s most uncomfortable to wear. I myself don’t wear it either because it hurts my shoulder. We were somewhere in Mississippi and it seems that some small town had received a federal grant to work seat belt enforcement and they had been sitting in the freeway median looking for seat belt violations with binoculars. I told her to put her seat belt on and pull over. Now Bob was in the right front seat, and I was in the back seat where I had been trying to sleep. The officer walked up to the passenger side door and the boss started rolling down the window when Bob alerted and started snarling and biting at the window. I guess the officer didn’t smell just right. I grabbed his collar and pulled him down and the young officer wisely decided to go over to the driver’s side of the truck to conduct his business. He told her that he stopped her for not wearing a seat belt. I wound up having to show him my credentials to get her out of a ticket, but it ended well. The officer didn’t get eaten by Bob, the boss got out of a ticket, and I went back to sleep.

I-55 runs all the way from I-12 in Louisiana to Chicago so the Boss had a straight shot to drive. I slept long as I could in the cramped sleeping berth (the backseat) and when I woke up we had just crossed the Illinois state line. I took over the driving from this point and the Boss took her turn sleeping. We rolled into Chicago about 1:00pm on Saturday and I needed some fuel. We found a diesel pump at a convenience store and filled up. Back then the Boss was still smoking, so she told me that she wanted a carton on cigarettes. I asked the clerk for a carton of her brand and he told me it was $63.00 plus tax. My lower jaw dropped open and I decided that we just needed a couple of packs because that was almost double the price per carton for buying them back in Texas.

After we fueled up I called the phone number I had been given and the male voice on the phone gave us a location in Chicago and we headed off to that place. Naturally we couldn’t find it. (Chicago is a very big city.) This went on for about two hours before the man gave us a freeway we could actually locate. We finally just stopped in a large grocery store parking lot off the freeway and told him where we were. He sent his men to where we were. We waited about 45 minutes and I was about to doze off when someone tapped on the driver’s door window. It was a very scurrilous looking African-American male, so all of my mental alarms went off. He gave the man’s name that I had been talking to and said that he was supposed to pick-up the copper that I had on my truck. I said OK and he suggested that I follow him so he could back his bright yellow Ryder box truck up to the rear of mine so he could just slide the copper tubing off of my pipe rack into the floor of his truck. Mental alarms (something is wrong with the situation) were pounding in my head. I had him sign my proof of delivery receipt, but then I wrote down the license plate of the rental truck so if something was wrong the drivers of the truck could be traced and identified. (Turns out my instinct was right and about four months later I learned that someone had stolen the credit card of a construction company executive, and had ordered over $45,000.00 of copper tubing on his company credit card.) Talk about credit card fraud, this was a big case, and I was told that the FBI was investigating it because it crossed state lines. I got paid for making the delivery, but the copper company lost a lot of money.

Once the copper was stolen from our truck, we found a hotel that accepted dogs and we turned in to get some sleep. When we woke up the next morning and a new blanket of snow covered the parking lot of the hotel. I had to take Bob out and he literally waded out into the deep snow and hiked his leg to pee on the snow. (This is why you never eat yellow snow.) He was shocked at the deep snow and quickly did his business. I later learned that it was 14 degrees that morning. I went out to start up the old Dodge and it didn’t crank the first time I turned the key. I was in a panic about getting stranded in Chicago, so I looked at the owner’s manual and it had a cold start procedure outlined in the manual. I went through this procedure step by step and it started right up. I loved that old Dodge, they don’t make ‘em like that anymore.

We packed up and the Boss said that she wanted to go drive around Chicago and to see the Miracle Mile”. We drove around and saw some of the sights as we circled around Lake Michigan. There are little parks near the lake so we drove off into several. The Boss wanted me to drive on the paved path next to the lake and I assured her that it was not for vehicles. She kept insisting so I told her that if she would find a cop that said that it was ok, then I would do it. I saw a Chicago PD unit parked on the paved path and pulled over. She wanted me to go ask the officer if we could drive around the lake on this paved path, and I told her NOT. If she wanted to know she would have to ask and by God she got right out of the truck and asked. Naturally it wasn’t ok and I bet the officer got a big laugh at the tourist wanting to drive on the bike path. After I finished laughing at my determined spouse, we drove around downtown Chicago and saw some more sights. We had never been to the state of Indiana at that time so we took a road that pointed us that way.

