May 2009

Next
Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 - 7:00 PM or meet early at
** Bertucci's ** - Cobb's Corner, Canton 6:00 PM
Meeting

Club Info & Events

Details of the April Meeting
The April meeting was very reminiscent of the days back at the Holiday Inn in Mansfield. We had a couple of full tables and the whole room was abuzz with new excitement and enthusiasm about pipes and tobaccos. I really believe our hobby is taking a turn in a positive direction. Maybe all this talk about tobacco regulations is backfiring and people are becoming curious to find out what this buzz is really all about. They will soon realize that there are lots of people in the world who are taking great pleasure in a much safer form of tobacco. Not one that is associated with addiction but rather with a reduction is stress, a close kinship to like minded friends and even complete strangers, a celebration of history, art and the quality of craftsmanship. We're young and old, rich and not so rich. We're doctors, lawyers, blue collar workers, professors, fireman, entrepreneurs, accountants, IT guys, college students and retired folks. Tobacco can be interesting, enjoyable and beneficial without being deadly. It's worth some investigation.

Update on the New SHPC Club Blends
There has been a slight change in one of the new SHPC club blends. The original VR blend will be coming out as our 3rd blend under a different name. The current VR blend that is now available at pipesandcigars.com is a very similar blend but in a slightly different format. This new VR blend is a pressed cake but is not hard pressed like the original batch. It consists of the same tobaccos but with the addition of a small amount of sweet and spicy perique. The perique is a nice twist to this blend and a must try for you perique lovers.
Member Contributions

The Old Toby Podcast
I've been waiting for the right time to promote this podcast and I think that time has come. As I've mentioned in the past I didn't feel the pipe community had been doing enough to promote and defend this fine hobby and pastime of ours. It felt that many of us were just laying on the tracks waiting for the train to come by. But one guy in Springfield, MO. must have been feeling the same way and said.... "LET'S MAKE SOME NOISE!!!!!"
So Andrew, with support from JustForHim.com and Waymond, his lethargic yet knowledgeable co-host, decided to put together a podcast dedicated to smokers and pipe smokers in particular.
I have to admit, this podcast started out a little weak, the sound quality was not great, and the format needed some work, however this is just my opinion and since I don't do a podcast myself you can take that opinion for what it's worth. The show did have some promise though and seemed to speak to a younger crowd. Most shows are recorded off hours (I imagine) in the lounge at Just For Him and there are usually at least three people and often more taking part in the session including some women who are smoking right along with the men.
Andrew is the producer/director of the show but Waymond, who is also an employee of Just For Him is the more knowledgeable of the two as far as pipes and tobaccos goes. Now if we could only get him to speak up a little and keep his clothes on during the show. They have produced 12 shows so far and you can definitely tell that Andrew is determined make "Old Toby" a household word (in the smoker's house at least). Although the show is generally centered around pipes and tobacco they have also done shows dedicated to cigars and even the hookah (this was a strange but interesting show to listen to).
Andrew solicited comments from listeners to find out who was listening to the show and what they thought of it. He took the feedback and put it to good use by purchasing better recording equipment and improving his format. Show number 10 was the first show to introduce these new improvements. The sound quality was noticeably better, they did more focused reviews on the tobaccos they were smoking and he did a forty minute interview with pipe carver Eric Nording (which was split into episodes 10 and 11).
In addition to the podcast, OldToby.com has a number of forums dedicated to all types of smokers and a place for you to asks questions to be answered in an upcoming podcast, converse with other smokers, comment on the podcast and a place to sell your pipes and accessories. Andrew is in the process of starting an online pipe club and has also created a tobacco called Old Toby Stash, the proceeds of which will help him keep the show running. His latest endeavor is to start up a site called the The Tobacco Cellar where you can purchase pipes, tobaccos, cigars and everything in between. Unfortunately, Andrew does not have his tobacco license yet but is in the process of getting it. If you're interested in trying some of the Old Toby Stash you can call Just For Him directly at 1-800-626-2971 and they can help you out.
So I encourage you now to check out the Old Toby Podcast, website and forums. I suggest downloading episodes 10, 11 and 12 first then go back and see how far they've come. You can also subscribe to the podcast and listen on your iPod or favorite MP3 player.
If you like the show.... be sure and join the forum and let them know. If you really like the show and want to see it keep going you can help by clicking the Donate button on the Old Toby main page. Enjoy.

Old Toby Website: http://www.oldtoby.com
Podcast Page: http://www.oldtoby.com/podcast.htm

 

Pipes & Tobacco News & Info

"Smoke Tobacco and Save a Child"
Or how about "Tobacco Users.... the New Crack Whores!" These are just a couple of slogans that could pop up as a result of the SCHIP tax (State Children's Health Insurance Program) that went into effect on April 1st. I am still baffled as to why they want to promote smoking in order to fund a children's insurance program. Aren't they trying to get people to stop smoking? If so, then how can they ever expect to fund this program if tobacco becomes too expensive to purchase. Seems like they're trying to take advantage of the smoker's addiction, but then doesn't that pretty much put tobacco users in the same category as crack whores? Sort of makes the whole Clinton, Lewinski thing look like a trifle if you ask me (but a much better use of a cigar). Maybe they really don't care about children's health. I guess if you want to look on the bright side, at least they didn't rape the cigar smokers like they had originally intended. Maybe we are getting through to them?? What do you think?

