Saturday, May 23, 2015

Annals of shopping

Went to get a new pipe tonight.  Part of the thing with the Mrs. and I is that when we get our money back from taxes, we pay off debt and put some in our investments, but we always make sure to take a little bit and reward ourselves for not allowing the government to steal any more than they already did.  So I decided that I was going to pick up a good briar pipe.  We had held off buying it for a number of reasons, but today we went to a somewhat local pipe shop and did some searching.

My price was set at no higher than $150.  There are tons of good briar pipes out there for that price, and I found a unique pipe that I picked up for a bit less than that.  However, while shopping I saw pipes that were over $700.

That's two-thirds of a cool grand, all for a smoking pipe.  And the thing that got to me was that the expensive pipe isn't going to smoke any better than the pipe I picked up for considerably less.

Ah, well.  This is what makes the world go round, I guess.  If folks want to spend that much for a pipe, there's some Danish pipe maker who's happy to sell them.  And don't get me wrong, that $700 pipe is absolutely gorgeous.  I held it.  It fit my hand like it was made for me, and the grain on the briar was unbelievable.  Which is why it's as high priced as it is.  But still - I like the volcano I picked up, and there's no way on God's Green Earth that I'm spending $700 on a pipe.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Cigar Review: Ave Maria Charlemagne

I was offered another chance to review cigars for, and I jumped on it like a hungry dog on a bone.  The box arrived yesterday, and I opened it up with trembling hands, revealing this glorious beauty:  The Ave Maria Charlemagne.

Just holding this cigar is breath-taking, let me tell you.  And as a Catholic guy, how can I not love a cigar named "Ave Maria"?

All kidding aside, I wanted to light it up right away.  I probably could have, as Anthony made sure it arrived in perfect condition.  I let it sit in the humidor for a day to make sure I would get all the flavor from it, and after dinner decided it was time to light it up.

First observation - make sure you have time.  This cigar is 7.5 inches long with a ring gauge of 54.  The website says it's an hour and a half smoke.  My smoke tonight lasted two and a half hours, and I could have milked it for a bit more if I wanted to.  Bring a book.  And the adult beverage of your choice.  This is a cigar meant for a good, long, relaxing smoke.  If you lit this bad boy at the beginning of a football game you'd still be smoking it well into the third quarter if not longer.  

Once I unwrapped it I gave it a good sniff.  Sweet tobacco aroma.  Clipped the end, gave it a test puff and the draw was perfect.  It's a well crafted cigar.  As I was toasting the foot, I caught my first whiff of the smoke.  You know that smell you get when you first walk into a top-end cigar lounge?  That smell that says you're in a store dedicated to the best smokes that cigar makers can put out?  The smell that makes you just want to stand in the entrance and inhale the air?  Yeah.  That was the smell I got.  This is how a cigar should smell.  I think I actually said that aloud.

The first part of the cigar is straight tobacco flavor with a hint of cream.  The description of the cigar is medium-full, but I found the start of the cigar to be almost mild/medium.  About a quarter of the way through, you started to get hints of toast and coffee that slowly built in strength.  The strength kept building, and a third of the way through the cigar had attained its medium-full potential, with notes of spice starting to pick up.  It was an outstanding way to start a cigar of this size.  It doesn't show up and kick over your palate, it lets you get warmed up before it flexes its muscles.

About halfway through, the spice became more pronounced, and the cream notes faded.  The toast and coffee flavors held steady.  Two-thirds of the way through, the spice and tobacco flavors were hitting the "full" description, and remained there until the finish.

I normally don't go into that kind of depth - quarter, third, etc.  But this cigar lasted so long with the flavor profile changing accordingly that I felt it was worth remarking on.

The ash held for over an inch at the start.  I eventually knocked the ash off before it could fall, and it was firm.  I never had any ash fall off for the entire smoke.  It burned even all the way to the finish, with no canoeing or hot spots.  The draw held steady from start to finish.  The construction on this cigar was superb.