That’s when we first ran into the “Tolls of Chicago”. It seemed that every road we got on there was a toll charge and when we finally got down to just a few cents left in change, we decided to get back on I-55 and head back towards Texas. (I keep a whole door full of change for the car wash, it is ridiculous the number of toll roads there.)

After getting a hotel on the outskirts of town, we left Chicago early Monday morning and headed south towards home. Since we weren’t hauling a load we took our time and made about 350 miles per day. Basically we had sort of a mini-vacation on the way home. We visited the Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park and saw how the old time mariners moved freight via water. Snow and ice were everywhere and we had a grand old time.


Old man made canal used by the early mariners who mover cargo overland to and from Chicago via boat or barge.

Then we headed towards Oxford, Mississippi to visit with our baby daughter who was attending Ole Miss University (The Harvard of the South). This is the first time we met her beau, who would later become her husband. After leaving Oxford we found the Natchez Trace Parkway. This is a very scenic route that the Boss talked me into seeing for the first time. Now I was ready to get back home so we could get another load to somewhere, but the Boss is in charge on the return trips so we rode the Natchez Trace Parkway for quite a while. The top speed for the scenic route is 50 miles per hour at its fastest and it can slow to as low as 20 miles per hour. The old truck has a five speed manual transmission and the road was slippery due to cold weather and snow melt. We were driving along and came to a peak that had a scenic overlook. The Boss got out and walked around and Bob and I decided to stay in the warm truck.



Beautiful icicles created by God in the land of ice and snow.


Within about two minutes from the time we stopped it began to snow. Lightly at first, but then it started coming down fast with big fat snowflakes. I being scared to drive in snow begged the Boss to hurry, but she insisted I get out and snap some pictures. I saw where the water had frozen coming out of the rocks and created beautiful icicles. We stayed there and enjoyed the snow for about an hour.



Snow storm on Natchez Trace Parkway



By the time we got going the road was covered with snow. I was easing along real slow trying my best to keep the old truck on the road, so we didn’t run off the road and tumble down a cliff. Within an hour we got to a lower elevation and the snow had stopped. Finally the Natchez Trace Parkway was closed due to road construction and we had to get off. The Boss was disappointed, but I was secretly happy. I just don’t like driving in the snow.

Near Jackson, Mississippi we took I-20 and headed west towards Texarkana so we didn’t have to ride I-10 all the way home. We made it home after four days, and I was glad for the rest. It was another trip that went well and made us a little money. We have been to Chicago many times since this trip, but this was our first one so we tried to see all the sights. Now when we get close to Chicago on a trip we try to detour around it because of all the tolls and the heavy traffic. Well this is all of the space the Boss has allowed for this little article, so till next time, take the side roads and enjoy the sights. Be safe out there.


The Working Tourist








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A Run to Corpus Christi

Posted on November 26, 2012 by in God's Country

The money phone rang with a short Houston local run and I told the Boss she had been cooped up in the house too long working on the magazine.  She happily agreed with me and off we went.

We picked up the first load in Houston, and delivered it to another place in Houston.  The receiving company was supposed to receive the product, enter it into their computers, and then repackage it with some other items, and ship all of that to Galveston.  While we were waiting on that to occur our day got even better. Sometimes you’re just in right place at the right time. They got another run going to Corpus Christi and gave the Galveston run to another truck. We happily switched loads and headed out to a beautiful vacation destination.


Fajitaville, beach front dining and drinking.

