These are busy, busy days here at Smokingpipes.com, what with the Holiday Season and all, and when word came through the grapevine that the Monday following Thanksgiving is pretty crazy in our warehouse, I thought I might wonder over there and grab a pic or two before the outgoing packages began their merry voyage to new homes.
Unfortunately, there was really no way to get a photo that could convey the sheer scale of the hundreds and hundreds of boxes due to be shipped. That said, I thought you may enjoy a couple behind-the-scenes images from late yesterday, the above featuring the wonderful Janice, our Shipping and Receiving Supervisor.
So I guess it’s “officially” Christmas time. Seeing as how Thanksgiving has come and gone, and now that I’m already hearing fifty-year- old recordings of songs celebrating the yuletide performed by Jimmy Boyd and Gene Autry at the Wal-Mart, it feels pretty futile to resist. That’s right, I surrendered early this year, you guys. That’s what growing up is all about. Don’t get me wrong, I like Christmas and this time of year as much as the next free-market loving American, but the holiday hullaballoo has always felt a little forced on me, year after year after year, like that heavy wool turtleneck that Mom has to help me get my head through because I can’t manage to do it by myself. You just got to throw your arms way up and let her yank the thing down and over your face and expect that it will sting your nose for a minute. That’s my advice to you. Just take it like a man. Let it pour over you. Start watching It’s A Wonderful Life as soon as possible. Maybe even wrap and unwrap a few things in the next week or so. Take it all in. Soon it will be January and the whole thing will be over and you’ll regret not having eaten as many candy canes, gingerbread men, pecan pies, apple tarts, and sugar cookies as you might have. You think I’m kidding but I’m not. I put my tree up two weeks ago. Nobody was selling them yet, I had to cut one down myself, and I might have even evicted a family of squirrels in the process. Heartbreaking, you guys. I had to special order a 60 day chocolate advent calendar. I had to buy stuff before Black Friday. I lost out on huge savings just trying to soak it all up, because when it’s gone it’s gone for a whole year. Can you even begin to fathom how many days that is? It’s at least a lot.
Speaking of days and days, it’s been a few since we had our last update. Having rolled out our last a day early in observance of Thanksgiving, we feel pretty overdue for a replenishment of fresh new smoking pipes and accoutrements. We hope you had a chance to take advantage of our Black Friday sale, and would like to remind everybody that we’re still doing our annual Peterson promotion: buy a new Peterson pipe and get a tin of Peterson pipe tobacco. Tonight look out for new works by Luciano, Savinelli, Johs, Vauen, Brigham, Peterson, and, for the first time ever on Smokingpipes.com, Scott Klein. Of course, this is all in addition to the 36 estate pipes we’re also offering in the update. And as a special bonus we’ve got new cigars from EP Carrillo, and Camacho.
And in all seriousness, with all smarminess aside, Happy Holidays!
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. As I write this, happily ensconced in my office some miles away, my wife's mother and sister are descending upon our home to help prepare for the festivities tomorrow. Tomorrow, great swathes of her family will come for Thanksgiving dinner. This is also the first time that my wife and I will be cooking for more than six people. It has become apparent that the wisest course for me to adopt is to simply not be underfoot as preparations are made. Hence my cunning plan to have to work rather late tonight and then cunningly pop up once most of the work is done. I'm also planning for some office 'mini-emergency' to happen right when it's time to clean up after dinner. I figure I can get away with a post-Thanksgiving-dinner nap in my home office tomorrow evening by closing the door and playing an mp3 file of typing noises so as to sound like I'm desperately busy. It'll have to be loud typing noises, though, to cover the snoring emanating from the room...
Accordingly it works out rather well that we've moved the update ahead by a day so that we can enjoy the festivities with our families tomorrow. I'm quite certain that I will be in no condition to work tomorrow (my cunning ruse notwithstanding).
