Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Pipe Smoker: Jerry Keller

From Jerry Keller's official web site:
I was born on the 20th of June, 1938 in Fort Smith, Arkansas, USA.

After moving to Tulsa in 1944, I formed the Lads Of Note Quartet in the 50′s before joining the Tulsa Boy Singers. I won a talent contest organized by band leader, Horace Heidt, which earned me the vocalist job with Jack Dalton’s Orchestra.

I then spent nine months as a disc jockey in Tulsa before moving to New York in 1956. I recorded a series of demos for record companies before fellow performer Pat Boone introduced me to Marty Mills who then became my manager.

I recorded the self-penned ‘Here Comes Summer’ for the Kapp record label, and it became a US summer hit in 1959. Ironically, it did not enter the UK charts until late August as the warmer months lapsed into Autumn, but it still went to number 1.

I recorded follow-up records such as ‘If I Had A Girl’ and ‘Now Now Now’.

In 1960, I toured the UK replacing Eddie Cochran in a package tour engagement after Cochran died in a car crash.

In 1964, I fell in love and got married.

Throughout the 70′s and 80′s, I recorded jingles (commercials) full-time.

In 1977, I appeared in the film You Light Up My Life and the following year in If I Ever See You Again.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Democracy in the Tobacconist's

Democracy in the Tobacconist's by Jonah Goldberg.  Interesting article, and although it primarily is about cigars, many of the sentiments expressed can apply to pipes as well.

Note:  I am not a cigar smoker, but I have nothing against cigars.  It just seems to me that the good cigars are too expensive for me to spend my money on when I can get more "smoking time" by spending my money on pipe tobacco.  If someone were to offer me a cigar to sample, I would not turn it down.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Monday, December 23, 2013

Pipe Smoker (legendary): Olentzero

From Salinas Restaurant NYC:
One great example is Spain’s version of Santa Clause, Olentzero. Legend has it that Olentzero was a giant and lived in the Pyrenees with other members of the Jentillak, a clan of giants. The tale states that they saw a glaring light coming from the clouds that only a partially blind member of the Jentillak could manage to see. He knew the light signified the birth of Jesus. Stunned and afraid, the story has it that all the giants left the Pyrenees, but Olentzero stayed to embrace Christianity. Ever since this day Olentzero makes a trip to town each December 24th to bestow great gifts and kindness upon all the children.

From Wikipedia:
There are many variations to the Olentzero traditions and stories connected to him, sometimes varying from village to village. The first written account of Olentzero is from Lope de Isasti in the 17th century: A la noche de Navidad (llamamos) onenzaro, la sazón de los buenos ("To Christmas eve (we call) onenzaro, the season of the good ones". One common version has Olentzero being one of the jentillak, a mythological race of Basque giants living in the Pyrenees. Legend has it that they observed a glowing cloud in the sky one day. None of them could look at this bright cloud except for a very old, nearly blind man. When asked to examine it, he confirmed their fears and told them that it was a sign that Jesus will be born soon. According to some stories, the old man asked the giants to throw him off a cliff to avoid having to live through Christianisation. Having obliged him, the giants tripped on the way down and died themselves except Olentzero.

Other versions have the jentillak simply leaving, with only Olentzero remaining behind to embrace Christianity.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Screen capture from A Christmas Carol (1971) animated

This version of A Christmas Carol is one I remember very fondly from my childhood, and have lamented for many years that it wasn't being shown on television anymore.  Fortunately, a helpful YouTuber has uploaded the entire show.  Here we see two pipe-smoking lighthouse keepers celebrating and singing "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" during the Ghost of Christmas Present sequence.

The full show is embedded below.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Knit sweaters

This and several more pipe-smoking models with their sweaters at My Ear-Trumpet Has Been Struck By Lightning.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Pipe Smoker quick fix: Samuel Clemens

"She and I were really one person and there were no secrets. Sometimes I was that person, sometimes she was that person. Sometimes it took both of us together to constitute that person."
Samuel Langhorne Clemens with his wife, Olivia Langdon Clemens.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Santa smokes a pipe #52

And so does that little guy down in front!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Vintage Ad (1925): Kelly-Springfield Tires

From the April 1925 issue of National Geographic Magazine, featuring a pipe-smoking golfer loading up his automobile.  Thanks to the Ear-Trumpet.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Well, look what I found...

I used to use Ohio Blue Tip matches for all my pipe-lighting needs many years ago, but then one day they simply vanished from the stores.  Since then, I have been using Diamond matches, and wondered whatever happened to the Blue Tips.  I read at some point that the Diamond company had bought the Ohio Blue Tip company and that was why the Ohio Blue Tip brand name had disappeared.

