Info & Events
Details of the April Meeting
Update on the New SHPC Club Blends
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.
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.
The Old Toby Podcast
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
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
& 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
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
Worth a Look
& 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.
Check them out at www.bmtobacco.com
Month's Tobacco Raffle
A couple of blends from MacBaren
Ambrosia (3.5oz. tin)
is a special blend of choice, fully ripe Burley and matured
Virginia tobaccos. A mild and tasty pipe tobacco with an exciting
MacBaren Symphony (3.5oz. tin)
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.
A special note to our newbies:
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
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!