In the meantime, we've had a number of different projects come together simultaneously this week:
1) The most pressing news is the massive Black Friday Sale we're running. We're calling it a Black Friday sale because everyone else calls it that, but we're really running it from today until Monday midday-ish, by which time I might be sufficiently cogent again to make the necessary batch edits to end the sale. With more than 1,100 pipes at ridiculously good prices, this is now very much the time to escape from family festivities for a few hours to peruse these offerings. It's actually kind of scary offering a sale of this magnitude. I'm a little worried that the good folks in the shipping department will want my head on a platter come Monday.
2) We've made serious changes to the user center making it, we think, extremely cool. We've implemented a new badge system, plus offered a list of your favorite items right from your user center home page (where you go when you log in) to make it super easy to get right at what you normally order. You can read more about these changes on our blog. We're still working on the user center. Right now, it's pretty awesome. With more time, to quote the always eloquent Ted Swearingen, Sales Manager at Smokingpipes.com, it'll be "awesometastic". I'm not sure exactly what all awesometastic-ness entails (though in Ted's defense, he's on a lot of pain medication since he had a tooth pulled yesterday), but it must be some pretty incredible level of awesomeness.
3) We now offer gift wrapping services, something that has been an extremely long time in coming. The option is offered on everything we sell at the flat rate of $4.99 for the order; irrespective of what items constitute an order. (Just for fun, I hope someone buys a huge pipe rack and has it gift-wrapped. I'm curious to see how Janice, Katie et al in shipping figure that one out.)
If all that weren't enough, we have a stupendiferous (since this seems to be the day for made up hyperbolic adjectives) update for you, ranging from a big batch of estates to new pipes from Ardor, Ser Jacopo, Grechukhin and Smio Satou. Check 'em out!
Alright, so I utterly refuse to go shopping on Black Friday. Besides, I do almost all of my holiday shopping online. This accomplishes two things: 1) I can wear pajamas while I shop, something frowned upon by most retail stores, and 2) I won't end up having to wrestle an 80-year-old grandmother to the ground to get the last of the super discounted 54" LCD televisions. My wife has never had to bail me out of jail and I'd really like to keep it that way.
However, I happily partake in such seasonal offerings by online merchants, which conveniently keeps me from having to explain to my wife why I had the nice old crazy cat lady from down the street in a headlock at Wal-Mart at 5am and spent the subsequent hours in the North Myrtle Beach lockup.
With that in mind, we're offering our Black Friday sale starting today and running through the weekend. We've put more than 1,100 pipes on sale for the duration of the five day stretch, which makes this the biggest Smokingpipes.com sale in, I think, five years. Stupendously good deals abound. And they'll cease to abound on Monday on what hasn't been snapped up between now and then.
Given the majority of new pipe brands and selections from each country among the estates are on sale, it's kind of hard not to run into them. Still, they are all grouped here in the Specials section for quick perusal.
On the list of things that we should have done eons ago, gift wrapping might be the most obvious and, perhaps, the most egregious, omission from our offerings. Years ago, this was because there were just a handful of guys working at Smokingpipes.com and none of us actually knew how to wrap stuff. Like most guys, we had our wives, girlfriends, mothers or sisters do it for us. Given that we now have a staff of almost thirty, about half of which is women (who, as we all know, have the right chromosomal set to be able to gift wrap things), and a shipping department that is 75% staffed with people who know how to wrap stuff (read: women; no offence to Wayne if I'm making an unfair assessment of his gift wrapping skills), this excuse has long since ceased to be justifiable.
So, for $4.99 you can have your gift wrapped in advance so you don't have to do it. Given that, when I try to wrap things, I'm more likely to tape one of our cats to the box rather than line the paper up correctly, this is definitely something I need. Actually, I'm seriously considering getting my beloved wife a pipe for Christmas this year instead of the earrings she wants simply because I can therefore have the folks in shipping here wrap it for me...
Nope, I'm not writing about these badgers, but rather about some of the new features we've rolled out in the new user center. When you log in with your email address and password, you're now presented with two things: 1) a list of your Smokingpipes.com Badges (more on this in a moment), 2) A list of your most purchased items, and 3) An address book where you can manage, edit and remove the addresses you've used with Smokingpipes.com.
