I've always had a theory that goes something like this.  "The more hobbies a person has,
the easier it is to shop for them at Christmas".  For me, it's a matter of which hobby I'm
currently engrossed in.  A person can never have too many hobbies.  It expands their
creative thinking and most times one hobby will benefit another hobby.  So here is a brief
rundown of what I enjoy !
Cooking-I got started early on this one.  My Memaw had me helping and watching
every time I went to the 'country' with them.  "Country" being their converted 3
room barracks weekend getaway on 64 acres of pasture land in D'Hanis, Texas.
There I would watch her cook all meals on a wood stove.  No doubt this is where I
learned timing (all the food finished at once) and heat control.  Also, I watched my
Papaw as he made Mulligan stew, which I still make and cherish to this day.  He also
gave the lesson's in sausage making and curing/smoking that aren't taught anywhere.
Lessons in cooking that I will always be grateful for.

Model Railroading-A hobby I wish I had continued throughout my lifetime.  As most
young boys, I received many train sets growing up.  How I wish I had kept them all.
I renewed this interest in the mid 90's when I could use all the fun things they now
have for making the layouts.  Air brushing, fast drying plaster, and very high quality
locomotives make this a current hobby.  Always around the Holiday season this hobby
gets the attention.  After starting out in HO scale, I now model only N scale.  Choice for
locomotives is KATO, rolling stock is MicroTrains and transformers the only choice is

N Scale train

model airplane
Model Airplane Building-Just never outgrew this one.  Guess it comes from when my dad
and I spent hours at the kitchen table building that first purple U-control from a balsa kit.
He would 'show me' how to fly it and as I watched him nosedive it into the asphalt parking
lot. Funny, he says he doesn't remember that part of the story.  I guess it left me
emotionally scared as I still feel a need to build those great planes of the '60's that are
powered by an .049 Cox engine with a glow plug.  Ever see a grown man get excited on
his 40th birthday after opening a package with a Cox Black Widow inside? If not, you
missed a great party!!  Sadly, these once cheap kits have gotten to be over $30.00, but
also availability of those once time consumers are very hard to find at the hobby shops.
Gardening-Probably the German in me that has the need to play with dirt.  I have to give
credit to Bob Guinee for showing me how to do a real garden.  Using railroad ties and
100% compost.  This is the only way.  Here my dad would disagree as he is a tire

Troy Bilt tiller
Landscaping-Generally considered 'therapy time'.  With a true 1 acre, there is lot's of
time to 'think' about life's journey.  Four hours on a riding tractor mower can become
routine, so it's a great time to reflect and plan.

music noteSpeaker

Music-No doubt influenced by the musical background family on my dad's side.  Got my
first guitar around the age of 12 and I still remember that 'Too good to be true' feeling
when dad took me to Radio Shack to get that first electric guitar.  From there, it only
got louder.  Speakers stacked 5 feet tall, Kustom 200's with blue sparkle tuck and roll-
those were the good 'ol days.  Now it's down to a Fender  Strat Elite w/ gold hardware,
an Ovation thin body acoustic/electric and two vintage amps, both Fender tuber's.
Somewhere along the line I felt I would  be good at playing the drums.  In the early 80's
I picked up a set of cheap, wooden original Ludwig's (is there any other real drums?)
and sure enough, I had a knack for these things.  Learned to play by rigging the stereo
through the PA system and playing along.  Of course this was set up in the living room
of the house.  Where else is a 30 year old gonna play? In the garage? I don't think so.
The garage is meant to be a woodworking and welding haven.  No musician with a
woodworking and welding talent is gonna put some 'ol car in the garage (except to
maintain and detail it).  Got a set of Ludwig Vistalite reissues on Ebay in 2003.


animated hammer

Woodworking-This hobby influenced by my dad.  He has built 'things' out of wood
ever since I can remember.  Our only difference here is that he prefers to use
tested, recycled, old, scrounged lumber and I like the new, never been messed with


Welding-I have been known as the neighborhood 'repair guy' more than once.  There's
not many things more gratifying than a simple 'thank you' that is genuine after welding
a kids bike or neighbors lawn mower handle.  Like playing the guitar, drums, and
computing, I consider this another self-taught hobby.