I hadn’t slept too well the night before, so the Boss suggested that I climb into the sleeping berth and cop a few zzzz’s, since I was gonna have to drive back tonight.  I located my pink and black eye shade blinders and dozed off for two hundred or so miles. I finally woke up and drove the last fifty miles into Corpus Christi. This partner thing really works out well for me sometimes! It was still daylight when we got there as when we drove over the large bridge near downtown and we got a great view of the aircraft carrier, the USS Lexington.When we got unloaded I asked the nice security officer if there was a good place to eat nearby. I should have asked if he knew of a good cheap place to eat. He gave us directions to Fajitaville and said he had not eaten there yet but people have told him that the food is good there. He also added that Fajitaville is right on the water near the USS Lexington. That suited the Boss just fine because she wanted to walk on the beach too. (After the load is dropped, the Boss gets “things her way” for the rest of the trip. I find it’s a good compromise for having a great partner to drive with me.)


Fajitaville is a three story building with a patio bar on the first (sand) level.  The next level (2nd floor) is the family dining level, and the third level (3rd floor) is an over 21 club. When you walk into the place a hostess greets you and questions you to discover what your pleasure is for the visit. Then we all boarded the elevator car together, and she walked us all the way to our table.  That’s a first for me and the Boss, it’s a high level of service in my opinion. The second floor walls are all glass windows on three sides that face the Gulf of Mexico and the USS Lexington.  I’m almost certain that I’ve seen this particular view of the USS Lexington in a TV commercial put out by the Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce a few years ago.  It’s a great view and makes you want to linger over your dinner.


The Boss ordered a steak and shrimp meal called the Big Eye Rib Eye.  It’s a grilled 12 oz. prime cut rib eye steak complimented with a couple of bacon wrapped shrimp.  Now I know that the Boss is never able to eat all of her entrée no matter how hungry she it. She always orders a salad and fills up on it before her entrée arrives.  So I made plans to take advantage of this knowledge and save a little money by ordering an appetizer and sharing my appetizer with the Boss in exchange for some of her entrée. I ordered the Queso Fresco plate that consists of a unique blend of cheeses (Monterey jack – white cheddar – pepper jack – parmesan – and Queso Fresco) topped with grilled chicken and served with a tube of fresh made tortilla chips. The Boss and I shared our bounty and it was excellent. On the way out of the restaurant we saw a sign the Boss made me get a photo of. It was rules she liked for unattended children.


The boss wanted to walk along the beach, so we headed back up towards the USS Lexington.  We found a parking space near the entrance, and I noticed a parking meter in front of my truck.  Wanting the be a lawful visitor, I dug into my pocket for quarters to feed it, but alas I was financially embarrassed and had to call on the Boss once again to bail me out.  She dug into her bright yellow shoulder bag and pulled out what appeared to be a gray colored sweat sock like they issued for high school football. She produced six quarter coins out of it because as it turned out, that sock is a coin purse.  Who would have thought that?  Then she looked at the meter and it clearly read no charge for parking after 6:00 pm on weekdays.  That was about eight minutes of time that we’ll never get back and you just lost a couple of minutes reading about it.


There is a long wide concrete sidewalk that runs right along the shoreline for pedestrian travel. We could have walked along this without getting our feet sandy, however the Boss rejected this idea and wanted to walk near the water’s edge.  Needless to say I was wearing the wrong shoes for this.  I had on some black “Roman Warrior” style sandals that are very comfortable to drive in, but there are open straps that run all over the shoes. (I was at work an hour ago.)   Naturally I had to stop several times to get the broken pieces of sea shells out of my feet, but I’m a trooper, I didn’t complain.  We didn’t have a real flashlight, and it was dark now, so the Boss asked me to turn on the emergency white light app on my Iphone so she could look for shells.  Within ten minutes, she was cold and the beach walking was abandoned.