We rolled out all of those massive changes that made Smokingpipes.com such a pain to use for about a week there for a good reason. Specifically, we wanted to make the Smokingpipes.com experience coolness factor more personal and, well, even more cool than it already was. We're just beginning to roll out some of the things that are planned and we have, I am sure, a ton more bits to add and integrate that we haven't even thought of yet. But, for now, there are those three.
The top items list is pretty self explanatory. We created a list of your most purchased tobaccos, cigars and accessories to make it super easy for you to get to the things that you most frequently purchase.
The badges are little markers that denote various things you've done at Smokingpipes.com. Right now, there are about fifteen of them, but we expect that to grow massively over the coming months and years. Examples include having X number of pipes from a given country in your collection, or the length of time you've been purchasing from Smokingpipes.com, or the number of different tobacco blends you've tried, whether you've bought a pipe or tobacco related book and a bunch of others. In time, we hope to integrate all of this into the website such that we can also have badges for blog comments and other sorts of site interactions too, but we're a little ways away on that. Anyway, each badge has three tiers right now (though we might add a fourth tier down the road).
In all, we just want to make Smokingpipes.com more fun to use and tailor it to your particular tastes better. We'll be doing a ton of stuff over the next few weeks especially on this front. Stay tuned!
If you have any ideas, suggestions, criticisms, please post in the comments section, or email me directly at email@example.com and we'll see what we can do!
I’m having a tooth removed tomorrow. An oral surgeon will be doing the job, which means, very thankfully, I have the option of being knocked out for the entirety of the bloody procedure. This is welcome relief, as the thought of having to be awake while my jaw is wired agonizingly wide open, in some mad dentist's equivalent of the Ludivico technique is a turn off.
No, thanks kindly, but I'll pass. While I'm certain that combining flashing images of Snickers bars, sugar plums, and various other sweets with the sound of crunching bone and the high-pitch buzzing of a dental handpiece would work frightfully well at improving certain tooth-care habits, I’ll skip all that. I’d prefer to be in a drug induced black-out, thank you very much, even if it means sacrificing the rest of the day to incoherent, lethargic stupor.
Either way I’m going to miss out on Thanksgiving dinner for the second time in my life. The first time occurred fourteen years ago when I had my wisdom teeth surgically removed two days ahead of the national holiday. I see the irony, and I could point out both history’s sense of humor and knack for serendipity, but mostly the whole thing just annoys me. While everyone else in the country will be enjoying a belly full of turkey and a head full of tryptophan, I will be struggling to get through a cup of yogurt even under the effects of a large dose of acetaminophen.
And of course, worst of all, I won’t be able to smoke my pipe for a few days. I suspect this is a conspiracy propagated by the Dental Association of America to scare people into abstaining from tobacco for a few days in hopes that said patient will ‘see the light’ and decide ultimately to just ‘kick the habit’ - but that could be my serious agitation doing the talking. Can’t you just sense how excited I am to have this tooth yanked out of my head?
On the brighter side of things, though, we’ve got an awfully good update headed your way this evening. Between a new gift set from Lampe Berger, new cigars from Carlos Torano, 36 fresh estates pipes, and 130 pipes from the likes of Chacom, Paolo Becker, Radice, Castello, Savinelli, Vauen, Peterson, and Dunhill we’ve got your Monday covered.
Yesterday was not, suffice to say, the most productive day in Smokingpipes.com history. In fact, the greatest productivity of all was likely that achieved by Adam, which he manifested in the form of cooking and preparing a 20+ pound turkey. This very bird itself, along with the accompanying array of side dishes and desserts, as you may already suspect, was the primary cause of this sudden pre-holiday slump; we spent much of the morning watching and waiting and salivating, midday feasting, and the afternoon and evening struggling to merely remain conscious. To be honest, I'm still not sure we've entirely recovered, though that may simply be the result of a kitchen and refrigerator which are still filled with a thousand-and-one varieties of seductively rich foodstuffs, against which even a continuous flow of strong, black coffee seems to be no match. Hopefully you'll pardon that this introduction is so brief - but, to be honest, at this point I can barely muster the energy to do much more than contemplate whether or not my keyboard might serve comfortably as a pillow.
