Figured I'd start with the pipes. I've been lurking here awhile and figured it was time to at least post some pipe pics. I've gone from dip, to cowboy killers, to cigars, and now I've landed in pipes. I love the ritualistic aspects, sensory/memory jogs, and relaxation I get from smoking my pipe. I like to go out on the porch at midnight and smoke a bowl before bed. Sometimes my mind wanders over the day, sometimes I think about the next day, and sometimes I just zone out and instead of smoking it's more like a breathing exercise. Too me smoking has always had a calming effect on me. I lead a hectic (but good) life and the time I set aside for my pipe helps me slow it down and add perspective.
I started with a Corncob my wife got me for Father's day and a shed load of bulk tobaccos. Since then I've grabbed a few pipes off ebay and from my Father. I tend to be frugal (just paid off my 2nd car!) and I enjoy things that have history to them.
Anyway I have to say this is one of the best online communities I've seen and now I'm more then happy to be a part of it. Onto the pipes!
The Peterson Bulldog came by the way of my father. He's had some health issues the past year (years!, stubborn old man) and decided to stop smoking. I agreed to take it off his hands to aid in his recovery...heh. I really like a way it feels and I even wrote a loving melodramatic tumblr post to it. I'll have to have a few Gin and Tonics before I decide to post it or not.
The Boswell is actually a Christmas pipe I bought for my dad back in 2000. They were apparently made for the Tinder Box here in South Bend (and neighboring Mishawaka) Indiana. I didn't know anything about pipes when I bought it, but the shop keeper steered me in it's direction. I'm glad he did. I smoked it last night for the first time and it felt very comfortable. I'm not passing judgement yet, we need to get better acquainted.
The Aldo Velani is actually my first non-corncob pipe. I bought it off ebay for a fair price and it was amazing how different it felt smoking it. I really love the way it smokes, it gives me this huge draw and it feels perfect in my hand. Its so round, it just fits.
The Bumpa's Pipe is actually a Caroleer or something close to it (hard to read the stamping). I don't smoke it. I haven't been able to track down much info on it, but it holds a huge place in my memories since it belonged to my Grandfather. My Grandfather was one of "those grandfathers" who always had a pipe lit or unlit in his mouth. As a kid I'd always sit and look and hold his pipes. After he died I remember walking through his house and asking my mom if I could have one of them and picked that one. It's chewed up, caked up, cracked, and probably not worth any money but it's priceless to me.
Mr. Brog. I was buying my wife some books via Amazon and got a wild hair and picked it up. When she saw it she rolled her eyes at me and called me a crack addict. I told her I only ordered it because it was Polish (she's Polish on her mother's side). She's a nurse, you'd think she'd know about PAD. I've never smoked it. I honestly wouldn't have bought it if I knew my father was going to unload a couple of pipes on me. Of course that doesn't mean I'll get rid of it. I have to smoke it. Someone went through all the trouble to make it.
An Old Meer. Exactly that. I took a gamble on it via ebay. The carving on it is pretty rough and unpolished and I'm not a fan of the screw in stem. It feels like it restricts the draw, but honestly the more I smoke it the more I like it. It won't win any beauty pageants but for where I'm at I'm enjoying it. I tend to be attracted to things with character.
The estate pipes are a few odds and ends I've somehow attracted over the years. Dunno how.
Anyway, those are my pipes. They're a little bit random and awkward in my acquiring them, but that works for me.