We walked over to the USS Lexington dock and I tried to take some of the ship and a Blue Angles jet, but they weren’t very good. We headed back across the (brightly illuminated) big bridge and headed north. I was watching my speed closely as we entered the City of Odem and the limit dropped to 45 MPH in town. I was doing about 43 MPH when I saw the red and blue flashing lights in my rear view mirror. Turns out my license plate lights had gone out, both of them.  The very courteous young officer issued me a warning ticket to remind me to fix the problem. Now fully energized by “fear fueled adrenaline” we headed on towards home.  I wasn’t sleepy at all and we were making good time till we saw those darn searchlights.  It was very dark, but the sky was clear and the Boss could see two searchlights off in the distance. We located their source just outside Port Lavaca, Texas, it was a huge carnival.  It was part of the Calhoun County livestock show and rodeo. The rodeo – livestock exhibit portion of the day’s activities was over, but the carnival portion was going strong.  People were parked everywhere, and we had to search a few minutes before finally finding a place to park out in a pasture.


We got out and stretched our legs, which is good to do. We couldn’t eat anything because we were both still stuffed from dinner, but we walked around and enjoyed the lights and sounds. I used the air powered, full automatic,  laser equipped, BB  rifle to try and shoot the small red star off of a piece of paper at ten feet.  Didn’t make it, was so surprised!  I guess the sights were off.  The Boss spent a couple dollars worth of quarters on some other games, and people watched. There was set of twin little girls with big pink bows on their headbands that were lit up. You couldn’t lose them in the crowd and they were “just precious” according to the Boss. After about an hour we got back in the truck to home. We made a little money, had a little fun, ate some good food, and got home safely.  All in all it was a great trip. Travelling with the Boss makes these trips all the better, because she doesn’t just drive, she makes sure we have some fun.  Till next time try to take the road less travelled, you will enjoy the trip.

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Egg Production Increase

Posted on November 19, 2012 by in Urban Acres

Egg Production Increase

Things are a changing out in the chicken yard, again…  Eggs are coming in like clockwork, the roosters are constantly crowing and disturbing the neighbors, so we’re giving them free eggs for their missed hours of sleep.  Last month I mistakenly believed that I had everything settled down in the chicken yard, and this month Annabelle has changed almost everything, again.  She has always changed the furniture in the living room constantly and she has taken this behavior out into the chicken  yard.  Now she has decided that the eggs that the hens are laying are too dirty to deal with and I have to wash all of the eggs before they are refrigerated.  It seems that the wood shavings that I’d been using to provide bedding in the nest boxes, is insufficient.  She has decided that we are to replace the wood shavings with hay.  Somewhere in her childhood she remembers gathering clean eggs on hay. Off to my local feed store again.

More Eggs Than We Need.






I headed home with the hay and as soon as we got home, Annabelle and I went about toting the hay to the back yard and storing it in the shed.  Annabelle told me NOT to hand carry the hay because of my bad back, so I cranked up the lawn tractor, attached the little trailer, and drove it to the back yard.  That’s when the problem arose.  Annabelle said that she didn’t want the hay to lie on the ground, because she was afraid that rats would nest in it.  She said that if she ever reached in the hay to pick up a block and mice (rats in our case) came scurrying out, that she would never feed the chickens again.


Red hen in her new hay filled nestbox.

We came up with the idea to use some old dog chain with double snaps to suspend a metal dog cage from the rafters to hold it off the ground.  I felt this idea was without much merit, but you know Annabelle, so I went along with it, and kept my skepticism to myself. We hung the crate and put the forty pound bale of hay on top of it.  I cut the hay string that holds the bale together and she took out a block.  As of the time of this writing it’s held up so far, but it just seems to me that the rats will just think it’s a skyscraper we have supplied for them to nest in. We’ll see and I’ll report back on this ideas success or failure.


More Eggs Dailey

I went into the chicken yard and pulled the nest boxes out and shook the shavings out of them.  I replaced them with hay, (Annabelle was there supervising of course) and put them back on their shelf inside of the chicken house. I’ve seen that at night some of the chickens roost on the ground instead of using the nest boxes and or the ladder perch I’ve made for them.  I think I’m going to go out today and spread the remaining shavings out on the ground inside of the chicken house, so they will have a warmer dry place to nestle down for the night. Well that’s about it for this column, so I’ll close by saying that we’re learning as we go. I still think we have too many roosters in the flock.  We’re getting eleven eggs a day out of fifteen chickens, so two of the roosters need to be sent to the farm in Brazoria.  I’ll run this idea up the flagpole and see if it gets by Annabelle. Till next time, I hope you enjoyed this report and if you have any ideas that might help two city farmers, please feel free to drop us an e-mail at



P.S. Annabelle was looking at a calf to buy from the dairy when we went by to pick up the milk the other day.  Wonder how you raise a calf?

