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From: ?????????????????????????

			Pipes Digest #12 - May 21, 1989

In the pipeline:

 - Bill Thacker on re-energizing tired tobacco and dealing with
   intolerant antismokers;
 - Phil Gustafson with some suggestions of pipes and cigars as rewards for
 - Rick Shoopak with a summer smoking inquiry;
 - And yr. obd't. servant with some local pipeshop explorations and a good
   opportunity for New Jerseyites.

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From: [email protected]
Subject: Reviving Old Tobacco

Martin Lodahl writes:
>The Skilling bag contained just enough to recharge my pouch, and the
>Philosopher bag rather more.  So, I moistened a humidifier button with
>Cognac, and dropped it in the pouch with the Skilling.  I'd never
>previously tried anything but water as a humidifier, but I was amazed
>by the results -- that ancient tobacco is actually very good, now!
>Have I stumbled on something that pipe smokers have known for years?

Well, I've heard of people using chunks cut from apples as humidifier
buttons;  I was told that neither this nor potatos was a good idea, 
though; they tend to mold quickly, and take your tobacco with them,
I guess.

But cognac ?   I can understand flavoring tobacco with an aromatic
alcohol, but does it have to be *French* ?  8-)

Degrees, cohabs, and four pipe books.

Our beloved benefactor, Steve Masticola, writes:

Congrat's on the degree, Steve !  On now for the Phud, or are you
terminal ?

>More importantly here, I'm very relieved about one thing. I'm about to lose
>a roommate whose first reaction when I lit my pipe was to whine, "Are you
>*smoking*?" Thereafter, he sprayed the hall with ozone-depleting chemicals
>each time I lit up, regardless of how careful I was that my smoke did not
>impinge upon his twitching nostrils. I shan't mourn his passing, for this
>and other reasons. (Fellow hedonists, have you any advice on how to deal
>with similar ninnies in the future? I'm [ugh] sure I'll need it.)

I've had several bizarre roommates in this regard.  For example, when I was
living in the dorms, I requested a "smoking" room (the OSU Residence and
Dining halls tried to accommodate smoking/non-smoking preferences), but
ended up with one roommate who didn't smoke and, in fact, really disliked 
the smell of smoke  (and I only smoked nicely aromatic stuff, too).  I
gather that some people just can't stand tobacco aroma, regardless of
flavoring.  We compromised;  I kept smoking, and he put up with it. 8-)
I never felt guilty, either;  in exchange, I didn't complain about
*his* smoking (of a certain, er, "hard-to-find" tobacco substitute).  I
did once comment to him that his grass would probably smoke smoother if
he kept it in a humidor... 8-)

After that, I moved in with roommates who I'd checked before and liked the
smell of my pipe.  We actually had a quasi-smoking policy;  my pipe was
OK, but no cigarettes allowed.

Finally, I moved in with a friend I'd known for years.   A week after
moving in, he made the comment that he like me more than he disliked my
pipe, but would I please not smoke in the living room ?  Grrr...  I
did avoid it, to an extent, but if I had a lit pipe and needed to go there,
I didn't worry about it.

Some people are funny that way.  One friend told me after several years
that my smoking gave him headaches;  if he'd told me in the first place, 
I'd have gladly not smoked around him.  When it used to be possible to
walk through a store with a lit pipe, three times as many people used to
compliment me on the smell of my pipe as would complain about it;  of
course, that doesn't count the people who stand upwind from you at a 
bus stop and make those silly little coughing noises 8-)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Bill Thacker			att!cbema!wbt	     ??????????????????

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Subject: Present for Oneself
From: ????????????????

Congratulations, Steve!!

You might consider buying a "Brebbia" brand pipe.  These are Italian jobbies,
and apparently very popular and respected over there.  They're at about the
same quality level as Bari pipes, which is to say very good.  But they've
been widely distributed (at least around here) for only the last year or so,
they don't have a famous name yet, and you could probably find a decent one
in your price rance.

They have some interesting shapes, to me anyway. They tend to alter traditional
contours just enough to add interest without being gaudy.  Their trademark is
a diagonal slash of briar on the stem -- quite nice.

Remember that most manufacturers sell different "quality ranges" of pipes.
They often don't know which range a pipe will be in until it's finished --
the last stroke of sandpaper on a bowl can reveal a damaging flaw.

So the same production line will yield a perfect pipe with fine grain ($200),
one with good grain and a few nicks ($100), and one with one or more filled-in
flaws ($50).  It's clear where the cost-effective end of this curve is.

Pipes that don't turn out well at all are often sold under lesser names.
Ehrlich's in Boston used to have big bins of "Boston Briars" for a
dollar or two.  These were factory seconds of who knows what and were
great deals. I still have a couple.

Anent Martin Lodahl's experience: one great thing about tobacco is that is
just doesn't spoil (outside freaky cases, like mildew).  Old weed can 
almost always be resuscitated by a few hours or days in a humid environment.
I've never tried wakening up the flavor with booze but it sounds great.
Cigars with the puffing end dipped in Remy Martin --- yum!

