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“It is very probable, as a friend remarked to me, that Kant‘s works would not have been written in such a curious and bad style had he not smoked so much.” Leo Tolstoi committed about Kants writings. And yes Kant didn’t know the fear of burning down briars, he used clay pipes as far as we know.

To interprete the “heaven and earth” statement we need to take a look at the Elizabethan world view. That was a time when one star crosses the other and Romeo and Juliet fell in love.

So the heaven and earth statement appears in certain sense that is in lightened to the doomed beliefs of the Elizabethan era, and just means there might be more stars, and so far, more inescapable fate to come.

Yes of course there might be things between heaven and earth we cannot even think of.

But we are not talking about rocket science when it comes to pipes smoking. We know quite well about how briar behaves, and it is a sturdy and heat resistant peace of wood.

That’s not an illusion. It’s real. Maybe your father got the illusion to protect his pipes further by building up a cake. A lore which I doubt. Or he might have been just to lazy to clean his pipes, who knows?

So long, telescopes, we may party some day because you didn’t forget to mention one thing, that’s love.
Kant and all the philosophers, scientist, and physicist can do what they do. But they can not answer the question of why one person, in a moment of hate and revenge, puts down their sword, and finds comfort in forgiveness.

Life, as I have had the privilege to discover it, is not linear. Nor have I traveled it without knowing the presence of a guiding hand and presence. Although I do not have explanations for every mystery I've encountered, I don't require them.

But I do know this. An uncaked pipe, being smoked in the wind, will tend to have the heat inside drawn toward the direction of the wind and this will result in a burnout. I have recreated this experiment successfully, unfortunately, four times. That said, in all cases where the pipe had some cake, no burnouts occurred.

So, if Kant and all the scientist want to discount building up a cake, so be it. I rather enjoy the ceremony of smoking a new pipe in thirds. If someone doesn't, don't - smoke it at will.

My father, a heavy, hard, overbearing smoker, NEVER had a pipe burn out in over 70 years. He never even had an uneven chamber develop. That's not an illusion. Especially for a locomotive.

Doubt it. No worries on my part. I am poet by trade, a teacher by pay check, and retired after many long years. Mystery is just par for the course.
 
Boy, did you hit on some powerful stuff here. This is an excellent post!

I'm of mixed mind about this. Surely, you are absolutely correct, i.e. the wealth of digital information has made people quick to take intellectual shortcuts and avoid as much trouble from trial-and-error as possible. That has engendered, somewhat ironically, a sense of incuriousness in some people; why be in a hurry to devote time and energy into learning something when you can find it online whenever you want? When you have practically all the accumulated knowledge of our species at your fingertips, the impetus to cultivate one's own wellspring of knowledge and experience diminishes because it is already there. Of course, there are people whose appetite for learning is insatiable, and that means the internet is a boon for them. But for every person like that, it seems there are three telling you to "Google it" and other nine who go to "iamrightabouteverything dotcom" to just confirm their own prejudices and biases.

On the other hand, that same wealth of information has made it so certain kinds of knowledge and practice remain with us long after they would have been (or already were) disposed of. Pipe smoking is a good example of this. I know one other pipe smoker personally, and he also learned by digging online. Without that resource, the likelihood of me giving this hobby a try would have been remote, because I would have had no foundation on which to build. This has allowed a sharing of knowledge, experiences, practices, and cultures across time and space, a sharing which would not have been possible to this degree in even the best furnished of libraries of even 50 years ago.

I guess I'm saying that those who will, will. Those who do not, won't. The internet has made it easier than ever for those who will. But it has, paradoxically enough, made the numbers of those who will not greater.
I think I agree.

That was a lot. I will share with you this. I came of age when a Brick and Mortar pipe shop was easy to find. I enjoyed them and the best part was sharing a load of pipe smoking with a bunch of older men who loved pipe smoking every bit as much as me. With this comes lore. Comes stories. Comes all sorts of whatever. Take that away. Quantify everything and what do you have. The internet. Not people in real time or in flesh and blood. Not people with families, lives, loved ones, stories, and adventures. The internet. Why choose the internet when you can, could have had, a world of people, their lives, and their loves, all rolled out on a set of chairs at the front of the pipe store.
 

K.E. Powell

Starting to Get Obsessed
Aug 20, 2022
244
766
36
West Virginia
I think I agree.

That was a lot. I will share with you this. I came of age when a Brick and Mortar pipe shop was easy to find. I enjoyed them and the best part was sharing a load of pipe smoking with a bunch of older men who loved pipe smoking every bit as much as me. With this comes lore. Comes stories. Comes all sorts of whatever. Take that away. Quantify everything and what do you have. The internet. Not people in real time or in flesh and blood. Not people with families, lives, loved ones, stories, and adventures. The internet. Why choose the internet when you can, could have had, a world of people, their lives, and their loves, all rolled out on a set of chairs at the front of the pipe store.
Yes, I agree with that. But the world has moved on, and old men sitting out in front of the pipe store sharing stories is largely a thing of the past these days. I try not to pine for lost worlds or strive for imagined ones; I live in the present and try to never indulge in wishful thinking or any other impulse to not take things for how they truly are, as I can best judge. Still, there is so much to learn and gain from in studying old ways. Sometimes, the internet provides a good window into such. Sometimes not. But we work with what we have. I know sometimes members of this online forum will occasionally gather at a B&M and enjoy the very experience you just described. Mayhap if such a gathering ever happens close to my neck of the woods, I will get to enjoy that for myself.
 