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Classic Corvette Convertable

Posted on November 19, 2012 by in Classic Rides

Classic Corvette Convertable

Earlier in the week I saw a very small sign about an upcoming car show, but I was headed somewhere else and I didn’t have time to stop. Saturday morning I got on my new I-phone 4 that the Boss bought me for work and I asked Siri if there was a car show in Dickinson today.  She came up with an internet page entry confirming that it was indeed this Saturday.  I got there a little early and the vendors were still setting up.  There were only a few cars display and my eyes were quickly drawn to a bright red Chevy Corvette. I located the owner, Gary Kirkland nearby and explained to him who I was and what I wanted and he readily agreed to the photographing his car.  This car is a 1962 model Chevy Corvette convertible.  Kirkland explained that he bought the car about seven months ago out of Minnesota. The color is an OEM Roman red and the interior upholstery and carpet are also red.  Roman red is one of seven factory colors that were offered on the Chevy Corvette in 1962.  This 1962 model is the last year of this particular body style for the Chevy Corvette.  Kirkland explained that his Corvette had been completely restored in 1997 by the previous owner.

Interior:  By today’s standards the interior of this sports car is spartan to say the least.  It has no power brakes or steering, and no air conditioner.  However there is a 160 mph analog speedometer, and factory 6000 rpm (red line 5000 rpm) tachometer, (mounted just below


Fast interior, red, 160 mph speedo, tachometer, bucket seats, panic bar, Borg-Warner four speed, oil, fuel, temp, engine temp guages.

dash on steering column), nice bucket seats with lap belts, and a panic grab bar on the passenger side for those quick acceleration starts.  It also has the required analog gauges: oil pressure, fuel, volt, engine temperature, which allows the driver to keep an eye on it’s high performance engine.  There is a factory (optional) four speed Borg-Warner transmission, and signal seeking AM radio.  Kirkland explained that the transmission leads to a posi-traction rear axle with a 3.08.1 gear ratio. The steering is a race inspired rack and pinion type with a ratio of 21:1 standard, (16.3:1 optional), and a turning circle of 39 feet.

Suspension:  The front end features are: independent upper and lower A-arms, unequal-length wishbones, coil springs, antiroll bar, and tubular hydraulic shock absorbers which were the top of the line for 1962 sports cars.  The rear suspension features are: a rigid live axle on semi-elliptic leaf springs, tubular hydraulic shock absorbers, and trailing radius rods.  This is the suspension that makes this roadster hug the road and ride like it’s on rails as they used to say.

Brakes:  Kirkland explained that the car has original factory 11 inch drum brakes on the front and rear.  Remember drum brakes are more mechanically efficient than disc brakes, and Chevy made them appreciably larger on this 3,137 pound sports car in 1962 to assure that it would stop as well as run.

Tires & Wheels:  This Corvette features P-205-75-R15 Coker brand tires with the wide white wall features.  The original tires were 6.70×15 and were nylon type.  Coker tires are probably the world’s largest supplier of collector car tires and wheels.    The wheels are steel disc wheels with safety rims, which are the factory correct Corvette wheels for 1962.

Overall Dimensions:  This 1962 Chevy Corvette convertible has a 102.0 inch wheel base, and an overall length of 176.7 inches, and its width is 70.4 inches.

Engine:  Mr. Kirkland was well informed about the engine of this Corvette.  He explained that this 327 cubic motor is the original motor that came in the car, and it’s one of the four 327 engines available for this car in 1962.  This motor is a conventional, water-cooled four stroke, reciprocating pistontype with 8 cylinders in V configuration and its front mounted, longitudinal, and upright.  The heads are pushrod and rocker actuated ohv with two valves per cylinder, and bore and stroke is: 4.00 x 3.25 inches.