 Computers-Starting in the early 80's, I found the power that a personal computer could
offer.  An Apple II solved the problem of keeping track of the 1200 or so customers of my
travel agency.  Though slow and taking up about 6 of those huge 'floppies' it was still
better than handwriting those names and addresses every time I sent out a 'newsletter'.
These were the day's of NO WINDOWS, no INTERNET, just large bold letters and
numbers on a monochrome screen.  How far we have come, huh?  Since that original
Apple II, I can't remember not having a computer.  Except when it was down for an
upgrade or repair.  Kids today have it made.  No DOS commands.  No blank screen
when you turn it on.  Darn sure don't miss those good 'ol days !!

Bill Gates has made our lives easier.  No doubt about it, he deserves to be the richest
man on earth.  He will go down in the history books along such names as Henry Ford
and Thomas Edison.  I thank him and all the pioneers of the 'computer era' that have
made this one of my most enjoyable hobbies to date.
Automotive Repair-First and foremost a CHEVY man.  Evidenced now by the fact I own
a clean, cherry, towline 1987 Chevy El Camino with 78,000 original miles.  At last,
count I had gone thru over 30 cars, including that first purple 1962 Chevy II that
taught me the basics and importance of maintaining a vehicle, to a dragster (327 cu. in.)
at the local drag strip and finally now to a 1995 Chevy Lumina LS and the aforementioned
El Camino.  As all car enthusiasts will say " I only wish I had kept this one or that one".
They'd be worth a fortune today.  With a restored 55-57 Chevy classic worth anywhere
from 10 to 20 grand, would we keep it or sell it?  Any true Chevy man can tell you what
1-8-4-3-6-5-7-2 stands for, right? UPDATE-the El Camino was totaled on Nov. 1st, 2005
in Crestview, Florida.  I had lent it to a friend while her car was being repaired, it was
raining and an old man ran a stop sign.  T-Boned it in the left quarter panel.  A sad day:(

My experience as an automotive machine shop worker now lets me avoid being ripped
off by repair shops as well as repairing and detailing my own vehicles.  The factories are
making this harder and harder as each new model rolls onto the showroom floor each

animated dog

Pets-I have to include 'pets' as a hobby simply because they take up a majority of my
time.  Not the maintenance part, but the enjoyment part.  Any person that makes a point
of cooking beef ribs on the 'ol smoker for his dogs certainly has to count this as a hobby.
Or cooking a breakfast of scrambled eggs and toasted muffins for the 'birds'.  With a
total of 14 pets, this is an ongoing hobby and it really makes you wonder about a person
that doesn't own a single pet.  Not even a goldfish.  My gosh, where in the heck do they
get their enjoyment in life?  Any animal lover can relate to this understanding.

I do have to thank 'Mackie' who owned the bar/dancehall/cottages at Medina Lake in
1972.  I had just graduated from high school and spent the summer at the lake with
Mackie working for him during the day and fishing off the bank for carp most every
evening.  He had 2 Spitz dogs which were always there by his side.  I promised myself
that when the time was right, I too would get one of these 'special' dogs.  Well, some
8 years later, when I bought my second house, I kept good on that promise.  To
make up for lost time, I got 2 Spitz puppies and the rest is history.  Between my dad
and myself, we have enjoyed over 30 of these great dogs.  It is the only breed of dog
I have owned and I will always give you my 2 cents worth on this subject.  I think
they are the best dog available, protective and sensitive, along with just being smart.
If you have already visited the DOGS HOMEPAGE, you know what I mean.  If you
haven't yet visited that page, you are at the end of the 'Hobby' page so you can jump
right to the dogs page by CLICKING HERE.