4.20.2010

Pipe smoking update

Although it might seem a little out of character for me (unless you knew me when I was a brooding, poetry-obsessed college student), I still enjoy smoking a pipe every now and then. About ten years ago I wrote a little post called My pipes, so I thought I would update that info with my more recent pipe news. In the past year or so I'd say my frequency of smoking has increased (it's just so nice to have a pipe while I watch a DVD), but I really do make an effort to limit myself, usually to four bowls or less per week. When the weather is nice I keep my windows open and even run the ceiling fan to help blow the smoke out of the house (even though I like to watch the smoke form patterns in the air), and when I finish smoking I run a little air purifier, which really does make a difference. Obviously I know there's nothing healthy about pipe smoking, but at least I try to keep it reasonable!

I'm still using two of the pipes I mentioned in 2000, but I retired my New Orleans straight stem (it kept clogging due to my sloppy maintenance). The pipe from Mom is still fun to smoke, although the stem has really deteriorated to something gross, but my favorite is definitely the Savinelli because I love the dry smoke from the balsa filter. Unfortunately, my carelessness has caused a few burn marks on the pipe, but it's still really comfortable. Whenever I decide to get my next pipe (which could be soon), most likely I'm going to try another Savinelli! Of course, I'm still using my Dad's old tamping tool, which is priceless to me.

I kind of got tired of pipe shop tobacco over the years, so after reading some reviews of Mac Baren's offerings (from Denmark), I've been ordering them online for quite a while. I started with their staple Virginia No. 1, but I really love their elite (and somewhat silly) limited editions like Cube and No. 8 (both of which come in elegant boxes that probably cost more than the tobacco itself!). Cube is pretty easy to find, but No. 8 seems to be discontinued, which is a shame since it's probably the best "first bowl" of a blend I've ever had! Recently I tried out Original Choice, which is nice to smoke, but for some reason the ash it leaves behind is super stinky, so I think I'm done with it. I just ordered some vanilla flavored tobacco to try, so we'll see how that goes!