Pretty annoyed…

Remember when I reviewed the Pipe Smoker Unleashed software? Well, I lost my laptop, along with most of my possessions and all my pipes, recently, and I went to try to re-download the software, since at time of purchase it claims that you can reinstall any time. But, now I can find nowhere to download the software! I’ve sent a letter to the webmaster of PSU forums, to see if I can get a link, but have had no reply as of yet. I would hate to have spent that money and not be able to use such a useful application now. Anyways, that is all.

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My pipes were stolen!

So someone broke into my house and stole my laptop and a bunch of other stuff, but the jerk had the nerve to snag my pipes too! I am now pipeless! And I cannot afford even a Dr. Grabow right now. I’ll have to find a tobacconist here in Austin (I just moved this week) and get a corncob to tide me over. What kind of asshole steals a man’s pipes?

Oh sorry for the long absence I was going through a lot of stuff at school, and got hospitalized after I fell down some stairs, and got robbed, and moved. I’ll try to do a book review soon!

Follow me on twitter and I’ll follow back @0qubit1

Tobacco Review: Backwoods Black & Sweet

I was at the local Super Save last week buying a pouch of pipe tobacco. I’m not usually the cigar type- mainly because I enjoy smoking often and I really cannot justify spending ten dollars or more on something that will be smoked on a day. But I saw a pouch of Backwoods cigars and thought five bucks wasn’t bad for five cigars, so I bought them as a backup smoke.  This particular variety smelled like Cocoa Puffs cereal, and was a simple tapered cigar quick rolled in a vein-y leaf and open at both ends. Unfortunately mine were rock hard, but after a quick cheat re-hydration, they were moist enough to try so I lit one up.

A very sweet, chocolaty taste and smell (again, think Cocoa Puffs), with a loose, cool draw. No bite, plenty of nicotine. It’s pipe tobacco in a leaf, basically, and the price is great.

PSU

I got an email saying that Pipe Smoker Unleashed is now Pipe Smoker Unlimited. So if you were looking for the excellent pipe smoker’s software (see my review in a previous post) that’s what you’re looking for.

E-cigs Have a Long Way to Go….

Back when I was growing up my mom smoked a brand of cigarettes that had the advertising motto, “You’ve come a long way, baby!” These cigs were specifically marketed to women, and while it’s certainly true that the American women have come a long way, cigarettes and tobacco have not changed much in hundreds of years. The biggest change for smokers in our modern world is definitely the electronic cigarette.

I recently found it necessary to get a job working the night shift at a local convenience store, Allsup’s. If you ever roll through Texas or New Mexico, stop by and enjoy a world famous beef & bean burrito at New Mexico’s largest privately-owned corporation. Anyways, the other night I was looking at this magazine called Convenience Store Decisions, and the entire issue was devoted to the e-cig. According to this august journal, the e-cig is becoming one of the most profitable items for convenience stores to sell, and many Americans are trying or switching to electronic smokes. According to one of the articles, about 20% of US smokers have tried electronic cigarettes. What’s more, about 8% of new smokers, tried an electronic cigarette as their first smoke. Whereas we all snuck our first smoke between classes at junior high school (well I did anyways), these days it is likely that a young person will first experience the ol’ vitamin N in e-cig form.

So what does this mean for the pipe or cigar smoker? We smoke because we love tobacco, not (just) because we are addicted to nicotine. The majority of tobacco cigarette smokers smoke for the nicotine, plain and simple, and they foolishly inhale the chemical-laden smoke, too, whereas most luxury tobacco smokers do not inhale. So the e-cig is really only of use to the cigarette smoker who needs a dose of nicotine. Even if they did come out with an electronic pipe (actually I think I’ve seen one), most pipe smokers might buy one as a novelty but the lovely leaf will remain their main smoke. It is my hope that e-cigs will be proven healthier than traditional cigarettes, and that cigarette smoking will go out of vogue. Then, tobacco prices will drop and pipe smokers (and yah you cigar puffers too) will have much more variety at lower prices. But what I see happening is the damned gubmint will regulate the hell out of the e-cigs until both they and trad cigarettes, and by extension luxury tobacco, are all more expensive and socially unacceptable.

As for the e-cig itself, there are a huge variety and the smoker will definitely want to do some research before spending any hard-earned cash on one. I still smoke cigs, and have been wanting to quit, so I bought an NJOY brand disposable cigarette two days ago to try out. The packaging claims it has enough ‘tine for two packs of smokes, but I tool about 15-20 draws off it throughout a night shift, and the battery died in less than 24 hours. So I basically got three cigarettes worth for $8. Not cool. I would recommend a rechargeable cig if you are planning on seriously attempting to switch to the electronic smokes. Plus most seem to have proprietary chargers so you have to have the cable that came with it or you are out of luck and about $30. Until they are more standardized and convenient, I really don’t see the electronic cigarette edging out tobacco any time soon.

Lane Tobacco Freebie

Just received my FREE pouch of Sail Aromatic from STG Lane, makers of Sail, Sir Walter Raleigh, Troost, Borkum Riff, and Half & Half tobaccos, among others. I went to this website, clicked the FREE SAMPLE link, and a few weeks later voila, here is my Sail Aromatic. A very light aromatic, in my opinion. Just a bit of anise flavoring for me. Smells and tastes quite mild, like SWR or PA with a drop of flavoring. Not goopy or wet at all, very long shaggy strips that need to be carefully loaded, or manicured a bit, to stay lit, but there is a major tongue bite. Also with the pouch I got a coupon for $3 off another pouch, so I’ll probably go back and get a Troost- I’ve never tried it yet. So don’t miss out, there are a few states they won’t send to, but if you are interested in a free tobacco sample (and who isn’t?) then definitely go to the website and get yours today!

 

P.S. Any idea what on earth a Borkum Riff is? Check out Wikipedia!

 

North Carolina in the Global Economy (Tobacco Industry Spotlight)

Today I am putting the spotlight on the Tobacco Industry. While many people, including myself, are not huge fans of business and economics, greed, and corporate scumbaggery, there is little doubt that without the tobacco industry, we pipe smokers would find it very hard to enjoy our passion. Here in America, it is certainly true that the state of North Carolina is a huge contributor to the tobacco industry, and is indeed the heart of American tobacco growing.

I lived in Raleigh for several years, and remember seeing acre after acre of beautiful green tobacco plants growing throughout the summer, and during harvest one could hardly go five minutes without seeing a battered old pickup truck loaded down with tobacco leaves, headed for market. Tobacco use of all kinds is practiced throughout the state, but I remember seeing a great many pipe smokers in North Carolina. There are also several large cigarette companies and plants based in the state, employing a great many Americans.

Though it is several years old, Duke University has a good overview of the tobacco industry in North Carolina at the following website- North Carolina in the Global Economy, Tobacco. A good overview of how the state of North Carolina is a big player in the global tobacco industry. American smokers should be thankful for our brothers in North Carolina- they help make it possible for us to enjoy our tobacco on a daily basis!

Speaking of the tobacco industry, here is a related article about the Italian tobacco Industry…