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Harv

Lurker
Jun 1, 2024
27
55
Pattaya, Thailand
I believe you have a great idea for exploring the world of pipe tobacco AND getting some practical experience with spread sheeting.
But, maybe just dive in and smoke a couple bowls of each.
I believe the data you're looking for will reveal itself.
I worked in Command and Control for a bit... I think it's had a lasting effect lol
 

Harv

Lurker
Jun 1, 2024
27
55
Pattaya, Thailand
I took @Pipeh recommendations and built a Tobacco specific tab that will eventually feed into the main one. There should be a way where I can get the weather data to auto-populate.

This isn't gonna be for every bowl. Just like hey that was a good one or I've been smoking this blend for a bit and I think I'm ready to review it. Then like Pipeh said, I'll be able to have these ones go directly into the main one.

It has: Blend, Components, Flavors, Manufacturer, Blender, Country, TR Rating, Date Smoked, Time, Manufacturer Date, Packaging, Cut, Age, Location Smoked, Weather Info, Hunger, Sleep, Stress/Desire to Smoke, Packaging, Bowl, Bowl Bend, Burn Time, Like/Dislike and then a Comment section
 

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jpmcwjr

Moderator
Staff member
May 12, 2015
25,329
28,533
Carmel Valley, CA
All power to you! I've grown to hate spreadsheets, probably due to my using them for tax prep. But make sure to take time to just savor a bowl.

Please put your location in your Profile!
How: Under your avatar, (top right, left most of three symbols) you choose "Account Details", which brings up "My Account". "My Location" is halfway down.
 
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Auxsender

Part of the Furniture Now
Jul 17, 2022
969
5,189
Nashville
I find this both fascinating and totally antithetical to my pipe-world view.
Fascinating because it’s such a stark example of how different we are piper to piper. For me, this all seems like work, and I have plenty of that in my life already.
I’m just trying to chill and smoke my pipe. Why would I open a spreadsheet? I wouldn’t. But some of y’all would, and that’s wonderful.
I hope you get all of the useful pipe smoking data you’re after and more!
 

Harv

Lurker
Jun 1, 2024
27
55
Pattaya, Thailand
I find this both fascinating and totally antithetical to my pipe-world view.
Fascinating because it’s such a stark example of how different we are piper to piper. For me, this all seems like work, and I have plenty of that in my life already.
I’m just trying to chill and smoke my pipe. Why would I open a spreadsheet? I wouldn’t. But some of y’all would, and that’s wonderful.
I hope you get all of the useful pipe smoking data you’re after and more!
I'll be honest I'm kind of with you on that. It's more of a perfect storm situation. Because I'm somewhere the availability/price of pipe tobacco isn't particularly good, I'm not going to be smoking for another 2ish weeks. If I was sitting in the US right now I would've just ordered stuff and not even bothered looking for a sample pack or anything like that, and definitely not making a spread sheet. But I've got shockingly little going on in my life at the moment, and I'm also the type of person who will definitely put an extra effort into learning some aspects of coding and data analysis if I've got a way to relate to the thing I'd be building. And I kinda just woke up the other day and was like oh wow I've got the perfect opportunity to just pile up some data that I'll eventually be able to tinker with. And when I head to grad school, my ability to work with stuff like this in a fluid and competent manner will be huge.

Plus the other part is I'm like a super scheduled person. I wake up at the same time everyday, follow the same weekly routine, eat the same food at the same time everyday (for the most part). So for someone who doesn't do that stuff, I mean yeah this would be absolutely insane. For me it's more along the lines of, I'm not keeping track of anything outside of when I have a break from my normal routine. It's not like I'm gonna be doing anything when I decide to go smoke a pipe other than pack it up and smoke. I'm definitely not gonna be making an entry for every bowl I smoke, maybe once a tin when it isn't something I've had, and then whenever I feel like I'm having a noticeably different experience. Plus all these programs are right in my phone. And it also kinda slows me down from TAD.

It looks like your profile pic is a telescope, so in the same way that's an application of physics not everyone would be into I guess this is just kinda like a really odd application of a mathy thing I'm into lol. To be honest, I think astronomy is cool but I'm way more interested in analysis the stuff everyone else sees when they do it rather than looking at stuff myself.
 
