onsdag, april 18, 2007

Sampler Tobacco Pack from 4noggins.com

I suggested to the good Rich at www.4noggins.com that he should offer sample packs of different sorts and even suggested a couple of themes to him.

He kinda liked the idea and promised he would consider it. In the meanwhile I should feel free to order 1 oz. packages of anything I wanted to try out...

I was the proverbial kid in the candy store with so many bulk blends to choose from. After some cross-surfing with www.tobaccoreviews.com I decided on the following order (1.oz/each).

Now the question is where to start...?

tisdag, april 17, 2007

Off-Topic - but kinda fun! For me anyway...

Toscana (Tuscany) vacation over Easter

Spent the entire week over Easter in Toscana, halfway between Firenze and Arezzo in the Val d'Arno. We stayed in an Agriturismo called Podere Madonna, where the kind owner welcomed us for the second stay.

One reason we went was the Toscana Tour, an international horse jump contest going on for three(!) weeks in Arezzo. I am not really interested in it but K is fanatical... So, while she was watching horses and riders jumping over obstacles to her heart's desire, me and E went in to check out Arezzo medieval city center.

I tried to find a pipe shop, and asked for artisans or pipe factories in the neighborhood at the tourist office. They pointed out one store on a map and we went in that direction, checking out architecture and street life on the way.

Once we got there it turned out they had stopped selling pipes a year or so ago, due to declining customer support :(. The guy pointed out two more possible sources on th map, but didn't really give me much hope. They were in opposite directions so I chose the one on the way back to the car park, obviously.

It was the same thing there, all cigars and cigarettes, no pipes. We went back to get the car cause the ticket expired. On the way out I realised that the second place pointed out on the map was only a kilometer or so away so I drove there, parked haphazardly on the sidewalk and ran in while E stayed in the car.

I asked the guy for pipes holding my breath and he nodded towards a wall stand shock full of them! They were mainly Stanwells and Petersons so I asked him for Italian Artisan pipes. Sure, Brebbia and l'Anatra! I found a chubby yet elegant Billiard with a price tag of 130€, and I thought to myself "this could be my last chance so what the ...". All the time the car on the sidewalk with E inside, nervously chewing her nails waiting for the cops to turn up...

I asked if I could pay with credit card, fully expecting a "yes"? No. I started to sweat, checking my wallet and pockets. All in all I could muster up 94€. He wouldn't sell it to me at such a rebated price, understandably.

I checked out the other pipes, they were all of a larger, clumsier stature, and not appealing to me except for one Peterson which I COULD afford in cash. But I wanted an Italian pipe, dammit! I reluctantly put the l'Anatra back in its box and backed out to the waiting car.

"Finally", sighed a relieved E.

N.Y. Pipe from Ed Burak

I went to N.Y.C. for a conference, and had the first day(which also coincidentally happened to be my birthday) off, mainly due to the way airline companies put their prices on their services. I wouldn't dream of complaining, on the contrary I am a happy camper.

Thus, I received one of the finest birthday gifts ever! A day's strolling about Midtown Manhattan looking for a pipe maker's shop around Radio City Music Hall is really a well spent day, and finally I found Ed's little shop in the basement labyrinth. In spite of what the guards told me, it DOES exist, and Ed himself gave the (probably sound) advice to enter directly from the street level instead of going down next to the Hall...

I spent a good hour in the shop chatting away with the very friendly and pipe savvy Ed, and came out with a lovely Prince of Wales and a pound of two different tobacco blends, Turkish Black and Scottish Ribbon. The choice of blends was on Ed's recommendation after he had interviewed me on my tastes, and they were spot on, I am happy to report after having tried them both in his (my) pipe!