I did a long-overdue pipe cleaning today. I didn't clean every pipe that needed it, but I did clean up four pipes that were badly in need of a cleaning and reaming: the Wellington, the Kaywoodie author, the Velani Dublin and the Velani octagon. These four pipes have been getting most of the work lately, and the Wellington especially needed a good cleaning because the reservoir gets gunked up pretty bad. I use a q-tip soaked in Everclear to clean it out.
I did this cleaning today because yesterday my tobacco order came in: one pound each of Bayou Night and Gray Ghost, both from Cornell & Diehl. These two blends have been my favorite smokes for a long time, although they are very different. Bayou Night is a Perique blend that has a lot of Perique; Gray Ghost is a blend of Virginia and maduro cigar leaf. One thing they have in common is that they are both quite robust. I have really been missing the little "sting" in my nose from the Gray Ghost. I have just finished a bowl in the author and am about to load it up again. Yes, I sometimes smoke the same pipe twice in a row without cooling it. Some pipes are up to such use, and some are not. I have done this with several of my pipes and so far I have not caused the downfall of civilization, so I don't worry about it too much. Since the author has a screw-in stem, I just unscrew it, give it a cursory clean, and keep going.
The Wellington and the Velani Dublin have been my truck pipes for a good while now, in fact I consider the Wellington to be on permanent station in my truck since it has become sort of my "signature" pipe. I carry pipe cleaners and a little Everclear in an old pipe sweetener container in my truck so I can give them light cleanings between smokes. I brought them inside today because they both needed a good reaming. The cake was getting a little too thick; somewhere on the heavy side of a nickel's thickness, I'd say.
I also made a long-overdue update to my online tobacco cellar, and finally put a permanent link to it in the sidebar, if you care to see what I have on hand. I will try to keep it more current during the coming year, and update it at least once per month.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
The Chokwe peoples occupy the broad expanse of open savanna in present-day Angola and Democratic Republic of Congo. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Chokwe chiefs became increasingly involved in trade with Europeans who sought rubber, wax, and ivory as well as African slaves for their colonies in the New World. Slaves were often exchanged for firearms, and these were employed in raids on neighboring peoples that produced more captives to sell to European traders. Local leaders who prospered from this exchange frequently commissioned prestige items from local artisans to indicate their wealth and power. This tobacco pipe is one such item that demonstrates the degree to which warfare, the slave trade, and elite arts were intertwined at this time. The pipe itself was the prerogative of individuals who could afford expensive imported tobacco, generally by trading slaves, while the rifle refers to the means by which such slaves were acquired.Read the whole article here.
via Olivier at My Pipes Community
Friday, December 19, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
One of the few ads I have that pictures a white briar (third from top). During WWII, Kaywoodie had more than enough good briar warehoused to last for a long time, and they made a big deal out of it in their ads. They also were sure to create the "IMPORTED BRIAR" stamp on their pipes, which others began imitating--and still do, although now it's pretty much irrelevant (as I mentioned previously).
White briar was supposed to have the look of meerschaum and the feel of briar. In my opinion, it really has neither. White meerschaum is a soft, creamy kind of white. The Kaywoodie white briar was just briar with a special finish applied that they invented. It was bright and glossy and entirely unlike the appearance of meerschaum. Also, the finish was only skin deep, and if the pipe accidentally got scuffed or scratched too hard, the natural color of the briar would of course show through the scuff. It doesn't have the feel of briar because of that slick glossy finish. I had one once, smoked it a little, then cleaned it up nice and sold it.
Top to bottom in this ad, we have a Chesterfield (Kaywoodie's knock-off of the Peterson System pipe) billiard, a top-o-da-line Flame Grain apple with a completely gratuitous and unnecessary meerschaum lining (another gimmick), the aforementioned white briar billiard or possibly pot--hard to tell--with a rustic finish that you would probably never see on a real meerschaum, one of those Falcon knock-offs with an aluminum stem and a threaded bowl (change bowl shapes at your whim), a nice Super Grain bulldog, a straight Dublin with its own briar pipe rest (nice), a real meerschaum, and at the bottom another top-o-da-line Flame Grain without some silly insert.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
NOTE: I first posted this series two years ago, in December of 2006, on another blog. I have seen nothing to make me change my original statements.
*****Modern political correctness and rampant nannyism are revising history. Many contemporary renditions of Santa Claus have removed the pipe. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before someone re-writes "The Night Before Christmas" to remove the stump of a pipe clenched tight in his teeth.
Today and continuing through Christmas Day I will be posting a series of old portrayals of Santa Claus, one each day. No (or at least, minimal) commentary, just pictures.
The first item up is from 1901.