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Starting to Get Obsessed
Oct 27, 2011
Wasilla, Alaska
I'm 37, married for 9 years and have two children (ages 5 & 3). I'm originally from NE Florida, but escaped to Alaska 14 years ago. The decision to move here a spur of the moment thing. I quit my job, sold all my stuff, dropped out of college, and bought a one-way plane ticket. No job, no plan, a few hundred bucks in my pocket was all I had. It wasn't easy, but now I have a trade and I live a pretty good life. I love it here! Ah, my trade. I'm a truck driver by trade and I typically do heavy haul on the Slope and around the state. I used to specialize in HAZMAT tank but when I learned that I could make more money hauling dirt with less responsibility, then I moved into gravel haul for a bit. Now, I'm the lowboy guy (75 & 100 Ton lowboys)
As for my hobbies. I'm a car, motorcycle, boat guy. Well, truthfully, pretty much anything with spark plugs kind of guy. I fish (often, poorly), Love to cook, much to the detriment of my waistline. Last and most expensive, continuous projects at "Rancho dinero pit-o" My old house and property.

What I do.

From my last job. Just north of Atigun Pass in the Brooks Range at Galbraith Lake. In the Mornings, I would have my morning pipe, a cup of black coffee, and quietly enjoy the sunrise. A good way to start the day, even if it's only 15 degrees outside :)



Starting to Get Obsessed
Oct 27, 2011
Wasilla, Alaska
Joe, I got to ask, you drive the ice roads?

Not only do I drive on them, but I often help build them in the winter. Don't believe everything you see on TV.
Ice road on ocean to Oooguruk Island




Sep 14, 2011
61 years old, retired involuntarily due to the bank shenanigans in '08. Was in IT; spent the last 10 years doing contract work for the Ford and GM - mostly Ford, including Ford Credit. Married 37 years, 3 daughters, ages 29, 27, 25. (All three have college degrees, real jobs with benefits that can't get sent to India, and own houses - one of those is a HUD house being rehabbed that should be ready soon. One married, one getting married next October.) No grandkids.

As a former IT guy, computers are just normal for me, so I do a lot of online stuff. Active in my church - I'm a Unitarian Universalist - state commissioner for the Clan Campbell Society (North America), member of the local St. Andrew's Society. Also a voracious reader.

After two years of unemployment, then a bunch of part-time stuff for the Census Bureau, I am just now trying to figure out what it means to be retired. :puffy:



Can't Leave
Oct 17, 2010
I dont know if I posted here when I was new so here goes. I am an iron worker I live outside of Pittsburgh PA I am 32 married with 2 kids and one on the way my oldest is 3 I must be crazy. I like anything to do with the outdoors. I smoke more cigars than pipes but would like to get back into pipes.



