Sunday, February 28, 2010

Three pounds from C&D

Today I spent over an hour packing away my recent big tobacco order--big for me, anyway, at 3 pounds. One pound each of Bayou Night, Gray Ghost and Exclusive, all from C&D. Half a pound of each was put away in vacuum-sealed bags, the rest in Mason jars.

The Gray Ghost is drier than most other tobaccos I've had, it seems. The previous batch was also on the dry side and I rehydrated it almost from the very beginning. The dryness means it takes up more space than the other blends; a Mason jar would hold only 3 ounces of Gray Ghost compared to 4 ounces of the other two. This may be something to be wary of if you are particularly particular about the moistness of your tobacco. The most dense of these three--as usual--is the Bayou Night, and I'm pretty sure that is because of the very high Perique content. I have custom-ordered Gray Ghost with Perique mixed into before; I think this is a good idea not only because I like the flavor but also because it helps bring the moisture content up.

I also updated my online tobacco cellar (link in the sidebar), so you can see what I have if you want. I'm still not entirely sure how many bowls I average per ounce of tobacco, but I think 12 sounds about right. I know from my last pound of Bayou Night that one pound lasts right about 3½ months--during which time I smoked almost nothing else. So 14 months sounds about right for what I have on hand. I would like to keep my stock at more than 1,000 bowls; the current calculation has me at 862 bowls, a little short. I do need to re-weigh some of the tinned tobaccos I've opened and put in Mason jars because I no longer have full tins and that will bring me down just a little. I'll try getting that done during the coming week.

I have posted a couple of items regarding pipe smoking on my other blog recently which I didn't include here because they are mostly aimed at non-pipe smokers, but if you wish to read them click on Gooorrraakkk!!! and Pipes and hummingbirds.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Featured Pipe Smoker: Salvador Dalí

Salvador Felip Jacint Dalí Domènech (1904-1989)
Every morning upon awakening, I experience a supreme pleasure: that of being Salvador Dalí, and I ask myself, wonderstruck, what prodigious thing will he do today, this Salvador Dalí.
The artist famous for his strikingly beautiful yet surreal works. This self portrait was made in 1921, when he was only 17.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Vintage Ad (1945): Dr. Grabow

"Baldwin can relax anywhere when he's smoking his Dr. Grabow Pre-Smoked Pipe."

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Featured Pipe Smoker: Irving Wallace

Irving Wallace (1916-1990)

"To be one's self, and unafraid whether right or wrong, is more admirable than the easy cowardice of surrender to conformity."

Prolific author Irving Wallace wrote novels and non-fiction, as well as writing some TV shows (he even wrote for Have Gun, Will Travel). Several of his books were made into movies.

He was born in Chicago and grew up in Kenosha, WI.

I read once that he liked to celebrate finishing a book by buying himself a new pipe.

Biblography of Irving Wallace.
Filmography of Irving Wallace.

International Pipe Smoking Day

Read all about it at the International Pipe Smoking Day website.
Today’s hectic environment almost dictates that we run on full efficiency, have total involvement in our work, our families and in every aspect of what we do to survive and achieve in a world set at high speed. With ever-changing values it is the intent that The International Pipe-Smoking Day will allow us, the Brothers and Sisters of the Briar to step back and appreciate our rich historical value. For pipe-smokers and pipe-smoking everywhere the day will be emblematic of our shared values, history, traditions, and aspirations.
When I get a chance, it will be 1792 Flake for me.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Vintage Ad (undated): Sterncrest

This undated Sterncrest ad is interesting to me for the visual at the top that shows how small the finished stummel is in relation to the raw burl.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Featured Pipe Smoker: Graham Chapman

Graham Arthur Chapman (1941 - 1989)

The humor of the group collectively known as Monty Python has been a great influence on me. Here is a collection of photos of Python member Graham Chapman smoking a pipe.

During a break in filming Monty Python and the Holy Grail, in which he starred as King Arthur.

Taking some shelter in the cold with most of the other pensive-looking Pythons.

Mr. Chapman appeared to favor straight pipes with longish stems and tall, straight bowls.

One of the earliest group publicity photos, taken (I think) sometime in 1969. Mr. Chapman is seated in the center, pipe in mouth, along with fellow Pythoners John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, and Eric Idle.

This shot was taken in 1982 at the Hollywood Bowl, Mr. Chapman again in the center, surrounded by the other members of Monty Python, this time also including animator Terry Gilliam, to Chapman's immediate right.

This shot, also with Mr. Chapman in the center, is from the "Twit of the Year Contest" skit. His character was named Oliver St. James Mollusk, and he somehow managed to run over himself with the car.

Chapman was born in Stoneygate, Leicester. He became a fan of radio comedy at a young age, especially a program called The Goon Show. He qualified as a physician at the Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry but never practiced professionally. He became most famous as a member of the comedy troupe Monty Python and went on the play the starring role in two of their movies: Monty Python and the Holy Grail and The Life of Brian.

For a great many more details regarding his life and work, I refer you to his Wikipedia entry.

Graham Chapman died of spinal cancer in 1989, one day before the 20th anniversary of the first broadcast of Monty Python.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Vintage Ad (1895): Durham Tobacco

I don't know if Durham made tobacco for pipe smoking or just for roll-your-own cigarettes, but that was more than 6 million of today's dollars.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Featured Pipe Smoker: Alan Watts

Alan Watts (1915 - 1973)

"Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth."

Born in England in 1915, Alan Watts attended King's College School Canterbury, served on the Council of the World Congress of Faiths (1936-38), and came to the United States in 1938. He held a Master's Degree in Theology from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary and an Honarary DD from the University of of Vermont in recognition of his work in the field of comparative religions.

Alan Watts become widely recognized for his Zen writings and for The Book On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are. He died in 1973 at his home in California, and is survived by his second wife and seven children.

For more than forty years, Alan Watts earned a reputation as a foremost interpreter of Eastern philosophies for the West. Beginning at age sixteen, when he wrote essay for the journal of the Buddhist Lodge in London, he developed an audience of millions who were enriched through his books, tape recordings, radio, television, and public lectures. In all Watts wrote more than twenty-five books and recorded hundreds of lecture and seminars, all building toward a personal philosophy that he shared in complete candor and joy with his readers and listeners throughout the world. His overall works have presented a model of individuality and self-expression that can be matched by few philosophers.

His life and work reflect an astonishing adventure: he was an editor, Anglican priest, graduate dean, broadcaster, author, lecturer, and entertainer. He has fascinations for archery, calligraphy, cooking, chanting, and dancing, and still was completely comfortable hiking alone in the wilderness.

He held fellowships from Harvard University and the Bollingen Foundation, and was Episcopal Chaplain at Northwestern University during the Second World War. He became professor and dean of the American Academy of Asian Studies in San Francisco, made the television series "Eastern Wisdom and Modern Life" for National Educational Television, and served as a visiting consultant for psychiatric institutions and hospitals, and for the United States Air Force. In the mid-sixties he traveled widely with his students in Japan, and visited Burma, Ceylon, and India.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Vintage Ad (1934): Campbell's Tomato Soup

Okay, so it isn't a pipe ad, but it's my blog and I'll post what I want. This 1934 ad for Campbell's Tomato Soup features an image of one of my favorite authors, Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), smoking what appears to be a Peterson and contemplating a very large tomato.