However! Fortunately enough, today's update was planned out and taken care of before yesterday's culinary cavalcade, so we do, nonetheless, have plenty in store: batches of Stanwells, Petersons, Savinellis, and Ascortis; artisanal briars by Jimmy Craig at Ashton, Randy Wiley, Poul Winslow, and Claudio Cavicchi; exceptional creations by Rad Davis, Kent Rasmussen, and Tonni Nielsen; and last but not least, a broad selection of estate briars.
It's been a fun, busy, and constructive past few weeks for me. Preparing for the West Coast pipe show in Las Vegas meant meeting with Pam regarding descriptions, pipes to inspect, and blurbs that needed to be completed before I left for the trip. Once my wife and I got to Vegas a couple days early in order to do some shopping, relaxing, and hanging out, the 'small world' seemed evident because of all the friends we were able to meet up with from all over the globe. As Sykes and Ted mentioned earlier, Susan had a hankering to punish them with 6:00 a.m. flights, a tactic much more effective than Voodoo dolls, which I'm not entirely certain she doesn't have hidden away in her desk next to her sewing needles. The guys would have red eyes, flinch, and feel various aches and pains during their time in Vegas and California (no doubt from Susan tossing their respective dolls around in her desk).
The Vegas show was great again this year, and the visit to Jeff Gracik's home in San Diego was a perfect tail-end of the trip. While I was shaping pipes and watching Jeff, Brad Pohlmann, and Ernie Markle work, my wife took the liberty to enjoy the San Diego Zoo, in addition to some shopping. We had a wonderful sushi dinner one night, which was amazing until I ate some sea urchin (part of the shellfish family, I later found out when breathing became difficult), but Jeff got me some Benadryl and all was good. I do get worried every time my wife and I travel, though. If it were up to her, we'd move to San Diego next week. The fact that Jeff is there and the food and weather are among the best around wouldn't be a bad idea. The little restaurant next to the hotel fed all of us every morning. Believe it or not, there is better Southern food there than we can find in South Carolina. We left California Thursday evening and landed in Myrtle Beach thirteen hours later, but coming into work last Friday felt like coming home. Sykes and Ted picked out a lot of beautiful new and estate pipes at the show and will be getting some of the pieces Jeff and I worked on independently in the next few weeks.
Thankfully the weather this week matches San Diego, so we are all full of energy to present you with an update of great pieces. Sillems has a new lighter that is silver-clad and quite beautiful. Pieces from Luciano Askwith, Johs, Brigham, Savinelli, Peterson, and Vauen may interest you, as can the twenty-four estates.
Adam Davidson: Quality Control & Pipe Inspector
P. S. It’s not often I am called upon to write for the newsletter, but since I'm in charge of such things, Sykes thought y'all should hear the good news from me. I know prices on everything are going through the roof. Case in point: Instead of buying three pairs of shoes this past weekend, I had to settle for only two. It just broke my heart. While purchasing tobacco for Smokingpipes.com for the past five years, I have seen how the prices have increased as well. So, as an early Christmas present from us to all of you, I’ve lowered prices on most bulk tobaccos and increased the percentage discounts on multiple tin purchases. I hope this helps you guys to avoid the dilemma of which blend to buy and how much of it. I would hate to see you go through the heart-wrenching decisions I had to go through this past weekend. (And I won’t tell your wife; that way you can get even more while still staying in “her” budget.)
