Thursday, August 26, 2010

Pipes


Peterson Aran XL02

Another of my more eccentric pursuits (by today's standards) is relaxing on the patio with a tobacco pipe.  I have been an occasional pipe smoker for the past twenty years.  What that means is weeks, months and even years elapse between my smoking sessions.  I bought my first pipe from a tobacconist and have always liked procuring my blends from a brick and mortar tobacconist's shop.

First a little history.  I smoked cigarettes for a few years in high school and while in the military.  I gave them up for three reasons.  I had recently met a nice girl who would become my wife and she was not keen on the habit.  The second reason is kind of humorous now looking back at it.  While in the Air Force I had shifted my focus away from running and began to do more cycling.  Running was starting to bother my knees.  After a 5K road race one day I decided that was it and I never ran again except for occasional physical fitness activities required by the military.  From that point on I began riding more and more.  Rail trails, road rides and of course mountain biking as I was stationed in eastern Washington State on the edge of the Rocky Mountains.  Stopping in the middle of a bike ride for a smoke break is rather counter-productive.  In time my lungs cleaned out and I noticed that my ability to ride my bike improved dramatically.  The resulting performance boost realized so quickly made it easy to give them up for good.  Thirdly and most obviously cigarettes really are vile!
Perhaps the most insidious nicotine demon I had to wrestle from my back and cast aside was the smokeless kind.  I believe my use of smokeless tobacco started around junior high and continued for many years.  The high school I attended was a rural school.  Lots of farm boys and Skoal rings worn into the back pocket of Levi's. Smokeless really facilitated covert use, sneaking around teachers and coach, granted once you learned to swallow the juice.  Later in the Air Force while working on jet planes a pinch of Skoal or Copenhagen would hit the spot.  Cigarettes simply have no place around jet fuel!  I tried many times to quit over a five year period and finally put this most disgusting method of delivery behind me about eight years ago.

I am well aware of the health risks involved with the use of tobacco.  My wife has been a respiratory Therapist for fourteen years.  Her specialty is the lungs.  Believe me I have heard many stories about COPD (Cardiopulmonary Disease), Ventilators and breathing treatments.  Imagine spending your last days as an invalid with a machine breathing for you and daily removal of accumulated brown mucous via a suction catheter down the old windpipe. That is if the cancer doesn't get you first.  If you smoke cigarettes you really should quit.  That said I am also a staunch supporter of freedom of choice so smoke 'em if you got em and I won't look down on anyone who does.

Over the past few years I have noticed  that I can put the pipe down for weeks or months at time.  For this reason I don't feel guilty about rewarding myself with a relaxing and contemplative smoke once in a while.  I think about the day or just stare up at the stars above and ponder nothing at all while savoring the sweet aromatic scent of my pipe.  I take care not to inhale any of the smoke. Just little puffs to keep the ember burning.  So after a six month period of not a single smoke I realized my little bit of old tobacco had gone dry and I should probably purchase some fresh.  Might as well a new pipe too.  My old pipe is a fine briar I have had for about ten years.  I made it myself from a block of Italian briar.  I'll discuss that pipe later.
My new pipe is a great Peterson from Dublin Ireland.  This bent pipe has a matte finish on the large bowl that looks great and  smokes cool.  The band is polished nickel. The tobacco tin was vacuum packed and very fresh when I opened it.  Sunset Breeze is a made for Peterson blend of Virginia, Burley and Black Cavendish.  The yellow and brown leaf is the virginia and burley and the black well you get it.  This tobacco smells great. 
Pipes can be made from a corncob or be fine piece of art as unique and colorful as the owner who smokes it.  Like the cigar popularity growth in the 1990's there is a small group of younger men and women who are taking on the old tradition of the pipe.  Just remember as with everything in life moderation is the key.
   





3 comments:

  1. Nice post. I used to smoke a pipe from time to time in high school but I haven't since. I've discussed smoking a pipe with my wife but she uses it as leverage for her to continue smoking cigarettes. Since I'm trying to help her to quit I think I'll have to let the this one go.

    I believe my pipe I used to have, was a Dr.Grabow. Nothing fancy but it had a nice shape to it.

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  2. Teniendo a mi hermosa Pipa Peterson Sherlock Holmes Proffesor entre mis labios no necesito a ninguna mujer a quien besar. Y es que de verdad, en mis Pipas encuentro aquella parte de ternura incondicional y sutil que ninguna mujer me puede dar. Saludos.

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  3. Recumbent Conspiracy TheoristJuly 27, 2011 at 11:59 AM

    así me dijo mi amigo

    Thanks for the comment! I've been thinking about more pipe posts so check back soon.

    addios!

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