Friday, January 28, 2011

Monday, January 24, 2011

Cool Video- Ilsted & Tao

I came across this video yesterday and even though I can't speak a word of Danish, I think it is pretty cool. -T

A Custom Rack from Mark

Mark just finished his first pipe rack of the New Year. A custom version of the Elliot's Collector Cabinet. This one has a solid wood door and a drawer added, which I think is very nice. He was able to find a nice piece of Bird's eye for the door panel, making this a pretty cool little pipe rack. The accent colors were selected to match the paint that the customer was using in their "Man Cave", the ultimate in custom!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Smokingpipes Pt. 5- Finishing Up

After spending a delightful time chatting and smoking pipes w/ Adam, I needed to go and find a hotel for the evening. Sykes suggested one just down the street where Tokutomi stays when he is in town. Well if it's good enough for Tokutomi, it's certainly good enough for me.
All in all it was a wonderful trip and well worth the time and miles. I am amazed at the Smokingpipes operation. It is vibrant, fun and incredibly efficient. I was shocked to see how many pipe were being shipped out the day I was there. Can there really be that many pipe smokers in the world? I guess so, and Sykes and crew seem to know exactly what we all want and do a fantastic job of supplying it.
As I was heading out the door I was presented with my grand prize of the trip- a pair of Smokingpipes socks. Amazing! -T

You can see a much better account of Smoking pipes at

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Smokingpipes Pt.4 - Jack Knife Plug

Adam took me upstairs to more of the behind the scenes world of Smokingpipes and what a bustle of activity it is. It looks like a great place to work. Everyone was busy and rushing around, but they seemed to have time to joke around and socialize too.
We went to Adam's desk where he inspects and writes about the incoming new and estate pipes. It looked like a lot of work to me, but Adam seemed to handle it as if it were second nature. After showing me the ins and outs of estate pipe inspection, Adam brought out a tin of GLP Jack Knife Plug and cut off first some thicker flake cut and then some very thin shag. He explained that loading the bottom portion of the pipe bowl with the thicker flake and then finishing w/ the thin shag seemed to produce a easy lighting, long smoking pipe. He was correct. I loaded up a small bowled Wolfgang Becker that I had brought, thinking that I should be careful w/ this plug. I had heard it can pack a punch. But what I got instead was a wonderful smooth, not too sweet, not too tangy bowl of Va. Very nice. I am already looking forward to cellaring some of this stuff and trying it in 3 or 4 years ... if I can stay away from it that long. 2 thumbs up for Jack Knife Plug. -T

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Smokingpipes Pt.3- Adam Davidson

I contacted Adam before I went to South Carolina and told him I was headed his way. I think I detected a slight " you're crazy" sound in his voice when he told me to "come on", but he was certainly very welcoming when I arrived.
Adam is sort of a Renaissance Guy, he seems to be able to do whatever he puts his mind too. He makes incredible pipes, cooks, and knows a heck of a lot about a lot of stuff. Above is Adam and his amazing beef stew. I only ate a little bit, but it was an effort for me to not stick my face in the pot and start licking. -T

Monday, January 17, 2011

Smokingpipes Pilgrimage Pt.2

After a few minutes of looking over the store I mentioned to Sykes that I wanted to take advantage of their new discount plan and buy multiple tins of some of my go-to blends. Sykes said this would probably be easier by pulling the tobacco from the warehouse, a seperate building across the parking lot. We walked out the side door and over to the second building. Inside was more tobacco than I had ever seen in one place. There were tins and boxes of tins everywhere. It was a glorious sight. I had to force back tears to bring it all into focus. Sykes told me to grab what I wanted and provided me with what I thought was a large box. Turns out the box was barely big enough to hold my booty. I probably would have started on a second box, but my mind was swimming and I couldn't remember what blends I wanted or even liked. This was probably self preservation kicking in. -T

Top photo- crazy amount of tobacco I bought!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Pilgrimage to Smokingpipes

I had occasion to be in South Carolina this past week and I couldn't resist the temptation to drive an extra 300 miles (600 really, since I had to return) and see's B+M, Low Country Pipes and Cigars in Little River SC. It was a long drive, but well worth the effort. Sykes Wilford, owner and captain of the Smokingpipes ship and Adam Davidson, who acted as cruise director for my visit, met me at the door. After a very warm welcome (I thought at first they had confused me for someone important) they proceeded to show me around the store and then to all the behind the scenes activity. Here's a couple of photos of the store. More of my little adventure later. -T

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Jack Knife Plug and Snow Delays

I got sucked into the hysterical fervor surrounding the release of GL Pease's latest effort- Jack Knife Plug. On Smokers Forums the excitement was building as the release date drew near and then suddenly a post came through announcing had just received their shipment. I acted fast and ordered 2 tins. I was one of the lucky ones, I had reacted quick enough as word came that the shipment had sold out in minutes. I even ordered a special cutter for the plug that another member of the Forums recommended. Everything was going great ... until last night when I received this notice from UPS-

Bummer! I had been enjoying the snow and now it had become a wet blanket on my good times. Now the waiting begins. I will undoubtedly check UPS tracking # a jillion times a day until the snow melts. The funny thing is, I will probably enjoy this burning anticipation as much as I do the new tobacco. We'll see. -T

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow Day!

4-5" of snow here and Mark (who lives about 60 mi. south of me) got a good bit more. This makes for a good day to clean up the shop, pack pipe racks for shipment, drink coffee and smoke pipes. -T

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Boots and Old Peterson Pipes

I have a pair of Merrill hiking boots that are supposed to be waterproof- they are not. Yesterday their replacements arrived. Vasque truly waterproof hiking boots. When I awoke this morning I was happy to hear a light rain falling. A chance to try out my new boots on my morning walk! I grabbed my 3 Peterson workhorses and a pouch full of BBF and headed to the woods. When I arrived the rain was reduced to a light drizzle. Perfect walking weather and a great opportunity to try out the new boots. They worked better than expected. Waterproof of course, but comfortable right away. I thought I might need to wear them a while to get them formed to my feet. But no- they felt like old friends. And the Petersons, which are old friends, performed as always- beautifully. They smoke great and seem to beg to be abused and worked hard. I've owned more expensive Peterson pipes but none have smoked as well as these 3 cheap ones ( Donegal Rocky lovat, Standard 304 and a Rock of Cashel ). I don't know if I was just lucky w/ these 3 pipes or if all of the Petersons in these lines are good, but I am very pleased w/ my pals. -T

Yet Another Video!

Mark's Baker Road Cabinet is highlighted at the beginning of the video. -T

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's Day Feast

Turnip greens and black-eyed peas for fortune and luck and cornbread ... because it's good! -T