Saturday, May 31, 2008

Vintage Ad (1911): The Defi Pipe

I don't know how they coined the name "Defi," but here is another gimmick pipe from ages gone by. Apparently it has a metal loop in the bowl with a twistable ring on top. Twist the ring, the built-in loop scrapes away cake. Not a good idea, in my opinion, but then I suppose their "improved scientific secret process" does away the need for a decent cake. Note the P-lip bit. Click for the larger version that may be readable (depending on your vision).

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

How am I ever going to fit this in my pipe rack?

Receiving a package today from my good friend Brer of Power Of Babel. The "bleeding heart" tomahawk pipe from At 22 inches long, this is definitely a two-fisted pipe. It only has a false edge, but I suppose I could sharpen it in case I ever need to split any white-eye's skulls.

Why a heart? Why, because it's full of mercy, of course.

Monday, May 26, 2008

DGT: Delayed Gratification Technique

I noticed the recent poll at My Pipes Community is about DGTing. As is common with online polls, the multiple-choice answers are not complete enough. Especially egregious and misleading is the final choice: "Never. I know how to keep my pipe lit."

Knowing how to keep your pipe lit is entirely irrelevant when it comes to the DGT. The entire purpose of DGTing is not to give up on a pipe that is difficult to keep lit, but to intentionally delay re-lighting to create a new flavor experience.

If you are unfamiliar with the term Delayed Gratification Technique, or DGT, it is simply this: light your pipe and smoke part of it, but leave at least half a bowl unsmoked (in my opinion). Then put it down, allow it to go out, and re-light it again some time later.

I always like to quote Kinky Friedman on the topic. Although he was writing about cigars, the principle stills applies.
I was on my second cup of coffee and slightly past the midway point of the cigar I'd lit after I talked to Bill Dick. I didn't usually like to smoke a cigar past the midway point. I liked to store them for a while in the wastebasket and fire up the remaining portion at a later date. In the manner of a fine wine, you had to let a half-smoked cigar age a bit. Had to let it breathe. A lot of people didn't understand this, but I didn't understand a lot of people.

I smoke as many as ten cigars a day and I expect to live forever. Of course I don't inhale. I just blow the smoke at small children, green plants, vegetarians, and anybody who happens to be jogging by at the same time that I'm exhaling.

You have to work at it if you want to be a good smoker. Especially today with all the nonsmoking world constantly harassing you. It's enough to make you drink. I poured a shot of Jameson Irish Whiskey into a third cup of coffee and I sat down at my desk.

I thought of what Charles Lamb, the renowned British essayist, had said when someone asked him how he could smoke so many cigars and pipes. He said: "I toil after it, sir, as some men toil after virtue." Not bad, Chuck.

(excerpt from A Case of Lone Star)
There are two good reasons to DGT a pipe, and neither of them have anything to do with having trouble keeping the leaf burning: one; you are interrupted by unavoidable business during the smoke and have no option but to put it down and re-start it again later, and two; you do it because you enjoy it.

I can honestly say that I fall into both categories.

So one may ask: how long should one allow the pipe to sit cool and fallow before re-lighting it? The answer is entirely subjective and at the whim of the individual pipe smoker. If I am going to DGT a pipe, I personally prefer to let it sit and stew in its own juices for several hours, often overnight.

I have no doubt that the DGT is not for everyone. It has a way of dramatically increasing the robustness of even the most robust of blends. I would especially warn all smokers that if you are not a terribly huge fan of Perique, you absolutely do not want to DGT any blend with an appreciable amount of Perique. I, on the other hand, often add extra Perique to various blends and have DGT'd them all in my quest for the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster of pipe tobaccos.

Give it a try if you haven't. You may be pleasantly surprised at the fresh (and I use that term figuratively) dimensions of flavor that are introduced. Or, you may be thoroughly disgusted. But do not make the mistake of thinking that it has anything to do with difficulty in keeping a pipe lit. It is simply another technique available to the pipe smoker to allow further exploration of the flavors and smells inherent in any given blend of tobacco.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Vintage Ad (1925): Prince Albert pipe tobacco

A Prince Albert tobacco ad from 1925 featuring what I have come to think of as "The Archetypal Codger."

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Featured Pipe Smoker: Earl "Fatha" Hines

Earl Kenneth "Fatha" Hines (1903-1983)

Jazz pianist Earl "Fatha" Hines, born in Duquesne, Pennsylvania, originally intended to play cornet like his father, but quickly discovered that doing so would prevent him from smoking a pipe while he played. But seriously, he supposedly dropped the cornet because the blowing made his head hurt. His mother was a church organist, and after giving up the cornet he studied piano, being classically trained to some extent. Hines had an ear for music, and was able to play popular show tunes and movie music after hearing it only once or twice.

He met Louis Armstrong in 1925, and by 1927 was directing Armstrong's band. In 1928 he began leading his own big band. In 1951 het re-met Armstrong and teamed up with him again for a few years. During the early 1960s he more or less retired from jazz and opened a tobacconist's shop in Oakland, California.

In 1964 he was "rediscovered" and became immensely popular and in-demand, recording regularly until his death in 1983.

Earl Hines was, and remains, an enormous influence on jazz music.

Friday, May 16, 2008

One that Kaywoodie never thought of: the noseblaster

I'm sure most readers of this blog are already familiar with the term "nosewarmer." For those who aren't, "nosewarmer" is a term used for a very short pipe with a bent stem that hangs directly, or almost directly, under the nose. So what do you call a pipe that is aimed directly at the nose? I propose the term, "noseblaster."

This pipe turned up in a recent eBay auction. The seller claims this is a Kaywoodie Chesterfield. From the only photo included (shown below), we can safely assume that the bowl is indeed from a Chesterfield. I have mentioned this pipe before. It was Kaywoodie's knock-off of the Peterson System pipe, with a moisture-catching reservoir below the air passage in the shank. The Chesterfield was also equipped with a bent stem and a P-lip bit.

I do find this stem interesting, because it bears the same anonymous white logo as an unknown lovat in my collection.

The things people will try to sell. Good grief.

UPDATE: Four different bidders went for it. It sold for $21.50. The things people will buy.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Inaugural pipe

Bayou Night in a Kaywoodie author, now that I have some time to smoke a pipe in my new Sanctum Sanctorum. This is the first day I've had time to sit down and relax with a pipe and a computer after work since we moved in last Saturday.

I have the doors to my room both closed, since this will be my pipe-smoking room and I will try to keep the smoke out of the rest of the house. However, I still want to put an air purifier in here to minimize smell from leaking out. If anyone has recommendations for a good air purifier, please leave a comment.

Monday, May 12, 2008

I'm back

I just got the phone hooked up. I'm back on the Internet. Feel free to smoke a pipe in celebration. I know I will.