327 cubic inch, 300 horses, 4bbl carb, V-8.

His engine is the 300 horsepower motor (RPO 583).  It’s topped with an Elderbrock four barrel carburetor.  The original OEM carburetor would have been a Carter brand.  Spark is controlled by a coil and distributor, and if you look closely you’ll see a shiny chrome shield on the rear part of the engine that prevents the coil from interfering with the car’s radio. I located the engine specifications for the 1962 Chevy Corvette and the published performance numbers, and they are listed in the chart below.

Type ohv V-8 ohv V-8 ohv V-8 ohv V-8
Displacement, liters/cu inch 5.35/327 5.35/327 5.35/327 5.35/327
Bore x stroke, inches 4.00 x 3.25 4.00 x 3.25 4.00 x 3.25 4.00 x 3.25
Fuel Management 1 x 4-bbl. 1 x 4-bbl. (AFB) 1 x 4-bbl. (AFB) fuel injection
Horsepower @ rpm 240 @ 4400 300 @ 5000 340 @ 6000 360 @ 6000
Torque @ rpm, pound-foot 350 @ 2800 360 @ 3200 344 @ 4000 352 @ 4000

Published Performance Numbers *360 hp version

Acceleration 360 hp, 4-sp man.
0-60 mph, sec 5.9
0-100 mph, sec 13.5
1/4-mile, sec @ mph 14.5 @ 104

Being the old geezer, I am very familiar with the 283/327 Chevy engine.  The motors (283/327 cid) that my older brother built during his hotrod days were rock solid and dependable.  He probably built over 200 high performance motors from the 327 engine platform, and I know of only one catastrophic engine failure during all that time.  He had built a very high performance 327 engine, estimated horsepower 395, and installed it in a 1964 Chevy Malibu SS.  This engine blew up during a race between him and one of the new 454 cid engines in a Chevy Impala.  The race was from Houston to Beaumont on I-10, and the little motor imploded at about 140 mph near Winnie, Texas.

Sales numbers:  In 1962 Chevy made 14,531 Corvette convertibles, and their starting price was $4,038.00.  Needless to say, a pristine 1962 Corvette would sell for many times that price today.  Just goes to prove that some cars are worth investing in if you have the money.  

Factory Options List – Production Numbers – Purchase Price – Colors

Here is a list of options available on this 1962 Chevy Corvette and what they cost:

Option Production Price
AM Radio, signal seeking 13,076 137.75
Rear axle, 3.08:1 NA 0.00
Positive Crankcase Ventilation NA 5.40
Wheels, 15 x 5.5 561 0.00
Power-glide Automatic Transmission 1,532 199.10
Auxiliary Hardtop 8,074 236.75
Power Windows 995 59.20
Direct Flow Exhaust System 2,934 0.00
340 hp Engine 4,412 107.60
360 hp Engine 1,918 484.20
300 hp Engine Fl 3,294 53.80
Power Operated Folding Top 350 139.90
Positraction Rear Axle 14,232 43.05
4-speed Manual Transmission 11,318 188.30
Metallic Brakes 2,799 37.70
Heavy Duty Brakes and Suspension 246 333.60
Black wall Tires, 6.70 x 15 nylon NA 31.55
Whitewall Tires, 6.70 x 15 NA 15.70
24 Gallon Fuel Tank 65 118.40

Color Choices and Production Numbers

Color Choice Production Color Choice Production
Tuxedo Black NA Fawn Beige 1,851
Roman Red NA Ermine White NA
Almond Beige 820 Sateen Silver NA
Honduras Maroon NA

This what you would see if you tried to race this Vette in 1962.

Well that’s about all the space the Boss will allow me for this column, so I hope you enjoyed the review of this classic Corvette.  Till next time if you have the time and means, look around and find an old car or truck and restore it.