Pipe shows are awesome. If you haven’t yet made it to one, you’re missing out, I assure you. First of all, there are lots of cool pipes at each and every turn, most of which can be purchased at a handsome bargain (although a few collections are often present simply for display). Additionally, there can be found loads of neat pipe accessories, like vintage lighters, handmade tampers, and other pipe-related doodads, as well as tons of old tins of out-of-production, aged tobacco. But most of all, at a show there’s an opportunity to meet and greet a host of wonderful folks, including the pipe makers themselves, which one simply would not have the chance to do otherwise. All in all, it’s a fantastic way to spend a couple of days. I highly recommend getting out to one.
As you may already know, this last weekend Sykes and I were in Las Vegas for the 3rd Annual West Coast Pipe Show. This was my first time at this particular expo, and Sykes’s second, but from my understanding, the show is growing in popularity and distinction at an impressive rate. Many of you have asked if we would be picking up pipes at the event, and the short answer is: Yes. Continue to pay attention to the bi-weekly updates and you’ll soon see the smattering of new and estate pipes we managed to bring home.
All that having been said, however, pipe shows are exhausting. Not so much the shows in and of themselves, but the traveling and preparation that bookends the events are draining. This is especially so when one is required to get up between 3:30 AM and 4:30 AM to get to an airport in time to make a flight. Sykes and I were stuck doing this three times in the last week. Back in the office, today my brain doesn’t seem to want to function correctly, or at least not at the pace to which it is accustomed. Today my diet consists of ridiculously large amounts of coffee, as well as snuff for that extra ‘pick-me-up’, and as always, a pipe of strong tobacco. I’m expecting to pull through the end of the day, but just barely. Of course, this is only speaking as someone for whom pipe shows are business as well as pleasure - those who get to attend purely on the basis of the latter naturally get to enjoy a much more leisurely pace.
We’ve put together a spectacular update for you this evening, featuring fresh pipes from the likes of Alex Florov, Michael Lindner, Lasse Skovgaard, Peter Matzhold, and Hiroyuki Tokutomi, as well as Stanwell, Neerup, Nording, Ardor, Brebbia, Savinelli, Il Duca and Peterson. We’re also introducing to the site Mac Baren 7 Seas Cherry in tins and Solani Festival, which both sound delicious, if you ask me.
It's now day two of the get together at Jeff Gracik's workshop in San Diego. I'm still writing live from the scene. In fact, Eric just turned on the disc sander, making the surface upon which I'm typing vibrate rather disconcertingly. It does leave this author feeling particularly connected to his subject matter, though. The same cast of characters are continuing their work from yesterday. Adam Davidson shaped up a a beautiful larger version of his fig shape. Eric Heberling has been working on a very respectable billiard. Jeff's been sanding the little blowfish that he shaped last night. Work is winding down though, in advance of tonight's barbecue. Joining the five pipe makers, Ted Swearingen and me, a number of members of the San Diego, Orange County and LA pipe clubs are collecting here for the festivities.
In addition to his talents as a pipe maker, Jeff seems pretty adept with his smoker, from which he extracted a 16lb hunk of pork a little while ago. At least it looked promising. I'm not sure if this particular boy from Tennessee can quite bring himself to believe that it's possible to smoke pork properly in California. I'll reserve judgement until I get to taste it later. We shall see…
Smokingpipes.com has been represented at all three of the annual West Coast Pipe Shows held thus far. Last year, my wife (then fiancee) and I represented us at the show and came out to San Diego to spend a couple of days with Jeff and his wife Melissa before heading back home. This year, Ted and I are in the middle of the same pilgrimage.
The West Coast show itself seems to be growing and attracting more exhibitors and attendees each year. The number of hobbyist pipe makers and aspiring pipe makers at the show this year was quite extraordinary. If the number of people interested in making a career of making pipes is any indication, the pipe world is indeed healthy. Neill Archer Roan, known for his impressive A Passion for Pipes blog, delivered a passionate speech on the pipe community, discussing the centrality of that community to pipe smoking. The pace of the show was a little slower than Chicago or Richmond, giving me the opportunity to enjoy the sort of long, in-depth discussions that are just not possible for me at those venues. I enjoyed long discussions with Neill about his speech and with my friend Rick Newcombe, author of In Search of Pipe Dreams, about pipe makers, pipes, his collection and a variety of other topics.