But here it is again.  Unfortunately, they had only this one box of strike-on-box matches (I prefer strike anywhere) that bears the old company logo.  The rest of the boxes had a picture of a bulldog(?!) on them.  The supermarket where I bought them still had their usual stock of "green" Diamond matches as well.

It was nice to be able to buy a box of Blue Tips again, even though these are the large "kitchen match" style and I usually use the smaller wooden matches for pipe lighting.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Bruce & Sherlock

click to enlarge

Bruce Wayne
Sherlock Holmes

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Pipe lore: Davy Crockett's bear

David Crockett had a pet bear that would sit over on the other side of the fireplace from him and smoke a pipe just like Crockett until bedtime.  He finally got so civilized that he took whooping cough and died from it.  Crockett never did forgive the preacher for refusing to give that a bear a Christian funeral.

--J. Frank Dobie
excerpt from "Bears Are Intelligent People"
from Old-Time Tales of Texas

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Vintage Ad (1931): Dunhill

In the early 1900s, Alfred Dunhill wanted to expand his business ventures into France, but the French tobacco industry had a legal monopoly on all things pipes and tobacco, so Dunhill couldn't sell his pipes there. Not to be deterred, he created his own line of men's accessories: clothing, pens, cologne, etc. He was so successful that he began selling these same accessories in his pipe stores in England.

So when you go into your local tobacco store (if they still exist) and you find not only pipes, cigars & tobacco but also chess sets, walking canes, and all sorts of other oddments, remember Alfred Dunhill.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Pipe Smoker (fictional): William Walter Wordsworth

William Walter Wordsworth is a fictional character from the novel/manga/anime series Trinity Blood.  This series, which began as a series of graphic novels, has--in my opinion--a somewhat preposterous plot but some great artwork and a very cool anti-hero who does not smoke a pipe and is therefore not a part of this post.

So, trying make a long story somewhat shorter, about 100 years in our future, humans tried to colonize Mars and found two different alien bacilli there.  Some humans injected themselves with one of these bacilli and were changed into the Methusela (as they call themselves), or as we would know them, vampires.  Four test-tube babies were the only ones to survive being injected with the other bacillus, which were actually nanomachines, which turned them into Crusniks.  Crusniks are another kind of vampire which can receive their necessary sustenance only by feeding on the blood of "regular" vampires.

There was a big war between humans and Methusela, followed by a very long cold war.  The story begins about 1,000 years in our future when the cold war is cooling down into a very uneasy peace, occasionally aggravated into flare-ups of violence by radicals on both sides. There are three major powers:  the Methusela, the Vatican (the Roman Catholic Church), and the Kingdom of Albion.

Wordsworth is a priest of the Roman Catholic Church, although the Church of 1,000 years in the future would be almost unrecognizeable to us in the present day.  He was a great intellectual prodigy from the University of Londinium who was framed by another human for an incident which resulted in the death of Wordsworth's fiancée and expelled.  He is currently a professor at the University of Rome, where he is also one of the founding members of the AX, a sort of secret group within the Church who work to quell violent uprisings.  Although a professor (and frequently called simply The Professor), he doesn't like to teach and prefers to do research and is an inventor, although many of his inventions have failed spectacularly, usually by exploding.  He is also very proficient in combat using a sword-cane.

I've included three illustrations of him here from all three adaptations.  The illustrations from the graphic novels are very elaborate, detailed and artistic.  Our first picture shows him sitting at his desk smoking a pipe that appears to be carved from a single knobby burl, stem and all (click to enlarge).

The next picture, from the manga, shows him with what looks like a very similar pipe.

The anime adaptation is quite different.  In contrast to the other two versions, the anime has been greatly simplified with much cleaner lines, probably to make it easier to animate.  The anime version of Wordsworth smokes a pipe that appears to be carved from a single block of some white material such as meerschaum, except for the bit which looks like it's a separate piece.

Wordsworth is almost never seen without his pipe.

Popeye demotivational poster

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Pipe Smoker (fictional): Kisuke Urahara

I will try to avoid an inordinate amount of detail in this post.  If I say anything that you don't understand, check the Bleach wiki (linked below) to read about it.

Kisuke Urahara is a fictonal character from the manga/anime series Bleach.  In the past, he was a captain of one of the Soul Reaper squads and lived in the Soul Society, however, due to breaking some Soul Reaper laws, he was exiled to the world of the living where he now lives disguised as a normal human.

He appears to be an eccentric owner of a small odds-and-ends convenience-type store with a prediliction for selling candy.  However, the shop is actually a front for his sometimes supplying Soul Reapers in the world of the living with what we would consider to be "supernatural" devices to aid them in their jobs or in their lives while spending time in the world of the living.