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RookieGuy80

Part of the Furniture Now
Jul 6, 2023
677
2,292
Maryland, United States
I like your data driven approach. It makes a lot of sense. However, I worry that you might rely too much on the data points. 6 months in a jar can change things. 6 months more experience will as well. Not to mention weather, food, pipe smoked, how you're generally feeling when you light up.

Don't worry too much about classification right now. I know it's been mentioned like the difference between Grousemoor and Captain Black, both aromatics. But you can find such stark difference in burleys and english/balkans and virginias and va/pers and every other genre.

Really, I wouldn't put in too much effort past "I like this about that, I don't like that about this." Keep your notes for that. Keep your notebook handy for anything noteworthy. For example, I find Oriental Silk to be incredibly bland and uninspiring. But when paired with coffee it transforms to a beautiful experience, so much so that I dedicated a pipe to it. I find Lakeland blends to be a huge struggle to smoke, but only if I'm not in in the mood for one. If I am, they're the best.
 

Marie

Starting to Get Obsessed
Jun 15, 2024
132
295
Los Angeles
Hi Harv. Thank you for your service. I am a big fan of using spreadsheets. It is calming and organizing for me to map out the terrain and then figure out the way forward from there. I had not thought about using a spreadsheet with pipe smoking yet because of the high number of blends on the market and it seems a good portion are fleeting, and others limited as they come and go. I am slowly collecting 10-15 sample blends of 1-2oz each across the entire range of what I can perceive currently. Just enough to differentiate generally between forwards in a blend and learn over time. Then continue exploring and drilling down from there. Already to me there seems to be endless nuance, and then layers upon layers of endless nuance. I prefer having variety and nuance to work with and chew on over the same thing day after day.

Your approach is really cool! I think I can see why it works for you. It has a kind of mapping the terrain for logistics and precision movement and feedback feel to it. Thank you for sharing your spreadsheet and all of your effort inputting the data to get things going. I am going to use it for reference with my journey to plan my next steps before writing things down in a notebook. You may want to consider a way of printing out the spreadsheet and housing it in a binder in the event of file corruption. Just to have an occasional snapshot record outside the digital environment for your personal backup reference. puffy
 

Sobrbiker

Lifer
Jan 7, 2023
3,017
37,858
Casa Grande, AZ
Hey guys appreciate the feed back so far, but I'm not sure some of you are looking at the spreadsheet. That first picture was just an example of how to adjust the columns if you look at it.

View attachment 315440
Sounds too much like work.

Fun fact-as a guy just over 1.5yrs in to the addiction, err I mean “hobby” my prediction is this may be an exercise in mental masturbation.
I was all over the place with what I thought I’d like, what I wanted to like, etc. it wasn’t until my tongue, palate, cadence, pipes, and everything else got broken in that I could even really find the broad strokes of “my groove”.
The broad sampler is awesome, but I’d advise getting a few oz of each main genre, then maybe after finding which varietals jive with your chemistry a few ounces of a bunch of different blends that highlight those. That would take a decent amount of time, and you’d be better dialed in to really appreciate the differences presented in the samples.

Above all, have fun and enjoy the journey, just my $.02

Take it for what you paid for it, and of course YMMV.
 

InWithBothFeet

Starting to Get Obsessed
Mar 23, 2024
166
357
Richmond, KY
Unless you are a LOT faster at picking up on this pipe and tobacco thing than I am, I would suggest waiting for 10 years for your hobby to develop before doing this. I've been dabbling at this since March and you can still see the imprint of my butt on the front bench of the struggle bus. :ROFLMAO:
 
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Harv

Lurker
Jun 1, 2024
27
55
Pattaya, Thailand
Sounds too much like work.

Fun fact-as a guy just over 1.5yrs in to the addiction, err I mean “hobby” my prediction is this may be an exercise in mental masturbation.
I was all over the place with what I thought I’d like, what I wanted to like, etc. it wasn’t until my tongue, palate, cadence, pipes, and everything else got broken in that I could even really find the broad strokes of “my groove”.
The broad sampler is awesome, but I’d advise getting a few oz of each main genre, then maybe after finding which varietals jive with your chemistry a few ounces of a bunch of different blends that highlight those. That would take a decent amount of time, and you’d be better dialed in to really appreciate the differences presented in the samples.

