We’ve offered our predictions for the year ahead, and now it’s time to share our New Year’s resolutions here at the PipesMagazine.com editorial offices. There’s an easy theme to spot amongst the suggestions, and that is: participate!
Savor your time. Set aside an hour or two, once a week, in which you are focused on one thing, and one thing only: enjoying the pipe. Allow it to be completely passive: no reading, emailing, facebooking, or playing games on your mobile; truly let yourself relax into the smoke. Rediscover the lost art of daydreaming, maybe even just see how long you can keep it lit—it makes good practice for slow smoking contests.
A message worth repeating: Savor Your Time.
When my journal appears, many statues must come down. –Arthur Wellesley
Read my "How to Taste" Article
I advocate this time and again: keep a tobacco journal. Explore your tastes in a methodical manner, and perhaps be surprised by some of your findings. If you’re new to it, start small—a small notebook and pen doesn’t cost more than a pack of pipe cleaners.
I signed up today, did you? http://www.naspc.org/membership.htm
Subscribe to the NASPC newsletter. You’re reading this online, so why not indulge in a digital subscription to the NASPC newsletter, all for the price of a boutique tin? Your contribution furthers the cause, and is available anywhere the World Wide Web is (so, everywhere). Members even enjoy discounts at many retailers, so it can easily pay for itself many times over.
NYPC President Lou Carbone with Cornelius Crans, President of the CIPC.
Join a local pipe club. No pipe club? Start your own! It’s much easier than you think. Pipers thrive in the company of their briar brethren (and sistren!); it’s a dynamite way to develop business and personal contacts, make new friends and discover new blends, and if nothing else, a great excuse for a regular social soiree. Find out how here if you’re in the States and here, for our international visitors.
Kevin and the giant pipe!
Go to a pipe show this year. As forum member kcghost would remind us, most Americans live within a few hours’ drive of a major annual pipe event; it’s almost too easy to attend one. Worldwide there are many international-scale shows as well as smaller local ones every year, somewhere—it’s up to you to seek them out and support the hobby, though. It makes a terrific trip for a pipe club to visit as a group, too, and can help with the organizational end of things like hotel planning and ridesharing. Check out the year’s events here and start making plans now!
A political cartoon from Puck, 1888. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Keep abreast of the latest tobacco legislation—and participate. With many new developments in cigarette alternatives and FDA oversight, the politics of smoking are rapidly changing—and often, not for the better. Keep track of the news, and your local representatives’ stance on smoking laws, and remember that nothing speaks as loudly as a vote. Fellow PipesMagazine.com writer Fred Brown’s articles are a good place to start, and the following links are good for some further reading:
The secret to getting things done is to act! –Dante Alighieri
Speaking of voting—LEVINE IN 2016! This is one New Year’s prediction that would provide me with no end of mirth to see to fruition. As Al says, let’s get this trending! #Levine2016
Because I can’t resist starting the New Year with a Picard meme.
Know the facts. Shakespeare was on to something when he wrote, “Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven.” Educate yourself about tobacco, about its science, its place in political and economic discourse, and about its history. Then, every time someone tells you that you shouldn’t smoke, you can take the opportunity to engage in a dialogue that may just enlighten someone else’s view as well as your own. Some links to get you started:
So much tobacco, so little time …
Try some new blends and genres. If you’re a confirmed Latakia stink-bomb lover, try switching it up a little with a crossover blend. Stuck in a Virginia rut? Walk on the wild side with some aromatics. Bored with burley? Go out on a limb with some Semois. There’s nothing like expanding one’s horizons of taste.
‘Cause every girl’s crazy ’bout a sharp-dressed man. –ZZ Top
Be a Pipe Ambassador. Smoke to seek balance and solace in your life, and encourage it in others. Smoke in public, smiling and proud—remember, you’re the new face of pipe smoking, and we’re relying on you to spread the good will. Introduce the joys of pipe smoking to a friend. And remember to always keep a few new cobs on hand for just such an occasion.