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Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary defines a hobby as a pursuit outside one's regular occupation engaged in especially for relaxation; an interest is a feeling that accompanies or causes special attention to an object or class of objects.   What I enjoy aren't so much hobbies (as my time is so limited) but more in the nature of interests.

Writing | Vehicles | Computers | Pets | Favorites


When time allows, I am an avid writer of fiction, sometimes based on real-life events.   I write with a passion that rises from the depths of my soul.  My words arouse fire in my reader and evoke deep stirrings from within the epitome of the reader’s psyche.

Another endeavor I have started is a spy novel of a girl who was taken from her parents when just a baby, then raised by the KGB in several different camps where she was Americanized and then planted in the United States.  I have much to go on this novel, but what I do have written contains very  descriptive detail of the training camps.

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Another one of my passions is classic muscle cars, especially Firebirds and Corvettes. 

I used to own a red 1968 Firebird coupe, bucket seats, optional fold-down rear seat, rear-mounted antenna and 160 mph speedometer.  The original wheel covers were PMD hubcaps; PMD Rally II's eventually replaced them.  The single exhaust was replaced with true duels.  The power train behind this brute was a 350, 265 horse, floor-mounted shifter to a 2-speed Powerglide that when nudged from 1st to Drive at 50 mph would launch this bird of prey like a rocket.  The extreme fun came when the wimpy 2-barrel carb and factory intake manifold were swapped out with a Holley 600 4-barrel and an Edelbrock Performer intake.  Add a touch of Nitrous with the 10-gallon tank mounted in the truck and a phoenix was born.

1968 Firebird

1968 Firebird engine
1968 Firebird rear

I co-owned another blast-from-the-past vehicle - a 1969 Corvette convertible with an optional hardtop.  Originally this car came equipped with a 350 ci /350 hp, 4 speed M-21 tranny.  When the vehicle came into our possession it was sporting an oil-leaking 350 out of an early 70’s station wagon.  That was just not acceptable for this powerful beauty.  The power plant was replaced with a 396 ci out of 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle.  Add a big block radiator, cut a hole in the hood and mount a scoop to accommodate the larger engine, and this beast was now respectable. 

During the resurrection I can recall sitting in the driver's seat practicing the shift pattern, clutch in, shift down to 2nd, clutch out, clutch in, up to 3rd, clutch out, clutch in, down to 4th, clutch out.  I was fortunate enough to actually have this be the first stick shift that I drove, but on the flip side, it was only for about a total of 15 minutes prior to the new owner picking it up.


1969 Corvette convertible front

1969 Corvette convertible rear

Unfortunately my current mode of transportation is in need of TLC and attention.  This 1992 Dodge Colt  is the first vehicle that I've driven on a daily basis that is a stick. She may not be pretty, and can sometimes buck, but she gets me where I need to go.  (Not to mention the fun it is to pop the clutch as I attempt to fly from 1st to 2nd, then 3rd.  Which is quite hard to do with only a 1.5L 4-banger.)

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My ideal computer is like my cars, fast and sleek. 

If money were no option, enclosed in a full tower I'd house a 3 GHZ AMD Processor machine with 1TB hard drive, 1GB of DDR-SDRAM expandable, 256MB of SDRAM on the NVidia GeForce4 Ti video card, a SoundBlaster sound card, two DVD-RW drives, a 3 1/2" floppy drive, a 250MB Zip drive, 6 USB ports (4-2.0 and 2-1.0), all water cooled .  The full clear-lexan tower, with internal neon lights, would still contain 3 empty additional bays for future expansion.  The external components would consist of  wireless trackball, a wireless keyboard, both color coordinated with the case, a 19" LCD monitor, a 4-in-1 color printer for everyday use, and a HP Color Laser jet printer when high quality was desired.  External communication would be established via a cable modem, but at some point, if possible, a T3 line. 

While this system would be used for standard surfing, office products and programming, its capabilities as a gaming machine would be phenomenal.  And that's only the desktop.  Now imagine a laptop that is just as powerful, and is still lightweight.

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My pets since being on my own have been the standard animals.  No hamsters, gerbils, mice, rabbits, snakes or birds.  Just domesticated dogs and cats. 

The first dog I owned was a cinnamon female Chow Chow, which I found as a stray.  While it took a while to settle on a name, eventually she was called Pup, short for Puppy dog.  About a year and a half passed and I felt bad that she was home alone, so I got her a mate - an American Kennel Club registered male Chow Chow, cream in color.  His name was fairly easy to come-by:  immediately after picking him up from the breeder, on the ride home, every time you would bark at him, he'd bark back.  His bark was a gruff 'ruuuff', and so Ruff Beware, normally called Ruff, was taken into the family. 

His initial introduction to Pup wasn't pretty.  She scared him.  Sleeping in the bedroom was her domain, and he was in no way invited in that room.  After being snapped at several times, he eventually moved to another room, but over about a week's time, slowly worked his way closer to the bedroom:  first the living room, then the doorway to the hall, in the hall, the doorway of the bedroom, and finally achieving his goal - the bedroom.  He learned everything from his mate.  He'd bark his head off at you from behind the fence, but if you were to put your hand over it, all he would want is love. 

She had one litter of six puppies by him.  The puppies were a mix of black, cinnamon and cream.  They looked like little teddy bears, and their fur was just as soft. 

I lost both of these dogs when they hit the mature age of 12.  I still miss my 'kids.'

Chow Chows

The cat pictured below was part of a litter of three that had been abandoned by their mother under an empty duplex.  He became part of the family when he was only about three weeks old.  I bottle fed him - midnight, three AM, lunchtime - just like a baby.  He was the runt of the litter (he could fit in the palm of my hand when I got him), but ended up being a nice rotund 18 lbs.  Patch (he was solid white on the other side of his body) passed away in his sleep when he was 7 years of age.


While the cat was a holy terror to people at times - attired with his full set of claws and extremely sharp teeth - the 75 lb. greyhound pictured below was terrified of him upon first introduction.  Patch would walk into a room, hiss at the dog, and it was all Dutch could do to get out as quickly as possible.  Dutch initially slept as far away from the cat as possible, but after about 3 weeks, the cat would use the dogs leg to rub his back on. 

I adopted Dutchman through the Greyhound Adoption League.  Dutch is a retired racer, registered with the National Greyhound Association, whose career was spent in Phoenix, Arizona.  He raced for approximately 4 1/2 years, having his share of 1st, 2nd and 3rd place wins.  Eventually though, he was no longer able to compete with the younger dogs on the track.  He now is a 45 mph, 85 lb. couch potato (if I let him on the couch.)

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