Above all, have fun and enjoy the journey, just my $.02

Take it for what you paid for it, and of course YMMV.
Wait, so masturbation is work to you? Or am I not understanding the meaning of mental masturbation.
 

Harv

Lurker
Jun 1, 2024
27
55
Pattaya, Thailand
Hi Harv. Thank you for your service. I am a big fan of using spreadsheets. It is calming and organizing for me to map out the terrain and then figure out the way forward from there. I had not thought about using a spreadsheet with pipe smoking yet because of the high number of blends on the market and it seems a good portion are fleeting, and others limited as they come and go. I am slowly collecting 10-15 sample blends of 1-2oz each across the entire range of what I can perceive currently. Just enough to differentiate generally between forwards in a blend and learn over time. Then continue exploring and drilling down from there. Already to me there seems to be endless nuance, and then layers upon layers of endless nuance. I prefer having variety and nuance to work with and chew on over the same thing day after day.

Your approach is really cool! I think I can see why it works for you. It has a kind of mapping the terrain for logistics and precision movement and feedback feel to it. Thank you for sharing your spreadsheet and all of your effort inputting the data to get things going. I am going to use it for reference with my journey to plan my next steps before writing things down in a notebook. You may want to consider a way of printing out the spreadsheet and housing it in a binder in the event of file corruption. Just to have an occasional snapshot record outside the digital environment for your personal backup reference. puffy
Yeah, the spreadsheet is neat and I'm glad I have it. Realistically now it's kind of needing to transform into something more individualized to track the way I want to think about tobaccos and what not. I'm glad I put in the groundwork of putting it together but we'll see how much it actually gets used.
 
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Harv

Lurker
Jun 1, 2024
27
55
Pattaya, Thailand
Unless you are a LOT faster at picking up on this pipe and tobacco thing than I am, I would suggest waiting for 10 years for your hobby to develop before doing this. I've been dabbling at this since March and you can still see the imprint of my butt on the front bench of the struggle bus. :ROFLMAO:
Ha yeah I dunno man maybe Amphora Virginia is a pretty easy blend to start with, but I've been just fine with it. Maybe 3 or 4 relights for a bowl smoking to dottle unless I was socializing while doing it, in which case I could barely keep the dang thing going. About to start on some Capstan Blue ready rub so we'll see.

Ended up switching my pipe choices and the taste difference between a cob and a dublin with .82" diameter 1.83" was pretty noticeable to me. Definitely good in both, but the dublin for sure brought out a bit more.
 

dunnyboy

Lifer
Jul 6, 2018
2,496
30,822
New York
@Harv, I admire your work and your various reasons—beyond evaluating pipe tobacco—for doing it. I wish you joy of it.

I understand why you want all this searchable information in your spreadsheet but, If I were going to be systematic, I would not duplicate all the data available on TR. I would limit myself to the name, components, a description of what I was able to taste when I focused on identifying tastes, and my impressions over time. Of course, you notice I said "if."
 
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Nov 20, 2022
2,371
23,613
Wisconsin
I think this approach would work great if one had enough pipers contributing. The information could be manipulated to assist newer pipe smokers to find their ideal tobacco faster with fewer purchases. It might also help experienced smokers find a new tobacco for their rotation.
 
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Sobrbiker

Lifer
Jan 7, 2023
3,017
37,858
Casa Grande, AZ
Wait, so masturbation is work to you? Or am I not understanding the meaning of mental masturbation.
No, spreadsheets are work to me.
My point (the “mental masturbation” part) has more to do with the reset of my post, that is: without a decent technique and having mental biases towards what I “thought” I’d like than being purely objective (which was hard to do when I’d fry my tongue for a week), all of my perceptions about blends were nothing like what they are now that I’ve learned and become accustomed to smoking a pipe and the effects it has on my senses of taste and smell.
I can draw the analogy with ballistics in that “what genres I like” are like elevation-it’s almost science, not a lot of grey area. However, the nuances of say, one VaPer and its varietals compared to another is more like windage, which is full of voodoo and more applicable after time and experience with the conditions.