Juniors Boy


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1965 Ford Mustang

Posted on October 16, 2012 by in Classic Rides

1965 Ford Mustang Convertable

The Boss laid down the law and said, “We need something different for this month. You can’t keep running 55 Chevrolets every month, just cause YOU like them.  Get me a Mustang or something different”.  With my instructions firmly in my brain, I headed off to the annual Santa Fe Texas Chamber of Commerce car show.  I was impressed this year at the number of cars and trucks on display, (estimated at 100 entries) that’s quite a few more than last year.  It’s gotten so big they had to park some of the cars on the grass.

After perusing the entries, I saw just what the Boss asked for; a group of old Mustangs all parked together.  I looked them over and this Wimbledon White 1965 first generation Mustang convertible with Skyline Blue interior seem to be a winner.

Mustang                                   1st Generation 1965 Ford Mustang Convertable

I learned that these cars were part of the JSC (Johnson Space Center) Classic Mustang car club from the Clear Lake City, Texas area.  All of the members of this club either work at JSC or worked there previously.  The member’s cars run from model year 1964½ to 1982. The owner of this 1965 model, (Henry Rabago) explained that he bought this car from a fellow Mustang enthusiast in Lake Haven, New York about four years ago. Mustang Engine

                                     Almost Stock 289 cid 210 hp Ford Mustang Engine

This car is shown in the ORIGINAL class, and I was told that there can be only three modifications allowed on the car that are NOT OEM (Original Equipment Manufactured). Mr. Rabago said that the chrome valve covers, the chrome air breather, and the cassette radio are the only non-original parts on his car.

Starting at the front, the engine bay houses the original 289 V-8 engine that’s factory rated at 210 horsepower.  Mr. Rabago explained that although the top of the chrome air breather identifies the engine as a 289 high performance model, it is not true.  The chromed breather and valve covers were added as homage to what the hot-rodders of 1965 thought was cool back in the day.  Mustang Interior

                                                   1965 Ford Mustang Interior

There is no power steering, power brakes, or air conditioning on this convertible.  The engine block has been repainted Ford blue, and the carburetor and intake manifold are both OEM. The Skyline blue interior has bucket seats in the front and a small bench seat in the back. The transmission is the original C-4 Cruise-a-matic, a two speed automatic.  The blue steering wheel is the original, as are all of the dash gauges.  In the two seater back seat, the blue interior leads to the snap on cover for the convertible top.  Although the top was down when I photographed the car, Mr. Rabago tells me that it’s also the original skyline blue color. Mustang Trunk

                                                                   Trunk Area

The trunk has been adorned with several Mustang magazines, and the spare tire and trunk compartment has been covered with naugahyde for display purposes.  The chrome Ford wheels are the original Ford mag wheels that came on the car and the tires are new P195/5R14 Trendsetters. The car has the original drum brakes it came from the factory with and the brake drums were painted to match the paint scheme.  Mustang Drive Inn Tray

                                                             Drive Inn Tray

The most unique item added to show off this car is a drive inn diner carhop tray on the driver’s side window. It’s a nice reminiscent touch.

I hope that you and the Boss, enjoyed my review of this car. Go green and look around for a classic car to restore rather than crush.  They aren’t making any more of them and they are a form of classic Americana that deserves to be put back on the road for all of us to see and envy. Till next time drive safely.

Juniors Boy

The first generation Mustangs created the “pony car” class of American automobiles—sports car-like coupes with long hoods and short rear decks.  It was initially based on the second generation North American Ford Falcon, a compact car. Introduced early on April 17th, 1964 and dubbed as a “1964½” model by Mustang fans. The 1965 Mustang was Ford’s most successful launch since the Model A.


The new car was introduced to the public at the New York World’s Fair. Executive stylist John Najjar, who was a fan of the World War II P-51 Mustang fighter plane, is credited by Ford to have suggested the name.  Original sales forecasts projected less than 100,000 units for the first year. This mark was surpassed in the first three months from rollout.  Another 318,000 would be sold during the model year (a record) and in its first eighteen months, more than one million Mustangs were built.  The sales may have also been boosted because a Ford Mustang appeared in the James Bond film Goldfinger, in September 1964.

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