Monday morning, Ted and I got up at 3am to make it to the airport to head to San Diego. When I get home to South Carolina, I'll have to find out what Ted and I did to make Susan angry enough to book a slew of 6am flights for us. A word of advice for business travelers everywhere: do whatever you can to keep the person in your company booking the travel happy. Anyway, after grabbing some breakfast and a nap, we headed up to Jeff's workshop to find the five pipe makers hard at work.
Since I began writing this little missive, the sun has gone down and everyone but Adam and Ernie have moved from pipe making mode to celebration mode. Lots more folks have arrived to join our little party, driving in from all over Southern California to join us for the evening. And now I think that should go for me too, so I'll leave the narrative there, grab my pipe and join the festivities.
Writing this, standing up, at the entrance to Jeff Gracik's workshop, as machines whirr and briar dust flies, conversations on the finer points of tool use are audible over the general din. Jeff asked us out here after the West Coast Pipe Show in Las Vegas, so we find ourselves in a surprisingly cool San Diego in the company of five American pipe makers: Jeff, Brad Pohlmann, Adam Davidson, Ernie Markle and Eric Heberling. Ted Swearingen, Smokingpipes.com's indefatigable Sales Manager, roams the shop, entranced by the myriad simultaneous processes, snapping photos of Ernie and Eric at the lathe and Adam at the shaping wheel. I've been in pipe workshops in eight countries on three continents, but this is a special visit for me, spending time with some really talented artisans and some of my closest friends in the pipe world.
Adam and Brad are holding forth on the finer points of shaping while Jeff explains rather complicated details on the chemistry of certain staining methods. Jeff has become something of a nexus for pipe makers in the United States. It's a role that reminds me a little of the way Tom Eltang serves as such an important resource for younger pipe makers across the globe. What's so interesting is that Jeff is just 32. A combination of a passion for learning, passionate hard work and a formidable intellect has raised him to the upper echelon of global pipe makers in less than a decade. But what makes this such a special event is that it's not all about Jeff. We're similarly joined by Brad Pohlmann, who has been making pipes for over thirty years, and Adam Davidson, whose brilliant, incisive shaping has garnered him legions of followers.
Ernie and Eric have only been at it for a short time. I first met them both a year ago in Las Vegas at the 2010 West Coast Pipe Show. I've been earnestly following the progression of their work since and we've been working with Ernie since earlier this year. These are guys still relatively new to the craft, having been at it just a couple of years each, but they exhibit the same passion that their more experienced pipe making brethren do.
As the sun begins to set over this San Diego neighborhood, the scene in the shop is much as it was when I arrived. The pipe makers have changed places, with Adam at the lathe and Eric at the shaping wheel, but the same sort of conversations go on, and the work continues unabated.
It's quiet here on the second floor, today. Well, relatively quiet - Pam is still running around trying to sort out both update stuff and the shipments of pipes which continue to come in as ever, but without Sykes walking up and down the hall a dozen times a day for coffee, Ted constantly on the phone with customers, or Adam... being Adam, the Smokingpipes offices are as about as tranquil as they ever get. Too tranquil, perhaps - I am not by any means unaware of the fact that, at present, Chuck and I are the only males remaining in the office, and that we are outnumbered two-to-one by the fairer sex. This isn't a problem for Chuck, of course, but then Chuck is not a shameless cad, as I am, and has not repeatedly, and quite deliberately, ruffled the feathers of certain other co-workers, as I have most certainly insisted on doing despite the self-evident inevitability that this will come back to bite me.
Just last week, in fact, I walked down to the space shared by Pam, Susan, and, of late, Cassidy, to ask if any of them had a safety pin. Susan inquired as to why I needed one, and no sooner had I answered that I had lost a button on the cuff of my jacket than she asked me to take it off and hand it to her. Having done so, she immediately produced a sewing kit and proceeded to re-attach the button for me. Well, what else to make of this, you are no doubt thinking, than that Susan has the patience of a saint? True enough, saints are certainly patient enough - but so too is a serpent waiting to strike. After having spent several days teasing her over her recent acquisition of a notably over-fed pony, such benevolence was indeed disquieting.
