Archive for April, 2006

Brave New Blog

April 2, 2006

This morning I was bored and had nothing to do, so I just started looking at WordPress blogs. You know, just pressing the NEXT BLOG link over and over.

There are quite a few interesting blogs here, aren't there? And then there are some that fall into the category of why do you even bother to write when you don't have anything to say?) I'll admit that there are probably a lot of people who feel that way about my blog as well.)

And then there's the My life sucks and is so miserable let me tell you about it so you can feel sorry for me, too blog. Man, instead of crying and whining all over the blogosphere, why don't you do something constructive about your problems? Like sticking your head in a gas oven for a couple of hours…

And there are the ones I've added to my blogroll, since I actually found them interesting and will keep reading them.

Here's a novel idea: WordPress's editor has a spell checker! Learn to use it. And please: learn how to write. At the very least, proofread your posts before you publish them. A lot of you have some serious and/or interesting things to say, but there are a lot of people who will blow right by them if you can't spell or construct a proper sentence. You have to know what the rules are before you can break them. Oh, well–I'm still bored, so I'm still looking.


My Pipes So Far

April 2, 2006

Daylight Savings Time arrived last night. Or, given that the change comes at 2 a.m., I should say "this morning." But since most of us are loath to wake up at 2 to reset our clocks, so we do it before we go to bed, "last night"is close enough. Except for me, it wasn't last night–it was Friday night. Yep, I was off by a day. So when my alarm went off at 7 a.m., I was up and dressed before I noticed the clock on my computer and realized I had a whole hour an a half to kill before I had to leave for work.

So the first thing I did was take advantage of the extra time to brew a pot of coffee and to fire up my Peterson with (of course) Bayou Morning Flake. Alas! That was the end of the tin! But tomorrow's payday, and Tobacco Road (my tobaconnist) is right on the way home from the bank, and you can guess the rest.

And tomorrow evening is when I have to make good on my eBay purchases. Since I bought 3 very nice pipes for about $30 (including shipping!), I'm not going to complain. Now if I can only get that pipe stand I'm bidding on…

So what did I buy this time? A very nice, gently used Savinelli Extra:


Then there's the almost-brand-new La Roma #11 briar bulldog ("bulldog" in this case referring to the shape of the pipe):


And finally, there's the brand-new rosewood-look pipe:


Going on eBay is like sending a kid to the candy store. Fortunately, I know when to stop. Does that sound familia? I can quit whenever I want. I'm not addicted.

Only time will tell.


Stop me before I bid again!

April 2, 2006

You see, doc, nobody told me when I started smoking a pipe that it was addictive. I don't mean the nicotine–that's bad enough, but I can live with it. But what I didn't realize was the danger of the overwhelming obsession with collecting pipes.

I bought my first pipe a couple of months ago. It was a nice Savinelli bent billiard. I thought $80 was a reasonable price, especially when my local pusher^h^h^h^h^h^h tobaconnist threw in $20 worth of his own blends, and let me have my choice of which ones I wanted. (Boy, is that Sierra Truffle ever good! But that's another story.)

Then I read on ASP that it's a good idea to have a pipe for every day of the week, so you can let each one dry out before smoking it again. So it was back to Tobacco Road (my B&M supplier). This time it was a Peterson Shannon. I'd guess it's a bent apple. Again, a decent price. And naturally I had to buy a new tobacco to go with it. C&D Bayou Morning Flake did the trick.

As time went on, I seemed to have gotten my cravings under control. I was starting to feel like a normal human being again. But then I made my first mistake: I looked at e-Bay for pipes. All of my resolutions went out the window. I found myself bidding on some pipes. But what was even worse, was I started winning!

So now I've bought two new pipes and it looks as if I'm the low bidder on 3 more. My friends are beginning to suspect I'm a serial bidder.

Is there any hope for me, doctor?

Somebody, anybody, please! STOP ME BEFORE I BID AGAIN!!

Oh, my! That’s Tasty!

April 2, 2006

I can't get over how tasty Bayou Morning is! I'd never smoked Perique before, but I can tell you this: it won't be my last!

My New Pipe

April 2, 2006

Today was payday, so I paid my bills, bought some groceries, balanced my check book, and decided I had enough money to buy not just a tin of tobacco, but a new pipe!

I've spent a lot of time over the past few days checking prices on the internet and comparing them with my local tobacconist. After figuring shipping and handling, I figured I could save maybe $5.00 by ordering from the internet.

