Thursday, January 15, 2015

Latakia Nights

So very long since I have posted.  Thank you, dear reader for checking back in.  It seems to have been ages.  The reason is simple.  I have not been smoking my pipes enough lately.  Cold weather? Yes.  Busy? Sure.  Mostly just bad priorities.  I have suffered in my mental state for not taking the careful and conscious time of reflection and smoking.  I haven't sacrificed any animals or anything of that nature or woken up in a place that I didn't fall asleep...I have just been stretched.  It is time to get the pipes out.  It is time to return.

The Latakia called me back.

Special Balkan from Edwards.  The cool kindness of Latakia called me back to the great contemplative pass-time.  So wonderful.  There was reviewer of this lovely tobacco that suggested that it makes them feel like they just finished Thanksgiving dinner.  This is a smoke that brings great satisfaction to me.  It isn't just the latakia, the whole package together provides an sense of pleasure that demands that everything slow down.  To a halt.  The world can commence once the experience is over.  And so it is.  The pipe must be smoked and the Special Balkan is supreme.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

"Does Jesus Get Amazed?"

I received the following question from a young lady in our congregation.  Praying and considering it has touched me and I wanted to share this remarkable question and my thoughts:

"I was wondering, does Jesus ever get amazed?"  

Jesus is seated right now at the right hand of the Father, and I am not sure what his daily reactions to things here on earth specifically looks like.  For us being amazed has to do with being surprised, much of the time, and I don't believe Jesus is ever surprised because he knows everything.

However, Jesus was absolutely amazed when He walked on earth.  What amazed Jesus is VERY important.  Matthew 8:5-10 tells about a time when a centurion (a Roman Soldier who was in charge of a hundred other soldiers) came to Jesus because he wanted Jesus to heal a person who worked in his house.  When Jesus said He would come the Centurion told Jesus, in my words: "I believe that You are so powerful that you can heal my servant from wherever you are."  He really believed that Jesus was able to heal his servant.  Then verse 10 says this: "Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled and said to those who were following, "Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel." (Matthew 8:10 NASB)

So, I believe Jesus looks on with marveling wonder when we trust Him.  I believe Jesus is amazed whenever you choose to trust Him with your self and your circumstances.  Jesus is amazed at what he created in you!

Thank you, again, for your question. It is a great encouragement to me.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Ghosts of Previous Pleasure

One of my favorite pleasures of pipe smoking is the day after.  Early in my pipe smoking life, and for probably the first several years after, the day following a pipe was marked by a thoroughly charred, gritty mouth.  This was because I had not yet learned to appreciate my pipe.  Taking large, greedy puffs, I attacked my pipe smoking much like a lioness may attack some fleetfooted prey.  The result?  The smoke died and took my tongue with it.  Some years of wisdom changed the experience.  Now pipe smoking is left with few, if any undesirable mouth feelings (especially when dealing with well known pipes and tobaccos that have become old friends).  The enjoyment of the tobacco at its own pace, in gentle sips, has given me great reward for some years.  The mystery of the chemistry I cannot explain.  But one of my favorite experiences is the slight hint of aftertaste as much as 24 hours after. Even after several brushings and mouthwashings (two to be exact) and two good meals I can still detect a hint of everything I smoked the night before.  I love these surprises!

Last night I enjoyed three bowls of tobacco with a dear friend.  Today I was reminded of the pleasant and meaningful conversation we shared by tasting in turn the richness of the first bowl of Dunhill 965, the frank beautiful simplicity of a bowl of Velvet and the full sweetness of Black Gold Plus.  With the memory of those sweet tobaccos coming in turn the memory of the gentle and genuine conversation drifts to and fro like gentle puffs of smoke on the evening breeze.  What a blessed thing to enjoy a pipe and the company of another dear like-minded brother in Christ.  What a great blessing this!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Back to the Bowl

The time has come.  So may things have distracted me from my beloved tobaccos.  Cold weather has forbidden the long self-indulgent hours of pipe puffing.  As I continue to age I make stranger and stranger priority choices.  It simply isn't worth being physically uncomfortable to enjoy a pipe.  However, there are always a few bowls on shoveling days.  This, still, holds no candle to the evenings with a cup of tea and a pipe burning quietly away.  Our fourth child is finally on his feet, and this means that there are more opportunities for him to be a bit more independent and mommy is less tired so daddy gets increased opportunities to enjoy the blessed tobacco weed.

So much excitement for this smoking season.  I have three tins that I have stored up and am waiting to try, two of which are new!  I have a tin of Nightcap that is waiting to be opened and I cannot wait to return to that sweet latakian goodness again.  Additionally I have some Dunhill Standard Mixture which is a great excitement to me as I have loved 965 and London Mixture.  So much joy ahead!  Finally, I was given a tin of Rattray's Bagpiper's Dream, which I have decided to love, because I love bagpipes and am an amateur bagpiper.  And so it goes.  Let the smoking begin, and hopefully, the pipe blogging!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Burns Supper

The Burns Supper was simply lovely.Haggis gets a bad rap, but is actually quite tasty. Truly a delight. Good food, good company, good poetry and a pipe. Oh and good whiskey. Tough to beat that!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Presbyterian Mixture and Squadron Leader

Alas, so long between posts. And yet, we do what that for which the spare moments are provided! The Presbyterian mixture experiment was a success. The final conclusion (of mine)is that Presbyterian mixture is an excellent, high quality tobacco, perfect for an everyday smoke. It falls very well into the wonderful category of Dunhill 965 and others that would never fail to satisfy at any time of day. I never did find anything shocking or striking about this blend, just pure, sweet enjoyment. It is a solid blend, and well worth trying if you are a fan of virginias. Very much enjoyed.
To add to that I had an opportunity to crack a tin of Squadron Leader. Because I bought a rectangular tin I expected this to be a flake tobacco, however, it is ribbon cut. The tin offers a beautiful mix of dark tobaccos and lighter tobaccos. I am told there are some orientals in this mix, and I believe it is so, but it is not a "Latakia forward" blend. The orientals are looming in the background giving it a nice depth, but they are easy to overlook if I'm not paying attention. This is another blend that I would classify with 965 and Presbyterian mixture as being a good, solid, all-day smoke. Pleasant and not overwhelming at any point. If I had to gauge this tobacco against the others I would have to say that it runs third to 965 and Presbyterian, but very nice. I don't think I would keep all three around all the time, but I will always want to have one of the three on hand. It makes for nice variety.
Finally, I have been having another go around with Edward's bulk blend "Coco Creme". This is a blend that I very much enjoy. A sort of natural-aromatic that has a nice cavendish flavor and then the nice creamy finish that tastes and smells remarkable of chocolate. Truthfully, I find my chocolate smoking urge more fulfilled in Black Gold, but this is a nice blend unto itself. I have on my list of "someday" Bob's Chocolate flake, and if the opportunity arises I would like, one day, to mix up some of Jeoffre's Chocolate Manhood. However, those goals are down the road somewhere. Coco Creme has it's charms, to be certain, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for the particular experience it provides. However, the one looking for the goopy "I just smoked a mars bar!" experience may find greater satisfaction elsewhere. Where that is, I could not say. However (while not at all goopy) Black Gold is always a winner for the pipe smoker with a sweet tooth.