Sunday, July 29, 2012

What do you dream about?

One of my favorite Bare Naked Ladies songs has always been the song that repeats the question: When you dream, what do you dream about?

Mostly my dreams are wierd and not to be mentioned, however, when I dream about pipes there are some dreams with noting.

I dream about smoking a pipe that has a loop in the stem.  Even though I could never clean it.

I dream about being able to blow a smoke ring and then blowing a puff of smoke cleanly through the hole in said smoke ring.

I dream about smoking my pipe at work.

I dream about smoking in such a way that it makes me look dignified,

I dream about smoking with some of the bloggers and YouTube pipe smokers that I have watched. Particularly Chris, Pipe Pastor, Joffrey, Bold O'D, Kevin, and a few select others.

I dream of sharing a pipe with Mr. B.  I just hope he will carry the conversation.

I dream of investing several hundred dollars into my tobacco cellar, just for fun.

I dream of living in a world where people once again appreciate the fine art of pipe smoking and admire those who have taken the time to master the art as they should.

What do you dream about?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Why Pipe Smoking is Important to me...

This applies to a few of the things that I enjoy. Pipe smoking, beer, tea, there should be a few other delicate pleasures on this list. Why is pipe smoking so important to me? It is not to be esoteric, or somehow more selective than other people. I would never want to be the fellow who looks down his nose at someone who seemed to know less than I do about an issue of taste. This is not usually very difficult because I know very little, when it comes right down to the point. But, the reason why it is so imprtant: It makes me slow down and pay attention to what is happening right now. Each puff is like a puff of freedom. I don't need to concern myself with what the next puff of the pipe will taste like, I can focus on this one. I can wait until the smoke has rolled around my mouth for several seconds to exhale it slowly out of my nose at first and then blowing the balance out of my mouth and watching the beautiful smoke float away and dissapate into the night time air. This is what I appreciate about pipe smoking. Most people don't know that I smoke. I would classify it as being integral to my self image. Of course I don't know that there is any taste or activity that I would want to affect other's veiw of me. I would rather that category be filled by the sort of sentiments like: "Brad, you mean the guy who Jesus loves? Yeah, I've met him." This was introduced to me all over again when I roasted coffee for the first time. Having been involved in the process enable me to slow down and appreciate the experience. The feel in my mouth. The different highs and lows in both flavor and sensation. This is also the case with tea. I suppose I like any taste or sensual experience that causes me to slow down and pay attention to it. I admit, I often drink coffee and just drink it. Looking only for the affect of the drug. I also consume food with the same cold indifference to just get the food in. Never paying attention to the great pleasure and complex joys that God made eating an apple to be. I want less of that type of "cramming it in" experience to occur in my life. The real payout? I waste countless moments of time just "surviving". Just getting along. I sit with my children and think about what I will do once they are in bed. This is a worse injustice then smoking a pipe and not tasting. There is no way to compare this horrible oversight with taking a cup of coffee for granted. I want to learn to appreciate the coffee, appreciate the pipe, appreciate the tea in hopes of learning to appreciate the evenings I get to spend with my beautiful wife. I hope, through enjoying that simple moment of pipe smoke I will spend the next afternoon with my children and cherish each beautiful second. And that, my friends, is what makes pipe smoking so important to me today.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

New Year's Resolution

There it is. A New Years Resolution that paid off. I think the key to making an excellent Resolution is making it very attainable. Take the resolution: "I'm going to work out every day this year." There is no way that resolution even CAN be kept. There is going to be a sick day, a vacation a holiday that gets in the way and slowly chisles away at the bedrock of your resolve. But lets be honest resolutions like that aren't nearly attractive once the 18th of January rolls around, but I digress. The good resolution? The things you actually want to do. Or even better the things you will do anyway. What is all of this babble about? I finally had this years NYR (New Years Resolution) pay off. I had tried Petersons "Sweet Killarney" and had not particularly enjoyed it (I imagine you could find a review of it somewhere in teh back postings). But I wanted to work out my issues and learn to love this carmel flavored dream. So the journey began. It started with a good number of tongue bites, and a decision (like any adolescent dating relationship) taht we may need a few months apart. However, we are not so immature anymore, and the time eventually came to crack the tin and try again. I will have truly failed in my NYR if I didn't work things out until next January, but then the original resolution really did not have any timeline. Nevertheless, today was the day. It was hot and a nice light aromatic was in order. But it was dry. Not dried out, just more dry than I usually allow my tobacco to become. Great scott! The problem was solved! I have never really experimented with a range of different moisture levels with my tobacco. I had just assumed that there was a sort of "baby bear" zone into which all tobacco should fall. Yet, this makes no sense at all. Each tobacco that the smoker knows well get's packed a bit differently. Each tobacco that is well known may even get smoked at different rates, or in different pipe sizes. Why should we not also control the moisture level of the tobacco in order to find its ideal smoking conditions (ISC). So it was. I enjoyed this delicate carmel creme flavored blend. Still smoking slowly and with great care. The dryer blend didn't have the same level of the aromatic flavor to it, however, it did have a delightfully playful note of it over the (previously noted) high quality virginia flavor. So, there is my lesson learned for the day! I cannot ignore a single factor and expect the best experience with each tobacco. Hooray for learning!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Haunted Bookshop

These weeks have made way for much satisfying pipe smoking. And with increased pipe smoking there is an increasing desire to write about said lovely pleasure. But what has been the head? Great question. Still a great variety of Latakia blends. I just finished my small tin of three oaks by macclelland. So nice. Great Virginia's mixed with the finest Latakia, for all I know! There has also been a good amount of Frog Morton burning up, one of my few repeat purchases. Along with Nitecap and Black Mallory. I have recently purchased two new 'baccys one Presbyterian which I invested in because I once went to a Presbyterian Church and found that everyone there was rather smokey already, so why not go for the gold! Seriously though, I'll let you know when I crack that tin. I have a handful of tins open that I have not yet finished. Including some Irish flake which is another repeat purchase, and very rewarding. I would much like to try Full Virginia Flake and Squadron Leader. But that is still future tense. The other new tobacco I have cracked enjoyed several good bowls: haunted bookshop by c and d's. This is a really nice burley blend. And it really has a nice flavor. Keep in mind, I love Burley Over The Counter blends. I do have a dream of buying a big tin of carter hall before the year is out, but it is money and I simply don't smoke enough of it to justify the purpose. Actually, i think I just like the size of the jar, on top of adoring Carter Hall, which I very much do. So Haunted Bookshop tastes to mee like all of he things I love about CH plus a perfect seasoning of perique. It really is just right, a bit more and it would gobble up the nutty burley flavor a bit less and you may not appreciate it as a major part of the blend. Double win on this one. Because someone may ask, there is also no chemical taste like unto CH. it's a good sturdy blend, likely a repurchase, though at this point I promise nothing.