[Cigar aside -- old cigars get crumbly.  If a cigar in a store makes
crackly noises as you roll it gently between your fingers, don't buy
it.  If one you've already bought does, take it _out_ of the cellophane
and leave it in your humididor for a few days.  It will be fine.]

A big, maduro Partagas sounds like a great present for oneself, too.


				Phil Gustafson, Graphics/UN*X Consultant
				{uunet,ames!coherent}!aimt!phil ????????????????
				1550 Martin Ave, San Jose, Ca 95126

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From: ????????????????????????? (Maverick)

With the coming summer I was wondering whether anybody had a particularly
favorite outdoor smoke.  


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From: Steve Masticola (?????????????????????????)
Subject: Jersey shops and new members of the family

Thanks for the help, Bill and Phil! (To answer Bill's question, I'm going
for a Ph.D [Ph.Ool. though I may be!])

Last week, I did a little exploring of the tobacco shops in North Jersey,
and got some good news after a fairly long trek. 

I first checked out "Mr. Pipe" at Woodbridge Plaza. Not too impressive. It's
a small mall pipe store which seems to be in business mostly to sell
cigarettes and lottery tickets (a common practice among local smokeshops).
They haven't paid much attention to making a fussy, dallying pipe shopper
(such as myself) feel at home. They had some quality pipes for sale, but
these were mostly either far behind the counter or in a display case in
front of the cash register, where I seemed sure to be trampled by
lottery-ticket buyers. I didn't stay long.

The next day I went to "John David" in Quaker Bridge Mall, a store I've
described here before. The owner was attentive, but his stock seemed devoid
of middle-of-the-line pipes (I wanted one without fills, though I was willing
to tolerate some surface defects) and didn't seem to digress beyond basic
shapes I already had. Conversation:

ME:	Do you have any freehands?
OWNER:	Well, _all_ our pipes are freehands, except for maybe the cheap
	ones which are made by machine. This Dunhill is a freehand, this
	Upshall is a freehand... But for fifty bucks, you're not going to
	get a freehand pipe without fills.
ME:	I meant Danish freehands.
OWNER:	Oh, you're looking for something _wild_. I don't have any Danish
	freehands on hand; they don't sell. But I can order one. Here, let
	me show you the catalog. (Shows me a picture of a spectacularly 
	garish Preben Holm.) 
ME:	That's a bit _too_ wild for me.
OWNER:	Well, there are some Petersons over here. Petersons are always a
	good buy. [I agree, but...]
ME:	But I already have two Petersons. I don't need another one.
OWNER:	Not wild enough? Okay, but believe me, for fifty bucks you're not
	going to get a pipe without fills.
ME:	(Suddenly realizing that he was, after all, operating his shop in
	close proximity to Princeton) I'll just look on my own.

Nothing particularly caught my eye there, so I moved on.

The last place I visited was, of course, where I hit the jackpot.  Oddly
enough, this was a "Tinder Box" recently moved from Brunswick Square Mall to
a storefront on Route 18. The move, IMHO, was the kiss of death - no foot
traffic, difficult to see the store from the road, even harder to get into
or out of the parking lot, and no lottery concession for months! Rush hour
was already pressing at 4 P.M., but I decided to chance a visit.

The attendant (a youth who didn't appear too savvy about pipes - he asked me
if I was interested in a "messerschaum") immediately offered me a 50 percent
discount on any pipe on the shelf. I decided to taste (or at least observe)
his wares, and spent about half an hour having him move pipes into and out
of his display case. (His setup was like "Mr. Pipe", but I was the only
customer in the store while I was there.) I finally narrowed my selection
down to an Italian "Mauro Armellini" quarter-bent cone with a spherical top
(something like a briar Calabash) and a Danish "Bjarne" full-bent pot with a
narrow mouth on the bowl. Both had bite-proof Lucite stems; although I saw
some diminishingly small sand pits and crevices, neither had any apparent
fills. The total price with the discount was $87.50, but the youth offered
them both for $75, no tax, and with some tobacco thrown in! I accepted, and
received a double reward and a pouch of "Sherlock's." I'd heartily recommend
that New Jersey smokers check this place out - before they get the lotto

After about three pipefuls, the "Armellini" and I are good friends. (And how
nice to be able to smoke at home, without "Felix Unger" and his spraycan! :-)
The "Bjarne" remains unsmoked; perhaps I'll open a good book and get
acquainted with her tonight. One of these days I'll go procure a Partagas,
though I'm not a frequent cigar smoker. 

Until next time, pipefriends,

					Smoke in peace,
					~\U Steve.

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 )				       *   *				  )
( Pipe smokers will rule the world!      *   ??????????????????????	 (
 ) (if they don't run out of matches...) *   Steve Masticola, moderator	  )
(				       *   *				 (
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Article Index

  1. Subject: Reviving Old Tobacco
  2. Subject: Present for Oneself
  3. Subject: Jersey shops and new members of the family
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