Starting to Get Obsessed
Oct 19, 2011
I agree with you Hobie, this is a fun post to read. I'll put my story up since while I'm at it.
I am 20 and will turn 21 this August. I was born in downtown Chicago and slowly made my way north (within Chicagoland) as I got older. I am a swimmer and classical piano player and recently I've been plucking a guitar because there is no piano for me to play (more on this later); I've been doing both piano and swimming since I was 8. I swam on club up until high school where I then joined the varsity swim team. I swam my first year at Grinnell College before other interesting things popped up my second year, so I dropped the competitive swimming. Piano-wise, I enjoy playing pieces by Bach, Liszt and Chopin primarily. I've played some Rachmaninoff and Beethoven too.
I graduated from High School in 2009 and was admitted to Grinnell College in Iowa. I went in as an "undeclared" major, but I had a good idea that I wanted to do some sort of science. Physics and Chemistry seemed to be my calling. Second year rolled around and I was still unsure. I took an introductory acting course my first semester because my sister recommended it, and I absolutely loved it. Maybe because it was completely different than all of my other lecture/lab-based classes. I decided not to swim this second year because auditions for the school theater production were coming up. I'd been swimming competitively for so long, and being on the team was a big time drain. I thought it was time for something different. I participated in the play, had a great time, and called home about it, yadayada. My piano teacher of... oh, 6 years or so showed some interest. She told me that I should go to China and see what the market was like for actors. She recommended that I go after I graduate from Grinnell. I had some other plans. I was getting a bit sick of Grinnell, actually, so I decided that I wanted to take a year off. I talked to my school about the possibility, they said "sure", I went online and looked up film schools in China, found Beijing Film Academy and applied. I applied for the 1-year program and was accepted. Currently I'm on winter break (Jan 13 - Feb 27... FAR too long if you ask me) and preparing for the entrance exam for the bachelor's degree, the four-year acting program.
Yes, now I have to decide whether or not I want to stay here for four more years and do some acting stuff OR go back to Grinnell and finish my Physics/Chemistry degree... quite a decision I have to make. I want to curl up into a ball...
How I got into smoking... Well, I can safely say that it was a bit of a uncertain decision. I actually had a distant uncle that passed away from, I think, a severe asthma attack. Despite his asthma, he still smoked cigarettes. When I was younger, I had some issues with asthma too, but swimming pretty much got rid of that completely. So, I started out by looking at things I could smoke without having to inhale. I have a neighbor back at home that smoked cigars when it was summer. I'd have my window open and a wonderful smell would always waft by. So I thought to myself my second year in college, "I want to try a cigar". I was scared of pipes because I thought that there was so much equipment that I had to get BEFORE I could even enjoy pipe tobacco. I went to the small market in my college town and looked inside their humidor. Well, not really a humidor, just this cabinet that LOOKED like one; it didn't seem like there was any proper temperature and humidity regulation within. I bought two, brought them back, and lit one up. HURK, after I tried both, I was thinking to myself, "How do people even smoke these things?". Granted, this was one of those cheapie cigars. I knew I had to go to an actual tobacconist to get some real cigars.
Several weeks later, I hear that there is a shuttle going from our college to Des Moines Iowa. I look up online if there are any tobacco shops in Des Moines. I find one, but it's in Central Des Moines and the shuttle is going to West Des Moines. No problem, I can walk, right? The shuttle was going to pick us up after six hours in Des Moines, so it seemed like plenty of time.
I didn't factor in my stupidity. I didn't wear comfortable shoes for walking/running. I had brought my laptop (why did I do that again?). It took me hours of walking/running in hot and sunny weather. When I got to the store, I couldn't have been happier. I picked out some Oliva, Rocky Patel, Brickhouse, and two others. Then I looked at the time. Only two hours left, crud. I had no choice but to call a cab. I climbed and after we started rolling, I watched the money count go higher and higher. I looked in my wallet. Uh oh, I shouldn't have gotten that 5th cigar, should I have? For some reason, I decide to ask the cabbie what a cabbie would do if the customer made a run for it because they didn't have enough money. OH MAN you had to be in that cab to fully realize the situation. The cabbie was suddenly super... defensive, should I call it? He told me about how he had numerous friends and family members in the law business. He definitely thought that I was planning on making a run for it. Truth be told, after he described all the methods available to him, I was getting a bit scared because I actually didn't have enough cash on me. Luckily he took debit, which I had.
Oh god, this is getting incredibly long, or at least that's what it feels like. I'll wrap this up.
I tried those cigars, they were kind of meh. The Rocky Patel The Edge was way too strong for me or my friend (he was also getting kind of interested in tobacco and cigars, sadly -- in my opinion -- he's gone the way of bongs and vaporizers...). During my late-night security office dispatch shifts, my officer walked by my computer as I was looking at random cigar websites. He then told me how he used to smoke pipes but things changed in his life and cigarettes were much more convenient (I recently shot him an email, to which he hasn't replied yet, that I myself had gotten into pipes).
And yes, smoking is much easier here in China, you can kind of do it wherever you want. I'm sure that has accounted for my getting into what I initially thought was inaccessible, pipe smoking. All I have left on me currently is ... 150RMB and I haven't paid rent for this month yet. If I could I would definitely go and get myself some more tobacco, but getting more pipe cleaners is hard enough as it is.
Welp, here ya go, that was kind of a random ramble, but that about sums up what I'd say in a bar/random place type of setting. I'm glad I was able to read about some of you guy's interesting stories. As I approach that fork in the road, your experiences will help me choose which route to go, but who knows, maybe those two paths will converge at some point...
Happy puffing.