He appears as a tall human male with disheveled blonde hair that hangs in front of his face.  He wears a coat that somewhat resembles a Soul Reaper captain's haori (or kimono).  He also wears a white and green striped hat with a brim that always casts his eyes into shadow.  He rarely removes it.  He also often carries a hand fan, which he sometimes teasingly uses to cover his mouth.  He seems to do this to make himself appear to be smiling and saying something jokingly when in fact he's quite serious.

In spite of being exiled to appearing as a normal human, he still retains all of his quite considerable powers.  He commonly uses a walking cane, although he doesn't need it.  In fact, his cane is his zanpakuto (his sword) in a concealed form.  He behaves in a manner that many times seems frivolous and sarcastic, however his behavior is only to conceal that he knows much more than it seems, in fact much more than many of the other Soul Reapers, and that he is an extremely dangerous opponent in combat, and is one of the fastest of all the Soul Reapers.  Besides his sword-fighting ability, he is also a master of kido--the use of spiritual power in combat, which would look like some kind of "magical" combat ability to humans.

He has a brilliant intelligence as befits him, since he was the founder and first president of the Soul Reaper Research and Development Institute before his exile, and is responsible for many inventions which are still used by various other Soul Reapers.  It was some of his inventions that got him into trouble, and the misuse of one invention in particular (misuse by another Soul Reaper captain) that is at the center of the entire over-arching saga of Bleach.  He was also instrumental in the training of the story's main protagonist, Ichigo Kurusaki, and Ichigo's transformation into a truly powerful substitute Soul Reaper.

At times of rare relaxation, he can sometimes be seen smoking a pipe of the Japanese kiseru design.

See also:   Kūkaku Shiba.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pipe smoker quick fix: Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein with Leó Szilárd in 1939.  From 24 Extraordinary Photos of the Making of the Atomic Bomb at buzzfeed.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Pipe Smoker: Robert Thegerström

Robert Thegerström was a Swedish artist who lived from 1857-1919.  Above is his "Self Portrait With Pipe" from 1874.  Below is a photo of him from 1907.

link:  Robert Thegerström at Nordic Thoughts

Thursday, October 17, 2013

"A quiet smoke at last"

Vintage postcard, 1908.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

"Discarded Vices"

Still-life tintype, late 1800s.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

"Ghostly Gourds" by Norman Rockwell

Pipe smoker quick fix: Samuel Clemens with Helen Keller

Once again, a quick photo of Samuel Clemens with pipe.

And Helen Keller.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Future Dictates of Fashion

Future Dictates of Fashion, The Strand Magazine, 1893.  From The Retro Future Convention.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Giacomo Ceruiti: Portrait of a Smoking Man in Oriental Habit

By Giacomo Antonio Melchiorre Ceruti (1698-1767).

Wikipedia:   Giacomo Ceruti

Monday, September 2, 2013

Pipe smoker quick fix: Samuel Clemens

Another photo of Samuel Clemens with a calabash to add to the collection.

Paja Jovanović - Albanian Resting

Link:  Paja Jovanović at Muddy Colors

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Frederic McCubbin - "The Pioneers"

I first saw this as a very small, low res reproduction, but the position of his hand immediately made me think he was holding a pipe.  For a super-high-res version in which the pipe is clearly visible, go here.  Found at the old Ear-Trumpet.

Wikipedia:  Frederick McCubbin

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Virginia Company - "Tobacco's But An Indian Weed"

I was sent on an unexpected journey through YouTube today by my friend Brer, who posted the lyrics to an old song called Nottingham Ale.  Wishing to actually hear it, I looked it up on YouTube and found that a helpful user over there had uploaded almost the entire discography of a band called The Virginia Company.  It was hard to find much about them.  Their albums are listed at Amazon but only as collectibles, and they seem to have no internet presence at all--a hard thing to believe these days.

Anyway, I was delighted to see that they have recorded "Tobacco's But An Indian Weed."  I mentioned this song quite some time ago here, in a post about Burl Ives.  So here it is.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Animated Alan Watts

Open Culture has The Zen Wisdom of Alan Watts Animated by Creators of South Park.  I covered Alan Watts as a featured pipe smoker before here.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Blog tip: The Tobacco Pipe Artistory

My friend Brer from PowerOfBabel recently sent me a couple of pipe pix by email.  This is one of them.  I looked it up to see if I could find where he had found it, and came across an excellent pipe blog.

