Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Bookworm's Table

Painting by Claude Raguet Hirst (1855-1942).  Painted 1890s.  Click to enlarge.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Pipe Smoker Quick Fix: Walter Cronkite

Walter Cronkite as a student at the University of Texas in Austin.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Pipe cleaners

The only Christmas presents William Faulkner would accept from his family were pipe cleaners.
Faulkner's stepson, Malcolm Franklin, wrote in his book Bitterweeds: Life with William Faulkner at Rowan Oak that his gifts "consisted of little bundles of pipe cleaners, some in assorted colors, others snow-white. There were all kinds of pipe cleaners in various bundles clinging precariously to the branches of the tree, each with its little tag. There was one package of Dill pipe cleaners, which Faulkner liked particularly... If he received any other gift he would carefully take it to his office and there it would remain unopened." Why the great writer would only accept these presents remains a mystery.

via Huffington Post

Monday, December 15, 2014

"True Temperance"

From Puck magazine, 1888.

via the Appendix

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Unpublished Raymond Chandler work discovered in Library of Congress

Unpublished Raymond Chandler work discovered in Library of Congress
An early, never-before-published work by crime novelist Raymond Chandler has been discovered in the Library of Congress in Washington.

The 48-page libretto to the comic opera The Princess and the Pedlar, with music by Julian Pascal, has hidden in plain sight at the library since its copyright was first registered on 29 August 1917.

The work, a copy of which was obtained by the Guardian, was found in March by Kim Cooper, shortly after she published her debut novel, The Kept Girl, featuring a fictionalised Chandler in 1929 Los Angeles.
Click for all the info and another great photo of Raymond Chandler with pipe.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Just a couple of comments on tobacco

A few days ago I remembered that I still had that sample of C&D's Briar Fox that I had received from a while back when I placed an order for a couple of pounds of bulk.  It had dried out a little, but it was still okay, and I went ahead and gave it a moistening treatment anyway.

Briar Fox is a Virginia/burley blend that is pressed into blocks.  I have to be careful with certain burley blends because some of them give me Half & Half flashbacks.  There are a few burley blends that I still like on occasion, such as C&D's Haunted Bookshop, which I still order by the pound now and then--although I like it better with more Perique.

I liked Briar Fox.  I don't normally do any very eloquent tobacco reviews, so I'll just say that I liked it and the burley was not overpowering.  So if you're looking for a decent smoke without any "spice" tobaccos in it (for some reason), you could try Briar Fox.

Comment number 2:  Today I went by the local cigar shop/tobacconist to get a few ounces of bulk to hold me over until I can make another big online order.  I've requested this mix before, so I knew I would like it:  2 ounces Virginia, 1.5 ounces Perique, 0.5 ounce Latakia.

The guy said, "a half ounce each of Perique and Latakia?"

"No," I repeated, "an ounce and a half of Perique."

He raised his eyebrows, and as he poured it into the bowl with the Virginia, remarked, "That's a lot of Perique!"

I only replied, "Yeah."

It still amuses me how it seems that everyone who works there has this thing about Perique.

It's a decent blend, very simple and nothing fancy, but it works and I like it a lot.  But if you have some kind of scary-thing going on about Perique, maybe you'd want to avoid it.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Reviving old tobacco

This is one of those things that your mileage is definitely going to vary on, but I thought I would pass this on.  I cleaned out the back of my Jeep today and found a small Mason jar with maybe 3 or 4 bowls worth of tobacco in it.  I couldn't remember what it was--it smelled like latakia--but it had been back there for a long time.  It was really dry.  Just crackling dry.  So I thought I'd go ahead and see if I could revive it enough to smoke.

This is what I do to moisten tobacco:  I put fairly small quantities of it in a small Mason jar in a sort of ring so I can put a small medicine cup upside down in the center.  I fold some tissue paper (take your pick, although I'd suggest not using anything that's been scented or lotioned) into a small square and wet it, then squeeze out pretty much all the excess water so that it's quite wet but not dripping.  I put that little square on top of the medicine cup and put the lid back on the jar.  Let it sit overnight or longer, depending on how much you want to moisten the tobacco.  Don't let it go too long or it will start forming mold.  Where I live, the one time this happened to me it took several days (one of my experiments).

It turns out that after a night of my moistening treatment, the tobacco is quite smokeable again and turns out to be some of C&D's Mountain Camp.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Pipe smoker: Roy Hardesty

Joe Gillan and Roy Hardesty (with pipe) of the Texas Rangers, photographed in Mexia, Texas in 1923.  Thanks to Traces of Texas (Facebook link).

Friday, November 7, 2014

Vintage ad (date unknown): Smoking jacket

click to enlarge

Buy a jacket, get a free pipe!

Thanks to Bill Crider's Pop Culture Blog.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pipe smoker: Nick Merfelder

click to enlarge

Nick Merfelder petting his dog in Fort Davis in 1896. Mr. Merfelder was born in Bavaria, immigrated to the United States as a young man, and eventually ended up in Fort Davis, Texas. He was the post's musician, barber, photographer, and justice of the peace.

Thanks to Traces of Texas (Facebook link).

Monday, October 20, 2014

Saturday, October 11, 2014

A picturesque but unnamed pipe smoker

A man of the Svan people with traditional dagger and long pipe in the village of Mestia in the mountains of Georgia, Russian Empire, circa 1888-1900.

via My Ear-Trumpet Has Been Struck By Lightning