Dec 3, 2011
Pleasanton, CA
34 years old, happy to still be here.
No wife, no kids, never been lucky in love, but been lucky enough to love a few times. I'm not sure if women made me crazy, or I made them crazy, or both, or what.
I used to do a lot of things, I've had many jobs, retail, call centers, mortgage sales, drove a cab, bank teller, dog walker, data entry, web design, IT infrastructure, and now I deliver mail as a courier (for the second time in 14 years). I've said it before and I'll say it again, walking dogs in the sunshine or driving a mail van around beats the heck out of earning a little more money sitting in a cubicle 9am-6pm Monday through Friday.
Start playing guitar when I was 14, my Dad taught me. Tried terribly hard to progress at it through my teen years but I hit a creative wall and put the thing down.
I describe myself as a techno sci-fi geek. I love my gadgets, consumer technology amazes me and I try to stay current on it. I built the PC I'm typing to you on now entirely from parts ordered from NewEgg. I like my video games so this thing isn't state of the art, but it's pretty close.
I'm a huge Star Trek and Star Wars fan, I've even been to conventions (I did say I was a geek). I saw David Duchovny and Gillian Andersen talk about the 2nd X-files movie before it came out at Wondercon 2008, and I've seen most of the cast of Star Trek The Next Generation uncomfortably get through getting on stage and trying to be entertaining in front of a crowd full of sci-fi wierdos (like me). Brent Spiner is by far the most awesome and Nichelle Nichols (Uhura from the original series) has a wonderful singing voice.
I used to totally avoid prime time TV but that changed about 5 years ago. Seen every single episode of: Star Trek The Next Generation, Star Trek Deep Space Nine, 24, Fringe, House, the 4400, and Doctor Who (excluding the ones that aired before I was born)
I've dabbled with DJing at home, mixed some progressive trance music, enough to make an album that I've only let a few people listen to. It isn't that great.
I'm a movie buff, I have so many quotes and movie themes floating around up there that I usually can tell when I see even a fairly obscure actor/actress from one movie to the next. I respect good acting, I recognize that these performances are a reflection of our dreams (and sometimes nightmares).
Even though I realized a long time ago that I can't play guitar very well, I've listened extensively to any music involving the instrument. Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Tom Petty, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Los Angeles Guitar Quartet and probably a thousand other artists and groups I will fail to mention here, I have profound respect for.
I'm also a huge fan of new age, electronica, ambient, trance, and house music. Daft Punk, Cicada, Fatboy Slim, Robert Miles, Groove Armada, Klaus Schulze, Enigma and this 17 year old kid from France that goes by Madeon are on the top of my list.
Music has gotten me through dark times, and a wise woman once told me "without music, there would be no joy". That might not be true for everyone, but it's pretty true for me.
I'm fond of getting into debates with people who are willing to share interesting thoughts and have open minds (I run into way more of these types of folks online than I do in person).
Geez, I almost forgot about books. I've either listened to on audiobook or read every book by Dean Koontz, Terry Goodkind, and Tolkien.
And I have many folks to thank on this forum for helping me enjoy pipe smoking to the utmost. I think you know who you are.



Starting to Get Obsessed
Oct 19, 2011
Oh Snap, Terry Goodkind! His Sword of Truth series was and still is my favorite series of all time. Glad to know another fan is on here.

Feb 6, 2012
Ill throw some newbie goodness in here.
I am 24 years old, from Houston, Texas. I have been happily married for just under 2 years to the most incredible woman :clap:
I was born in Dallas, moved to Houston at a week old. Due to strong influence and admiration of my grandfather - a country guitar player who played with many of the 50's and 60's legends - I spent the early part of my life obsessing over music and wanting to be a professional entertainer/musician. I did my time in a rock band and quit when I couldn't take any more of dealing with typical musicians :crazy: I had some fun times though and it gave me a chance to exercise my need for 30 inches of hair before it could interfere with my employment prospects :rofl:
I went to University of Houston and flopped majors several times between music and whatnot before finally graduating (in 4 years still!) in 2010 with a B.S. in Physics. I had a stint in law school, and realized that I just cannot do that with my life. I was hired by a successful lawyer I met by giving him guitar lessons, strangely enough, and have had a real good taste of the day-to-day in the biz. Last summer, my wife and I were making plans to move to Phoenix, where her family is (cave creek area on the northeast edge of town, beautiful place) and I was preparing to hop back into the sciences and work for Intel. At the last minute an opportunity to start a business reared its head and we decided to stay. I have been working days paralegal-ing at the law office while staying up all night pounding coffee and slamming code for the last few months, and hopefully we should be ready for public launch within the next few weeks.
My wife has a degree in music education and is a long-time singer, but like me she got burned out of music because of the typical experience you get dealing with other musicians. She tried out teaching but it wasn't really for her either.
We both tend to indulge ourselves in nerdery, reading comic books and playing lots of video games. A typical get together with our friends involves playing starcraft and taking breaks for pipes/cigars (my wife likes the pipe as much as I do, we always smoke together!)



