Thank you for joining us for The Pipes Magazine Radio Show—the only radio talk show for pipe smokers and collectors. We broadcast weekly, every Tuesday at 8 pm eastern USA time and are available on nearly all podcast sites and apps. Listen on your computer, tablet, phone and even in the car! Our Featured Interview tonight is with Ryan Alden, a.k.a. "Lonestar" in the Forums. Ryan started making pipes just a few years ago, and has become so good, so fast, that he was one of 7 winners in the billiard judging contest that had over 50 entries at the Kansas City Pipe show this past June. In our "Pipe Parts" segment, Brian will talk about Oriental Tobaccos, and give you an update on the IPCPR trade show from last week. Sit back, relax with your pipe, and enjoy The Pipes Magazine Radio Show!
From the moment you walk in to the A&C Petersen factory, you know these guys don’t just make tobacco, they live it. On the horizontal support beams that cross the room are literally hundreds, maybe thousands, of tobacco tins collected over the years by the Petersen brothers, Hans and Jens -including many older American specimens that tobacco museums and collectors would envy. All around the office are other artifacts - antique machines for pressing, cutting, and mixing tobacco are standing accents, along with cigar store Indians, old smokeshop signs, and display posters.
Summer’s here, finally, and the time is right for dancing in the streets. And by "dancing in the streets" I mean, of course, settling into a comfortable lawn chair with some good friends, adult beverages, and a tin and pipe. My often-repeated insistence to pay no attention to popular conventions aside, VaPer blends—that’s Virginia-Perique for the uninitiated—simply and consistently make for damn fine warm-weather smoking. My personal cellar contains a depth and breadth of them that is perhaps less than a surfeit, but much, much more than a dearth. That is to say, around 50 different varieties that I return to with regularity.
Lord knows that I have been called a "tool" by a number of people (along with a plethora of other choice epithets) but what the title refers to is the frequency with which we, as pipe smokers, have to serve as a tamper (your choice of finger), because we’ve misplaced a pipe tool.
G. L. Pease
I've been trying to put the finishing touches on a blend I've been working on since January. No kidding. Seven months, and it's still not quite there. Sometimes, things just fall into place, and it all seems effortless. Other times, every step of the way is like a ball being shot into a giant Pachinko machine, rattling and bouncing about endlessly, until, finally, it falls through the wrong hole. This one has been like that, like being stuck in that Adventure game in the "Maze of twisty little passages, all alike." It can sometimes be a bit maddening. Like barking mad. Like Mad Hatter mad. It takes a certain amount of insanity to do this stuff.
Then, one day, all the hair pulling pays off, which is what finally happened early in the week. Wish me luck. And, believe it or not, that's actually a pretty good segue to this month's questions, so without further ado, let's pull the lever, launch another ball into its chaotic trajectory through Mr. Pachinko, and get to the questions.
Pipe smoking and expressive talents go hand in hand. Our ranks are full of artists of every media—painters, poets, writers and musicians especially. This month, thanks to Missouri Meerschaum, we'll take a look at my very personal top ten list of music made by pipe smokers, for the enjoyment of pipe smokers.
1 – Easily at the top of the list is John Coltrane's seminal masterpiece, A Love Supreme. While free jazz can be difficult for some to get into, on this record Coltrane combines the melodic sensibilities of his early bop days with all the wild exuberance of his technical mastery in what is widely recognized as one of the greatest jazz albums of all time. A simple four-note theme is catapulted into the sonic stratosphere, backed by the incredible lineup of Jimmy Garrison, Elvin Jones and McCoy Tyner. Coltrane was seeking to express a hymn to The Almighty; kick back with a capacious pipe and be swept away on this spiritual journey. Recommended tobacco: Presbyterian Mixture.
The subject of wristwatches has been on my mind of late and I thought it might be of interest to examine this small corner of the vast horological world.
Subset of a Subset: Though aviator watches and military type watches are a subset of the larger subset of sports watches, they have fairly recently gained much wider popularity.
I suppose if future 007's continue the timepiece migration that began with the Rolex Submariner and moved to the Omega Seamaster to say, the Omega "Dark Side of the Moon" Speedmaster, we'll know that the pilot/aviator watch phase has passed permanently into an established icon and style cue. (The Omega Speedmaster line is the famous "moon watch" – the first wristwatch on the moon.)
The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success. In the high-stakes, cloak and dagger world of tobacco blending, it's the one who holds the most secrets who has the hand to beat when the cards are laid out on the table. After the smoke clears and the dust settles, it's the dashing fellow in the three-piece suit that walks away with the self-satisfied grin, calmly extracting a classic black billiard—Dunhill, of course—from his breast pocket, filled to the brim with a luscious ebony flake. The aroma it exudes is exotic and flirtatious, perfectly balanced on the precipice of sweet, overlooking the valley of mystery below. Content that his adversaries are thoroughly vanquished, he climbs into his bespoke Aston Martin Centenary Edition and speeds away into the sunset, intent on blending another day ...
Hollywood has always been about looking good. That's why the pipe has been there since the first cameras rolled. It's the ultimate accessory. You wear it both in your face and in your hand. You display it in your home. And with proper care, it will last a lifetime. Let's face it, most marriages in Tinseltown are based on the same principles, and don't fare as well. But a pipe is more than just a smoke — something you dispose of when you're through — it's an appendage. And just like Liz and Dick, Lucy and Desi, Groucho and his cigar, some Hollywood celebrities are forever linked...with their pipes.
As I reflect upon our current condition, meaning the fraternity of pipe tobacco smokers, I am concerned that we are running out of sanctuaries, and that we are in some sort of middle earth of dragons and awful flying things. I fear that we will be overcome.
Recently (July 13, 2014), I watched CNN's re-run of its news feature by Dr. Sanjay Gupta on Weed. I missed the first episode and decided to tune-in to this re-run.
Now, I did not just ride in on the turnip truck, but I was stunned to learn from the piece that the federal government owns a patent on marijuana. Did you know that? Why didn't you tell me?
I had first heard about some of Rik’s custom tampers after seeing a tamper that looked very much like a cigar, ash and all. Doing a double take I had asked where did that come from and I was pointed to Etsy to a new pipe smoker and new carver who has a [...]