Here is how the tobacco tax will effect us:
The cigarette tax rate goes from $.39/pack to $1.00/pack;
The tax on snuff goes from $.585 per pound to $1.50 per lb;
The tax on pipe tobacco goes from $1.0969/lb to $2.8126/lb;
The tax on RYO goes from $1.0969/lb to $24.62/lb (not a typo).
Additionally the definition of RYO has been expanded to include cigar wrappers to address the “blunt wraps” issue;
The tax change to small cigars (cigars weighing less the three (3) pounds per thousand will be phased in over five (5) years at the following rates per year:
2009 & 2010 - $.25 per pack
2011 & 2012 - $.50 per pack
2013 & 2014 - $.75 per pack
2015 and beyond - $1.00 per pack
We were successful in continuing to have the floor tax NOT apply to large cigars; however it does pertain to any other tobacco products.

Other News & Information for smokers:

Websites Worth a Look
Brick & Morter Tobacconist Association
We received an email today from a new organization called the Brick & Morter Tobacconist Association. This site is dedicated to keeping you informed about Brick & Mortar Tobacconist across the country that serve our smoking needs on a daily basis and preserving the heritage of friendly places to relax and enjoy our passions of the leaf together.
This site is a growing vault of news and information for all smokers. Make sure you bookmark it today .National Cigar & Tobacco Appreciation
Here at Brick & Mortar Tobacconist Association we are coordinating efforts with tobacconist across the country to host National Cigar & Tobacco Appreciation events in-stores on Saturday, June 6, 2009!

Your favorite store may be unaware at the moment, but nevertheless if you have ideas for your local stores by all means get involved and help make this a unforgettable day for all Brothers & Sisters of the Leaf.

Sincerely
Gary Irvin
President, BMTA
Check them out at www.bmtobacco.com
This Month's Tobacco Raffle
A couple of blends from MacBaren

MacBaren Black Ambrosia (3.5oz. tin)
This is a special blend of choice, fully ripe Burley and matured Virginia tobaccos. A mild and tasty pipe tobacco with an exciting aroma.

MacBaren Symphony (3.5oz. tin)
Long matured to bring out this mild and cool superior blend. A very harmonious smoking tobacco. Ready rubbed tobacco of Kentucky-Burley, Virginia and Cavendish leaf tobaccos. All specially palatable tobaccos with a light, sweet, and cool smoke.


Kahn's Korner

A special note to our newbies:

All I wanted to do was to smoke a pipe. I just wanted to find a great tobacco, fill my pipe, light it and smoke my pipe. Then my friend told me that I'd need a few pipes, because, "You need to rotate them. To give them a rest." So I added a few more pipes. Then he said, "You gotta try this tobacco. It's sooo smoothe. No bite. Packs easy. Tastes great." So I did. Two days later my tongue was healed enough for me to go back to my regular tobac. Of course another friend told me about another tobacco that was sweet to the tongue and was a woman pleaser. So I had to try that. And it was off to the races.

Ten pipes, twenty, forty... Now pushing 200. Tobaccos? Well let's just say, if I stopped buying now at age 58, I would have enough to last me until my demise, assuming I only live until I'm 90. Tins, bags and pouches. Pinches and pounds of the stuff. Some I found the other day that I haven't looked at for three years, at least.

So let me tell you, newbies, what I have learned.
1) You don't HAVE to have 200 pipes. You'll want them. Show me a pipe smoker, and I'll show you a collector. Yes, if you smoke more than two bowls a day, you will need to have a pipe rotation, unless you smoke meers or clays. I like to think a rotation of at least 5 or 7, works pretty well.

2) Just because someone else loves the tobacco, doesn't mean you have to buy six tins, two pounds (To let it age.), or seventy pouches of each tobacco. If the one you love is no longer available, trust me, there will be another you'll find.

3) You don't have to have $500 pipes. The range beneath $250, has a plethera of pipes that will please your smoking pleasure. Will you eventually splurge for a fine pipe, handmade with fantastic grain? Yeah, probably, just don't go without food or gas to get it.

4) Don't be afraid of used pipes. So long as the pipes have been cared for, loved and treated well, they will still smoke like new. In some cases, better, because you won't have to break them in.

5) Support your local pipemaker. Yes, Tim Hynick is our local and goodness knows his stuff is fine. Encourage him because he deserves it. But there are other local pipemakers. Search them out and see how they improve. I have a couple of pipes that Bob Keiss made when he started out. He sold them at $25 each. They smoked well, and looked, well...... But he was learning, and he needed the encouragement. I now own two that I would consider wonderful smokers and real good lookers. Someone at the NY gathering borrowed the duckbill he made for me to check out the measurements. He was really pleased and asked for Bob's number.

6) OK, I'm a Condor nut. There aren't many of us in the U.S. but we're loyal as hell. Can't get it here. I have to have it brought in for me from the UK. Yes, I have some packed away. I also like Dark Flake Aromatic, so I have about 10 pounds packed away, and plan on getting a little more. But I'm also finding some new tobaccos because who knows what the do-gooders and our government are going to think of next to interfere with our hobby enjoyment.

7) I'm cutting down on the number of pipes that I plan on buying. I only plan to buy the club pipe and my Christmas Pipe (Make that Channukah.) Maybe a birthday pipe and anniversary pipe that the wife sometimes buys me. Then there will be the pipe that I get when I'm at Peekskill and Kaywoodie. Then I've been eyeing a couple of Skoda pipes, I hope he makes it there this year. Yeah, he's a little on the high side, but maybe I can get him down below $600, for that pipe I saw. I wonder if he'll have a buy on some of those handmades? And of course I'll take advantage of the second handers that so many sell there. Some of them go for as little as $25.

Oh, my god.... What am I saying???!! Listen..... Newbies...er... just... do as I say, not as I do.... I'm hooked... argghhghghg!



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