You’ve got a great sampling of blends, and recording your take on them will be helpful I’m sure. For me, it took a while to just get to an overall sense of what I liked and didn’t.

Bottom line as I mentioned before, above all enjoy the journey!
 

Manawydan

Starting to Get Obsessed
Apr 24, 2024
198
1,260
Southern California, US
As someone who also uses spreadsheets to track my blends, smokes, pipes, etc..., I can appreciate the analytical nature of your process. However, as a relatively new pipe smoker myself I have also found that my taste is evolving rather quickly as I gain experience. My subjective journalling about blends as I try them has been more actually helpful to me in figuring out what I like. It often takes more than just a couple bowls of a blend to figure that out. I've had blends that I really didn't 'get' at all when first tried and then a month later (after trying other things, slowly developing my palette, etc...) really enjoyed when tried again.

In short I recommend both paths: basic subjective journalling of your experiences giving time for them to evolve, and basic management/inventorying of your stock as it grows.

Most of all, make sure you are enjoying yourself!
 

Harv

Lurker
Jun 1, 2024
27
55
Pattaya, Thailand
I think this approach would work great if one had enough pipers contributing. The information could be manipulated to assist newer pipe smokers to find their ideal tobacco faster with fewer purchases. It might also help experienced smokers find a new tobacco for their rotation.
Yeah, that's kind of half my intent if I stick with it. Like you're saying, ideally I could have it mostly populated and then if a bunch of pipers wanted to just fill it out to their preferences it could then build into a suggestion list. Then as the newer pipers start to use it and fill it out it would change based on their opinions. I think it could be pretty interesting to work on the data analytics because it's not really easily quantifiable stuff but also not seemingly impossible because there isn't a vast list of different tasting notes.
 
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Harv

Lurker
Jun 1, 2024
27
55
Pattaya, Thailand
No, spreadsheets are work to me.
My point (the “mental masturbation” part) has more to do with the reset of my post, that is: without a decent technique and having mental biases towards what I “thought” I’d like than being purely objective (which was hard to do when I’d fry my tongue for a week), all of my perceptions about blends were nothing like what they are now that I’ve learned and become accustomed to smoking a pipe and the effects it has on my senses of taste and smell.
I can draw the analogy with ballistics in that “what genres I like” are like elevation-it’s almost science, not a lot of grey area. However, the nuances of say, one VaPer and its varietals compared to another is more like windage, which is full of voodoo and more applicable after time and experience with the conditions.

You’ve got a great sampling of blends, and recording your take on them will be helpful I’m sure. For me, it took a while to just get to an overall sense of what I liked and didn’t.

Bottom line as I mentioned before, above all enjoy the journey!
Ahh I follow now man. I wasn't too sure how to interpret the mental masturbation part to be honest, kind of thought it was directed to my wanting to make the spreadsheet. But yeah, I'm all over what you suggested, I've got a few tins for now of VA, VaPer, and Burley, VaBur to kind of get my feet wet. I grabbed a couple that were also in the sampler so I can compare them as I go to make sure the sampler is an adequate representation of the blend.
 
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Harv

Lurker
Jun 1, 2024
27
55
Pattaya, Thailand
As someone who also uses spreadsheets to track my blends, smokes, pipes, etc..., I can appreciate the analytical nature of your process. However, as a relatively new pipe smoker myself I have also found that my taste is evolving rather quickly as I gain experience. My subjective journalling about blends as I try them has been more actually helpful to me in figuring out what I like. It often takes more than just a couple bowls of a blend to figure that out. I've had blends that I really didn't 'get' at all when first tried and then a month later (after trying other things, slowly developing my palette, etc...) really enjoyed when tried again.

In short I recommend both paths: basic subjective journalling of your experiences giving time for them to evolve, and basic management/inventorying of your stock as it grows.

Most of all, make sure you are enjoying yourself!
A fellow SCUBA Diver! Yeah I'm all over that one, and I've actually read a good few of your posts and appreciated them. I moved everything over to excel and I've got individual tabs also setup to get into more detail about the blends. In that area is a section of just notes like you're suggesting.

If you wanna see the current one feel free to shoot me a PM and I can e-mail it to you.
 
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