The world of antique pipes is a fascinating place full of surprising materials, shapes, styles, sizes and configurations and, depending on where the pipes were produced, can be encountered in a broad range of embellishments and accents in precious and semi-precious stones, silver and gold filigree, amber, ivory, horn, bone, and tortoiseshell.
Pipe Artistory covers a wide range of pipe & tobacco lore from history, with lots and lots of pictures. I recommend it.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Macro shot: Don't Tread On Me (hybrid blend)

This is a blend that I have C&D mix up for me occasionally.  It uses their house blend Gray Ghost, which is a mixture of maduro and Virginia.  I have had it mixed at different ratios, but my preferred blend is 5/8 Gray Ghost to 3/8 Perique.  I call it Don't Tread On Me.  Here's a faux tin label that I made up for it once (the Blogonomicon is one of my other blogs).

Sunday, June 23, 2013

New tobacco order has arrived

The last time I ordered tobacco from Cornell & Diehl, I got a pound of Mountain Camp.  This was one of my favorites back in the olden days, and is a cousin of my absolute favorite Bayou Night, because it contains all the same varieties but with the ratios of Latakia and Perique reversed.

I have been smoking the Mountain Camp almost exclusively lately in order to use it up, and have finally come to the end of it.  I don't think I'll order it again.  It seems I have just lost my liking for strong Latakia blends.

A couple of days ago I received a new order which I will detail in a future post soon, but for now I will just say that I am thoroughly enjoying a custom blend that I had C&D whip up for me which is heavy on the Perique.  I'll be posting a couple of macro shots of the fresh leaves that have just arrived soon and detailing once again the custom blend that I'm enjoying tonight.

I also have to look forward to some thorough reaming and cleaning to get the Latakia out of several pipes.  I don't hate it or anything like that, I just prefer it now in smaller ratios so that it doesn't dominate.  Happy puffing!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Boating, with pipe

A father and sons out boating on the lake at the German resort of Wannsee near Berlin, 1925.  Via Mental Floss.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Quite possibly the birth of a meme

The "ridiculously photogenic sea captain" from Tastefully Offensive.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Pipe Smoker (fictional): Professor Richard Impossible

Richard Impossible is a super-scientist and inventive genius; and a fictional character from the animated series The Venture Brothers (on Cartoon Network).  For those who don't watch this show, I think a little explanation may be in order.  The main protagonists are the characters Doctor Thaddeus Venture, his sons Hank and Dean, and their bodyguard Brock Sampson.  They are based on and to some extent are parodies of the Quest family from the old animated series Jonny Quest.  Various other animated characters appear in either parodized or "actual" form now and then.  For example, the whole Quest family:  Jonny, Hadji, Dr. Quest and Race Bannon have all appeared at one time or another, as did their arch-nemesis Dr. Zin.

So...back to Professor Impossible.  In addition to his qualities already mentioned, at one time there was a freak accident in his laboratory which gave him the super-power of super-stretchiness.  Unfortunately, it also afflicted his wife Sally with invisible skin--but only her skin--which she can't always control; Sally's mentally handicapped cousin Ned with 3-inch thick skin, making him look like a living callous; and her brother Cody with the horrific malady of bursting into flame whenever he is exposed to the atmosphere, which renders him unable to do anything but scream and convulse in pain.  Professor Impossible built a special capsule which Cody can lie in that prevents him from burning; however he is condemned to live in this capsule for his entire life.

So you should see by now that Professor Impossible and his family are parodies of the Fantastic Four.  Impossible himself is extremely dominating and controlling; he doesn't even want Sally to leave her room when the Ventures came to visit him.  Above is a photo of him in his special "super-hero" costume.  He is almost always seen either holding or actually smoking a pipe.  In his early days, he appeared to prefer something similar to a bent billiard.

Eventually Sally grew tired of always being controlled by him, and realizing that she would always come in second to scientific research, she left him.  The breakup of his marriage sent him into a spiral of depression and excessive drinking.  He attempted suicide twice, but was comically prevented from killing himself by his own super-stretchy abilities.

One more bit of expository explanation.  In the Venture world, there is an organization called The Guild of Calamitous Intent.  It is an organization of villains who are bound by very strict rules of behavior in how they deal with their arch-enemies.  One particular arch-villain, another super-scientist called The Phantom Limb (a freak accident gave him invisible limbs with which he is also able to deliver electric shocks by touch) broke the rules and was thrown into a Guild prison.  He escaped, and began forming his own group which he called The Revenge Society, and which would not be constricted by any polite rules of engagement.  He contacted Professor Impossible and convinced him to join the Society to get revenge on those who had wronged him (namely, Dr. Venture, who he blamed for his failed marriage).

At this point, he changed his name to Professor Incorrigible and became a super-scientist arch-villain.

Although he is still a pipe smoker, he now prefers a pipe made of something other than briar, perhaps meerschaum or--who knows, maybe bone?--shaped like a skull.

The Venture Brothers is still an ongoing story, so we have yet to see what will become of Professor Incorrigible.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Vintage Ad: Tuxedo pipe tobacco (1924)

Click for a larger version.