Review of Dark Screams volume 6

Not a “clunker” in the bunch!

Dark Screams vol 6 is the latest, and in my opinion, the best offering in the series.
It Includes the following 6 Stories:
1) The Old Dude’s Ticker by Stephen King

For fans of Stephen King this is a rare treat.

An early and previously unpublished homage to Edgar Allan Poe.
2) The Rich Are Different by Lisa Morton

They are REALLY  different.  In the age of Trump this is a cautionary tale about giving up your humanity in exchange for comfort and security.
3) The Manicure by Nell Quinn Gibney

Creepy “ordinary everyday life” horror that cuts you to the quick.
4) That Comforting Voice by Norman Prentiss

Sleep deprivation for new parents is a terrible thing.
5)  The Situations by Joyce Carol Oates

In this short story from Joyce Carol Oates we get 3 feline related, micro short stories or is it one story? 

This story stuck with me as I puzzled it out.
6) The Corpse King by Tim Curran

If I’m not mistaken this is the first time a novella has been included in the Dark Scream series. Dark,  creepy,  atmospheric,  Lovecraftian.


Pappy’s Predictive Super Bowl Chili Recipe

Pappy’s Super Bowl Chili tradition goes back to 1981 when he made “I Left My Heartburn In San Francisco” Chili in honor of the San Francisco 49ers .

Each year Pappy choses a side and makes a Special Chili in that teams honor. For the past 29 years it has determined the outcome of every game.  Even in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds such as the Patriots “undefeated” season. Pappy’s Chili sent the Pats home as losers. (see note *)

Here is Pappy’s Chili for this year:

Pappy’s Three River Chili (Yeah I know they play at Heinz field now)


3 lbs of chopped meat (80/20 fat)

1 lb of Hot Italian sausage

1 lb of steak (cut into 1/2 inch cubes using a poultry shear)

1 Red Onion (finely chopped)

1 Yellow Onion (finely chopped)

1 Green Onion (you guessed it, finely chopped)

1 large can of Crushed Tomatoes

1 1/2 cups of El Pato Salsa de Chile Fresco

3 Tablespoons of Chile Power

3 Roma Tomatoes

3 Cloves of Fresh Garlic

1/2 teaspoon of Cumin

1 teaspoon of Mexican Oregeno

1 Habanero pepper (dried or fresh)

Prep time 1 hour

Cook time 9 1/2 hours


Quick boil the roma tomatoes and remove the skin, set aside.

Brown the chop meat to release fat. Pour off fat and set aside for later. Put cooked chopped meat in separate bowl.

Remove sausage from casing and break into small pieces and brown. Once again set aside me and fat.

Cut steak into 1/2 inch cubes with poultry shears and brown in same pan. Set aside fat and cooked stake

Lightly cook the peppers, onions & garlic in some of the reserved fat.

Add back the meat and add the can of crushed tomatoes, the 1 1/2 of Salsa de Chile Fresco, 8 cups of water  & the spices.

Remember that fat you were told to set aside. Well by now it should have separated. The fat is sitting on top of 100% meat juice.  Pour that juice in your chili.  If you have a hard time doing this, you can put the glass in the freezer for a few minutes. The fat will harden and you can skim it off.

Cook on low for 5 to 9 hours.  Stir every 20 minutes. Taste along the way and adjust seasoning as needed. The longer the better. Remember the longer it cooks the hotter it will be.

OK so I guess you figured out who is going to win this years Super Bowl The Pittsburgh Steelers.

Or if you want to change fate you can smoother this recipe with good Wisconsin Cheese.

* Note: Pappy does not condone  gambling and is not responsible for any losses  if you are stupid enough to place a bet based on a chili recipe.

No matter who you want to win. A good cigar is always in order for the Super Bowl.

I’m going with the La Aurora Gran 107 a beautiful 7×58 vitola

Thought’s on the passing of a “Friend”

I recently lost a friend.  No, he did not die defending our great country overseas or from some long prolonged illness.

He just died.

I did not know him long and I guess I did not know him well.

I don’t even know if he considered me a friend. For his part our relationship may have been transactional.  You know…the kind of friendship that exists only when both parties are present.

The one thing we had in common was our love of fine cigars.

He always assumed the role of Sherpa.  Doling out little bits of cryptic directions and arcane knowledge.  It is only now, that he is no longer, that I realize how lonely and lost my Sherpa was.

While not always, his directions were are best wrong and at worst based on his own agenda.

He had many “Friendships” based on money. These friendships would ultimately let him down. Friendships based on such always do.