I am not a religious man in the traditional sense, understand - I don't have much faith in the benevolent intervention of saints; but I do most certainly believe in the patience of an ambush predator laying in wait. As boys, my friends and I were all rather fond of teasing and attempting to capture venomous snakes, snapping turtles, and the like, you see... which now that I think of it, probably explains a great deal about how it has all come to this. Regardless, what I am getting to is this: Adam, Ted, Sykes - if you return from the office and I've vanished from the face of the earth, and the girls are all saying they haven't the faintest idea as to where I could be... check the ground around the old oak tree out back, and, if it isn't too much to ask, avenge me.
On what is certainly a less ominous note, today we have quite an update in store for you all: quality briars from Sebastien Beo, Savinelli, Peterson, Vauen, and Chacom; hand-made artisanal pieces by Dunhill, Radice, and Castello; two-dozen estates pipes, split evenly between English and Italian; finally, new cigar offerings from Montecristo, Augusto Reyes, and Don Diego.
There’s a lot to do before tomorrow. Preparing for a pipe show means getting a ton of extra work done well in advance of the handful of days I won’t be in the office. It means emotionally gearing up for obnoxious, loathsome air travel. But worst of all, it means making that penultimate and heartbreakingly difficult decision: which pipes to pack?
Being a smoker, a pipe collector (although I use this term loosely), a briar hobbyist, and a tobacco enthusiast, can cause traveling to become a greater chore, and subsequently a greater source of frustration, than it already is. From a simple morning outing across town for a decent latte, to a cross-country, week long excursion, there are always considerations to be dutifully examined before the home is departed.
“Do I have the right pipe for this weather? Did I remember to grab pipe cleaners? Will I bring a tin or put a pinch of tobacco in a pouch? Is that pinch big enough? Will it dry out in the pouch? Must I refill my lighter? Should I clean the pipe with alcohol before I leave? I didn’t throw any ibuprofen in that pouch, did I?”
Perhaps I worry too much. Perhaps I should just grab a couple pipes at random and a couple unopened tins of tobacco and toss them carefree and happily into my half-packed luggage, with or without pipe cleaners, extra matches, backup tampers, and my travel-sized bottle of Everclear. Even the thought makes me shudder.
Whatever. If picking out pipes for a pipe show is the grossest source of stress in my life, I’ve got it made. I’ll see you in Vegas at the show.
As for tonight, we’ve got quite the selection of new briar. We’re rolling out fresh works from the likes of J. Alan, Brad Pohlmann, Rad Davis, Randy Wiley, Kevin Arthur and Benni Jorgensen in tandem with new pipes from Tsuge, Ashton, Winslow, Ascorti, Savinelli, Peterson, and Stanwell. And as if all that wasn’t enough, be sure to peruse the 72 estate pipes we’re adding to the site. Also, just off the delivery truck, JackKnife "Ready Rubbed", the latest from G. L. Pease.
If you’ve had the chance to try Mac Barens’ 7 Seas “Black” you’ll easily understand why we’re so elated having received just today this tasty, sticky sweet blend of Virginia tobaccos in 16 ounce bag offering. So far, the fourth addition to Mac Baren’s line of classically inspired aromatic style pipe tobacco blends have proven to be endlessly popular with old smokers, new smokers, and those smokers that supposedly disdain aromatics. I guess that’s what happens when you take an estimable company like Mac Baren and add some of the highest quality tobacco available on the market.
And as if that weren’t enough, we’ve got 7 Seas “Red” available in both 16 ounce bags and loose leaf bulk options. “Red”, an intriguingly dark cherry flavored number, is Mac Baren’s latest edition to the 7 Seas catalogue. If you’ve been as impressed as we have been so far with all that 7 Seas has to offer, dive in on and enjoy!
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