My bottom line:  This cigar is frigging awesome.  I wanted to come up with some sort of flowery description about how much I enjoyed it and all of that pleasant verbiage, but what it comes down to is that this is just a great smoke.  When you buy the box the price per cigar is $7.95.  I've paid $15 for a cigar that wasn't even close to as good as this Ave Maria was.  After I smoked it, I went to the website so I could put the hyperlink into this post and was astonished at how little it cost.  This is a top-notch cigar.

Once again, I'd like to thank Anthony from for allowing me to review these cigars.  You can find their link under the "Be A Man" sidebar, or just use the link in this post to get to the Ave Maria line.  Trust me, you won't be disappointed.

Went to dinner tonight

At a sushi place the wife likes.  They had two TVs going - one had golf, the other had a rugby match - Glascow vs. Ulster.

I pointed out the rugby match to the Mrs.  I don't know the rules, but it's always fun to watch.  The Mrs. looked over her shoulder (the TV was behind her), watched ten seconds of the game, and then came around to my side of the table so she could watch while she ate.

She's now hooked on rugby now.  I need to find a game or two around here so I can take her.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Got a new computer

Kicking the wheels, testing the acceleration, you know the drill.  The old one is stuttering so hard right now that I can't even back up files to my portable hard drive.  I may end up transferring files via a thumb drive.

Sorry 'bout the lack of posting.  Kinda been busy.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Ramadi falls

I haven't written anything about Ramadi falling to ISIS.    There's lots of folks out there writing better articles about it than I can.  I'm sure you can find more.

So here's the statement I have to make about it - Let's take two presumptions:

1 - Obama is so incompetent that his foreign policy has been a disaster to the extent that the world will never recover from the damage.

2 - Obama is working for America's enemies to damage America in ways that cannot be repaired.

How could you tell these two presumptions apart?  Because that's the scenario we're faced with right now.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Paid to protest

Is there any Leftist activity in this country that isn't organized to further disrupt the rest of us?

The Ferguson protesters were getting paid to protest.  Which means that they had to be organized enough to know WHO the professional protesters were, and how to conduct their protesting business.

Behold, the Progressives.

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Answer is "Yes"

To this question:

One by one, the great institutions that gave meaning to Western civilization have fallen to their infection.  Our schools teach their false history, our universities enforce their fascist speech codes, our media coddle their thuggish political hacks, our military is seconded to serve their social rather than our national security agenda, courts are enjoined to consider “just outcomes” rather than due process,” and now even the elected president of the United States questions the logic of the First Amendment, the guarantee of free speech. 
Can they possibly have now also captured the Church of Rome?

First, they captured the Catholic Church decades ago, with enough force to bring about the Second Vatican Counsel.  The changes wrought to the Mass were enough to twist it away from what it should be, and towards what the Marxists want it to be - completely removed from the spirituality of the church.

Second, for decades the Church has happily handed over it's responsibilities to the governments whenever it could:  Feeding the poor, sheltering the homeless, helping the suffering.  It was just so much EASIER to let the government take over, don't you know, until Catholic charities are but a shadow of their former selves.  Still potent, still able to function to some degree, but still a shadow of their former selves.  This is a direct result of the Marxists inserting themselves into Church leadership and allowing their political ideologies to direct the Church's actions.

Third, they have allowed all the modern Marxist heresies to permeate the Church's branches to the point where a Catholic priest tweets out support of same-sex marriage, and when he gets fired for it, other Catholics react in shock.  Have they not even bothered to learn their own Church's teachings?  Why don't they start with the Sacrament of Marriage?

Once again, and I hate to sound like I'm beating out the same beat on the same drum over and over, if you are Catholic, you owe it to yourself to find a Latin Mass somewhere close to where you are, and start attending it.  Come see the Church as it should be.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

And the Ragin' Mrs. puts it well:

Now we know the Border Patrol is pretty much Obama's special army.

So, to whit:

An American Citizen driving from one point in America to another point in American is detained by the Border Patrol for "acting nervous".

She's not under arrest.  She hasn't done anything wrong.  But she's told she cannot have her car until a K9 unit arrives.  And when she argues with them, they tackle her and taze her.

This happened.  In America.

Tar.  Feathers.