Yes, I agree with that. But the world has moved on, and old men sitting out in front of the pipe store sharing stories is largely a thing of the past these days. I try not to pine for lost worlds or strive for imagined ones; I live in the present and try to never indulge in wishful thinking or any other impulse to not take things for how they truly are, as I can best judge. Still, there is so much to learn and gain from in studying old ways. Sometimes, the internet provides a good window into such. Sometimes not. But we work with what we have. I know sometimes members of this online forum will occasionally gather at a B&M and enjoy the very experience you just described. Mayhap if such a gathering ever happens close to my neck of the woods, I will get to enjoy that for myself.
Up until recently, I had two full blown brick and mortar stores. The Palm Desert Tobacconist retired. The Tinder Box in Palm Spring is still going strong. I am able to visit San Diego enough that I can join people at Liberty and the shop in Old Town.

Although the internet brings cheaper prices, more choices, etc, etc. what it can not bring to the table are the other three senses: smell, taste, and feel, as well as the other, the one the French knew so well, esprit de corps. It gives us pictures and sometimes, sound. But not the analog sounds of really being there. There is a reason that records are still valued over CDs for certain things.

I've seen over a 100 sunsets from over a 100 different places in the world. No photo, no movie, no description in a book can match what I've seen, heard, tasted, felt, and smelled in all my adventures. Henry David Thoreau had Walden Pond for a season. I have the Earth and all its wonders for a lifetime.

In the words of the immortal Peter Sellers

Being There

It makes all the difference.
 

Fo0zle

Lurker
Jan 22, 2023
28
51
28
Western N.C.
1. Maybe not a myth as such, but a lot of the YouTube pipe crowd seem to perpetuate this idea that you should strive to smoke the bowl all the way down without needing to relight.

In reality it’s pretty common even for very experienced pipe smokers to relight several times. And even more depends on how wet your tobacco is, the weather, etc.

It would have been nice to know that starting out, because feeling like I was doing something wrong definitely made smoking less enjoyable.

2. Folks say you need a very specific type of lighter or the flavor of your bowl will be ruined.

In my experience this is just not true. The most reliable lighter I’ve used is a Zippo with a pipe insert, and if you avoid overfilling it you won’t really taste lighter fluid at all.

I’ve even used a Bic candle lighter and it worked just fine.

The real advice should just be “use whatever you want as long as it’s not a torch lighter”

Also, hemp wick is WAY better than matches for charring lights and nobody ever talks about it in the pipe world.
 

Fo0zle

Lurker
Jan 22, 2023
28
51
28
Western N.C.
They're spoken of fairly regularly on forums. Youtube is one of the worst places for pipe smoking information.

You can use torch lighters but a lot of care must be taken.
Interesting. Must not make it to search engines. I never saw it as a suggestion when I was googling about the best ways to light a pipe.

Are they mentioned in the guides here?
 
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didimauw

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 28, 2013
7,753
20,582
33
Burlington WI
I think it is practical and convenient to sell pre packed pipes, especially at the pub during that era (with out having the market at your fingertips). Think of it this way: a strong majority of cigarettes are sold prefilled and often sold in bars st a premium before the vending machines were outlawed. With the average clay pipe life span of 2 years, the pipe could be refilled (similar to popcorn at the movie theatre).

Here is a historical business that sells just the clay Penny Pipe for $3 (and other clay pipes cheaper the SPC or PC. A penny for a pipe and chamber's worth of tobacco seems like a fair price, but I have no dog in this fight.

That'd be a great pipe for someone to...idk....smoke for a whole year!!!! 😂
 

Chasing Embers

Captain of the Black Frigate
Nov 12, 2014
38,525
85,325
Must not make it to search engines
You just have to be specific and the forum search engine has never worked. They mostly come up in lighter discussions, rarely threads.

 

crashthegrey

Lifer
Dec 18, 2015
3,391
1,882
40
Cobleskill, NY
www.greywoodie.com
You just have to be specific and the forum search engine has never worked. They mostly come up in lighter discussions, rarely threads.

Les taught me all about it after that and I use it frequently to this day.
 