Looking back I now understand he bought access.

Anyone with the price of admissions can buy access but the one thing you cannot buy is loyalty and true friendship. These two things have nothing to do with money.   These two things are not transaction based. Friends accept you as you are,  “warts and all”.

That being said, I mourn his passing and as I always, I forgive his shortcomings.

I will miss him.

Avo Lounge 7 1/2 X 50

The Avo Lounge is a Corona Cigar Company exclusive blend.

Appearance: Beautiful shiny, oily medium brown Ecuadorian wrapper with very light veins. 

Construction: Perfectly rolled with tight pre light draw.

Pre light Scent: Sweet tobacco at scent.

Flavors: Very sophisticated flavorful blend of Dominican tobacco. Mild medium strength.

Razor sharp burn line. This is a very special cigar. While not an everyday smoke it is great for special occasions like a new job, new baby or new wife.

I highly recommend this cigar.

The Boris 11 from Corona Cigar Company

Jeff recently sent me some samples of Corona Cigar Company exclusives to try.

Among them was the Boris 11 Connecticut Perfecto and the Broadleaf Toro.

Here are my impressions.

The Connecticut Perfecto:

Construction: Perfectly rolled with no soft spots.

Appearance: Beautiful golden brown wrapper.

Prelight Aroma is nutty. Prelight draw is perfect.

Smoke: Right from the start this is a very refined and relaxing smoke.

Flavor: Is nutty with hints of sweet cream. This flavor profile continues throughout. It is a medium bodied smoke full of flavor.

The Broadleaf Maduro Toro:

Construction: Again perfectly rolled nice solid stick.

Appearance: Dark brown rustic broadleaf.

Prelight aroma: Sweet Manure scent at foot. For new smokers this is a very good thing. Free flowing draw.

This cigar is a step up in strength from the Connecticut with great room aroma.

Overall both these are excellent smokes and I look forward to smoking both of them again.

The Camacho Connecticut Monarca (Robusto)

I recently acquired a box of Camacho Connecticut Monarcas (Robustos) and thought I should revisit them with a proper review.

Appearance: Beautiful Golden Connecticut Shade wrapper with only the tiniest of veins.

Construction: Rock solid with no soft spots. Free flowing pre-light draw. Pre-light scent of mild smell of barnyard at the foot

Flavor: This is a medium body smoke not as strong as the average Camacho. It is creamy with hints of nuts and cookie dough and spice. There is ample pepper on the nose. Let’s not forget this is a Honduran cigar.

Room Aroma: A lot of times we can’t smell the cigar we are smoking. The Connecticut has a wonderful room aroma.  As a matter of fact, whenever I’m smoking one my wife comments “What are you smoking? That smells nice”.

The Monarca has a nice solid white ash and a razor sharp bun line requiring zero touch-ups.

The cigar has a great finish with hints of Cinnamon. 

Overall this is a great cigar with your morning cup of coffee which can be smoked any time of day. I highly recommend to all smokers from beginners to the more experienced.

Cigar Review: Is the La Caridad Del Cobre 1608 A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing?

I first  met Frank Herrera, one of the founders of La Caridad Del Cobre 1608 (1608) on Twitter (@cigarlaw) when I had a question about the legality of Americans possessing  cuban cigars.  We have very similar feeling on the subject and a bond was formed.

He later sent me some samples of the 1608 to try.  He sent me 2 Robustos and 3 Torpedos. This review will cover both sizes as they are very similar in construction, strength and flavor profile.

It is no secret to anyone who follows me on twitter that I am a fan of Cuban Crafters Cigars out of Miami. When Frank told me that the blend was developed with Manual Medina I was excited to try some.

Like most of the cigars coming out of Cuban Crafters they are perfectly rolled with no soft spots to be found. The pre-light scent has hints of earth and molasses. I have found that scent to be a Cuban Crafters signature. It may be in the curing process but I guess that will be their secret.

A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing?  When you inspect the cigar you notice the fine mild looking wrapper. You get that awesome mild sweet earthiness. The pre-light draw is perfect, not too free flowing, not too restricted.  So what the heck am I talking about?

Once you light the stick  there is a power bomb that goes off. This mild manner cigar packs quite a punch. The fact that it comes in such a pretty package lets it sucker punch you.  But it is a good sucker punch. Loaded with complex flavors.

It weighs in as a full flavored / medium-full strength cigar. With Plenty of pepper for the “pepper heads” but with a complexity that may surprise.

I really enjoyed this cigar and look forward to buying a box and adding it to my regular rotation.