But I can't handle the pipe before I buy it. I can't see how it feels in my hand. And I can't go to an internet vendor and ask, "Can I sample that tobacco before I buy it?"

So I went to see my friend Zeke at Tobacco Road. I knew I wanted two things: a new tin of tobacco, and a new pipe. I had pretty much decided on the tobacco, so that was a no-brainer. And I had pretty much decided on the brand pipe I wanted. I like the looks of the Peterson pipes.

I looked at a few and settled on a Shannon 03, a small walnut-colored briar. It's a small-bowled pipe, just perfect for a quick smoke during break at work. It'll take a few days to break it in, but I've got the time.

Oh, and what will I smoke in it? The tobacco I bought today, of course! Cornell & Diehl's Bayou Morning Flake. This is my first perique. Very tasty, almost chewy. Tried some in my Peterson Shannon #3. A mouthful of smoke leaves my mouth tasting almost like I have just eaten something satisfying. And did I detect a slight hint of black pepper?


It gurgled a bit towards the bottom, but I put that down to not packing my pipe well.

I'm fortunate enough to work out of doors most of the time, so it's easy for me to grab a smoke during the day. I'll be keeping my tin of Bayou Morning in my tool chest for an all-day smoke.

What’s in a name?

April 2, 2006

Penzance: Ancient market town and "Capital" of West Cornwall. Home of the "Pirates" of Gilbert and Sullivan – tourist and vacation centre of the Lands End peninsula – land of cliffs, moors, secluded beaches and spectacular scenery.

Penzance: A wonderfully complex secret recipe of the finest Virginia, choice Turkish and Orientals and Cyprian Latakia, all hand blended together, hard pressed and broad cut into thick flakes. Long matured and easily crumbled to facilitate pipe filling.

Well, guess which of the two we'll be discussing today.

I bought an ounce of Penzance about a week ago from a local tobacconist (The Briar Patch, Arden Fair Mall, Upstairs near Sears. 1689 Arden Way, Suite 2006
Sacramento, CA 95815 I was looking for an English blend, and after reading about Penzance on (, I decided to splurge.

What can I say? I thought the salesman was exaggerating when he said he smoked at least one bowl of Penzance a day. But my first ounce is all but gone, and so yesterday I went back and bought a 2 ounc tin. I won't say I've become addicted, but Penzance is available in an 8 ounce package, and it is getting close to payday…

Penzance. If you enjoy smoking a pipe, you owe it to yourself to taste this wonderful mixture. It's a bit on the pricey side, but you can find pretty good deals on the internet.

Penzance: Don't leave home without it!

The Adventure of the Smoking Man

April 2, 2006

I don't know whether Sir Arthur Conan Doyle smoked a pipe or not, but his famous detective, a Mr. Sherlock Holmes did, and that was where I first came upon the use of a pipe as an aid to thinking.

Whenever Holmes was at an impasse over a case, he would light up his pipe. "This is a two-pipe problem, Watson." He would then disappear behind clouds of smoke until he had hit upon a solution.

Conan Doyle usually but not always titled his Holmes stories "The Adventure of…" and that is where this chapter gets its title.

As for me, it is the whole ritual of pipe smoking that attracts me. I enjoy a cup of decent coffee as much as the next guy, but for calming down and centering myself, there's nothing like the ritual of brewing a daysent cuppa tay, as me old gaffer used to call it. Boiling the water, heating the pot, pouring the water on the leaves, letting the tea steep, and finally pouring it into the cup; these are very slow and deliberate steps. They calm me down, and help me reconnect with my center.


Smoking my pipe is much the same. Cleaning the pipe, selecting the smoke that's just right for my mood, the time of day, and the company; tamping it just so; lighting and drawing the first taste: a calming and centering ritual that you just don't get with a cigarette.


So what's the point of this blog, anyway? Not much, really. It's just a way for me to keep a record of tobaccos I've tried, whether I've liked them or not, and why. And I don't mind sharing what I discover with you. Good quality pipe tobacco isn't cheap, and if I can steer you towards a good smoke, or away from one that isn't quite so good, I'm happy to help.

But remember: what I post here is simply my own opinion. Smoking is a very personal habit, as are tastes in tobacco. You may not like what I do, and vice versa. So as they say in the auto commercials, Your mileage may vary.

So put that in your pipe and smoke it!