When I was in Tunisia last summer, an older man, maybe in his 80s, noticed I was smoking a three star Lee. He spoke some English and asked me if I was enjoying my pipe. I told him I was, very much. We talked some and then he asked me if I was Italian. I laughed, and said not likely. When I asked him "why?" he proceeded to tell me that back in the late 40s it was not uncommon to see Americans who were with the Mafia, running various "goods" out of Italy and through Tunis and then to America. He said these men often smoked Lees and that the number of stars indicated their stature in the organization. A one star meant a non Italian, a two star a made man, a three star a Capio, and a fourth star higher up. He said only five stars were smoked by the very top men who you rarely saw. He asked to see my pipe. It was a first generation seven pointed star. He told me the points stood for the various vices and these were what the men preyed on to make their money. I offered him my pipe for the good story and he thanked me, laughed, and went on his way saying now, finally after all these years, he was a made man.

He didn't say anything about Kaywoodie.
 

sablebrush52

The Bard Of Barlings
Jun 15, 2013
17,191
34,249
SoCal
jrs457.wixsite.com
When I was in Tunisia last summer, an older man, maybe in his 80s, noticed I was smoking a three star Lee. He spoke some English and asked me if I was enjoying my pipe. I told him I was, very much. We talked some and then he asked me if I was Italian. I laughed, and said not likely. When I asked him "why?" he proceeded to tell me that back in the late 40s it was not uncommon to see Americans who were with the Mafia, running various "goods" out of Italy and through Tunis and then to America. He said these men often smoked Lees and that the number of stars indicated their stature in the organization. A one star meant a non Italian, a two star a made man, a three star a Capio, and a fourth star higher up. He said only five stars were smoked by the very top men who you rarely saw. He asked to see my pipe. It was a first generation seven pointed star. He told me the points stood for the various vices and these were what the men preyed on to make their money. I offered him my pipe for the good story and he thanked me, laughed, and went on his way saying now, finally after all these years, he was a made man.

He didn't say anything about Kaywoodie.
Lee, the choice of Mafiosi everywhere.
 

OzPiper

Lifer
Nov 30, 2020
3,656
17,611
70
Sydney, Australia
Lee, the choice of Mafiosi everywhere.
When I was in Tunisia last summer, an older man, maybe in his 80s, noticed I was smoking a three star Lee. He spoke some English and asked me if I was enjoying my pipe. I told him I was, very much. We talked some and then he asked me if I was Italian. I laughed, and said not likely. When I asked him "why?" he proceeded to tell me that back in the late 40s it was not uncommon to see Americans who were with the Mafia, running various "goods" out of Italy and through Tunis and then to America. He said these men often smoked Lees and that the number of stars indicated their stature in the organization. A one star meant a non Italian, a two star a made man, a three star a Capio, and a fourth star higher up. He said only five stars were smoked by the very top men who you rarely saw. He asked to see my pipe. It was a first generation seven pointed star. He told me the points stood for the various vices and these were what the men preyed on to make their money. I offered him my pipe for the good story and he thanked me, laughed, and went on his way saying now, finally after all these years, he was a made man.
@Briar Lee
Were you aware of this ?
😉
 

anotherbob

Lifer
Mar 30, 2019
13,019
24,409
44
In the semi-rural NorthEastern USA
I don't think you're quite human which is not a bad thing. But there are several very basic human needs you insist are not needs at all. You're an odd one, which is a good thing. But I disagree and say people need myths and several other things that are part of most of our basic nature.
The myths I see today are that pipe smoking has rules and definitive techniques. "Should I be lighting my pipe from a 90° or 92° angle?" Some of the detailed wankery I see on social media has me scratching my head. "I just got into pipe smoking, and I was hoping to find the fifty definitive rules to piping so I don't have to forge my own path, so I don't have to do any experimenting, so I can shrink the learning curve from years into three days, and so I do it exactly right." And we almost always oblige this lack of genuine curiosity and general lack of problem solving; thus, encouraging it to not be a past time, but yet another task to conquer and dominate.
It does perplex me how many new smokers seem to have this impression that there is a very narrow line of correct ways to smoke. It's like cooking there are some immutable facts but as long as it's safe and enjoyable it's right. Like if you pack too tight it makes it harder to smoke but that isn't a matter of correct or not.
 

UB 40

Can't Leave
Jul 7, 2022
436
4,008
60
Cologne/ Germany
nahbesprechung.net
1. Maybe not a myth as such, but a lot of the YouTube pipe crowd seem to perpetuate this idea that you should strive to smoke the bowl all the way down without needing to relight.

In reality it’s pretty common even for very experienced pipe smokers to relight several times. And even more depends on how wet your tobacco is, the weather, etc.

It would have been nice to know that starting out, because feeling like I was doing something wrong definitely made smoking less enjoyable.

2. Folks say you need a very specific type of lighter or the flavor of your bowl will be ruined.

In my experience this is just not true. The most reliable lighter I’ve used is a Zippo with a pipe insert, and if you avoid overfilling it you won’t really taste lighter fluid at all.

I’ve even used a Bic candle lighter and it worked just fine.

The real advice should just be “use whatever you want as long as it’s not a torch lighter”

Also, hemp wick is WAY better than matches for charring lights and nobody ever talks about it in the pipe world.
Ah yes No 1 is another myth or rule of the art of smoking. What a bullshit.
 
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