Jun 5, 2010
Cornelius, NC
Music has gotten me through dark times, and a wise woman once told me "without music, there would be no joy". That might not be true for everyone, but it's pretty true for me.
zanthal: I with you on this one, without music, I would have ended it long ago.



May 26, 2012
Sarasota Florida
I turn 55 in December and I am a divorced father of 4 kids ages 22,18,17 and ten. I am originally from Boston and lived there until 1990 when I opened my first business. In Boston I dropped out of B.U after 2 years and became a mfgs rep in the jewelry industry representing 6 mfgs out of NY. I then got into the car business and became a manager for a couple of large dealerships in Boston. I owned an upscale billiard parlor in Warwick R.I for 20 years and closed it almost 2 years ago. I own the plaza where the billiard parlor is( bought that in 1994) so now I just collect rent. I hired a manager in 1996 to manage things for me so I could spend time with my kids and he is with me to this day. My oldest( 22 year old son ) is going into his senior year at Ringling College of Art, my oldest daughter( 18) just graduated h.s but is going into her first year of college as a sophomore( dual enrollment program). My 17 year old boy is a junior in h.s and my 10 year old girl is going into 5th grade.
I moved to Florida in 2003 because it was always my dream to live here and be warm year round. My grandparents moved to Miami Beach in the 50's so I have been coming here my whole life. I play a lot of tennis, some golf, do a lot of reading and spend a lot of time taking care of my 2 sons who live with me. My daughters live with their mom. We have 2 dogs, a yorkie and a 5 month old American bulldog. I also enjoy watching sports, movies and most history and science shows. I recently bought a town home and it has all the amenities. Clay tennis courts, full court basketball, pool, workout room, basically a country club atmosphere. I plan for it to be my last home, I hate moving.
I got into pipes around 1999 because a cigar buddy told me how cool it is. My dad and grandfather smoked pipes and I always loved the smell so I started up. I enjoy many different blends, love buying pipes and tobacco and have a serious case of PAD and TAD. Compared to the cigars I used to buy, I am way ahead of the game. I recently found this site and I am having a great time meeting everyone and talking about this great lifestyle.
Here is an ad I used to run for my billiard parlor. R.I went non smoking in 2006 which sucked big time, definitely cost me money.



Starting to Get Obsessed
Dec 2, 2011
Cigrmaster, thanks for sharing your story. I have family in Exeter, Rhode Island. I have actually been to your establishment in Warwick! I must confess I didn't play billiards as I am horrible and didn't want to embarrass myself or scratch one of your tables! LOL. That being said my Uncle Michael had a good time playing against some of your regulars and we all enjoyed the atmosphere.
Cheers to you my friend!



Apr 5, 2012
United States
Well, I'm Gunnar I'm 18 I live in eastern Washington. I graduated high school this year and I ship to boot camp November 12th ( marine corps) I tend to serve 4 years and then go to college I want to go into either engineering, biology, geology, archaeology, or get a teaching degree and teach world history. I love animals, I have two cats. I'm a Lutheran and i was on the committee to hire our new pastor. I have many hobbies, anything outdoors: fishing camping hunting shooting boating hiking etc. I enjoy working with my hands with woodworking and Iv welded a bit. I fly radio control airplanes been flying for a about 12 years and I play table top war games such as warhammer. Iv played in the concert and jazz band for a total of 8 years. I play trumpet. I'm learning vocals and guitar. I plan on moving south ASAP I can't stand cold weather and snow. I enjoy many different types of music jazz to hip hop to country. My interest in pipes and tobacco started when I was about 16 picked it up at 18. I belong to the YouTube pipe community and I make videos. Iv always wanted to learn how to surf. My dream job would be to become a pipe maker but I have no idea how I could make it into a career. Oh I also enjoy gardening. I have two younger siblings a brother and a sister they are twins and are 13.





Part of the Furniture Now
Aug 29, 2011
Gunnar, I was in the Corps from 00-04. Don't plan on getting out before you go in. It is a mistake, IMO. Do your twenty and then decide what you want to be when you grow up. At 38 years of age, you will have gained the life experience to really know what direction to take. The military life can be demanding but if you have nothing to hold you back, take advantage of what the Marine Corps will allow you to do and go see the world man. At times, I wish I would have done the same. If you really want to go to college, then excel at your MOS, get good pro/con marks and keep your nose clean. Then, look into MECP (Marine Enlisted Commissioning Program) which is fully funded tuition and they will pay you as an e5 while you go! Cant beat that! Good luck man.

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