This Week In Smokes

This may or may not be a recurring thing I do, hell I can’t even keep up with the simple FAVORITE TUNES FRIDAY or anything interesting to post, but I will see.

My boy Jason on http://www.themindslam.com told me I should write about cigars and post pics since I am taking him under the wing of this fine art…..he has since flown the coop and reverted back to dip…..I understand why, it’s cheaper.

So, anyway this week in smokes.

I will start on 10/28/11 my buddy took me to a local Cigar shop that I had never been to before or as referred to as B&M (which stands for Brick & Mortar) this place was aptly named THE CIGAR BOX, we went on our lunch hour.

I picked up a LA GLORIA CUBANA & a SAN CRISTOBAL

I went to a local club on Saturday 10/28/11 and I brought with me a CARLOS TORANO FORTRESS, LGC and SAN CRISTOBAL.

I smoked the TORANO and loved it, great medium to full flavors, and it had a hefty Ring Gauge, afterwards I dove into the LGC about an hour later and I really didn’t enjoy it, it might been because I still had the TORANO on my palate…I haven’t written them off entirely, I will try them again.

I couldn’t get to the San Cristobal I was a little drunk and I really wanted to enjoy it….I mean just look at that band…Beautiful

I smoked the SAN CRISTOBAL on Halloween while given out candy to the kiddies, this was a FANTASTIC smoke, lots of great flavor and I had no burn issues.

Tuesday I had a TATUAJE VEROCU #5 which was gifted to me by a friend from http://www.CIGARASYLUM.COM

I have not had a TAT I didn’t like and this one was no exception.

On  Wednesday I received this package in the mail it was given to me as part of a trade (I gave him some 5 finger slot bags for his cigars) and in return he smacked me with these goodies.

Included are:

  1. LA ESTRELLA CUBANA CHURCHILL
  2. AURORA BARRELL AGED
  3. ARGANEZE CUGINE MEMBERS CLUB TORPEDO
  4. JOYA DE NICARAGUA CELEBRATION PURO
  5. DON PEPIN GARCIA CUBANA CLASSIC
  6. CAO GOLD
  7. ROCKY PATEL THE EDGE
  8. ALEC BRADLEY 1997 HARVEST SELECTION
  9. CAIN DAYTONA #4
  10. MAN O’ WAR RUINATION

On Wednesday I had a GURKHA EUROPEAN SELECTION, I was not impressed this stick was pretty much just boring

Thursday I went to my 1st Cigar Event held by a local B&M (not the same one) this one is called the PIPE PUFFER they had a representative from GENERAL CIGARS and had free refreshments and of course cigars, but you had to buy 3 to get 1 free or buy 7 to get 3 free.  I opted for buy 3 get one free. I bought 6 in all, but you had to buy certain ones to get the deal, here is what I bought

  1. MACANUDO CRU ROYALOE
  2. CASA DE GARCIA
  3. PUNCH
  4. CAO OSA SOL LOT 58 (This was my freebie)
  5. LA GLORIA CUBANA SERIES N
  6. HOYO DE MONTERREY EXCALIBUR MADURO
  7. BRICKHOUSE

I have been hearing great things about BRICKHOUSE, so I smoked it right there…..it was awesome and I even caught a Nicotine buzz heh…nice!

This is all the SWAG they had

And here is what I won…..sexy eh?

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Comedian Or Stuntman

I’ve been in a funk lately;  I just haven’t had or couldn’t find anything to write about that has been worthwhile to you my dear readers  So, I am really pushing myself with this post, and I thought I would tell you about my childhood dreams.

When I was a little kid I heard about Steve Martin (who is still my all time favorite comedian, despite his terrible movies as of late),I am not sure where I discovered him it might have been Saturday Night Live  or where I got his records, but that’s not important. What is important was that I discovered him and he forever changed my life.

I would listen to his records religiously front to back over and over, memorize it and then “perform” it in the mirror or standing up in front of my empty bed and sometimes to my friends. This is where I discovered the gift of making people laugh and immediately fell in love with this art.

Then I started discovering other comedians like Bill Cosby, Gallagher, Howie Mandel, George Carlin, Robin Williams & Louie Anderson to give you an idea. I started studying these acts…comedy was very important to me.

I was never the typical “Class clown” but I did have my moments, but they were usually with my group of friends that I could make laugh. In the 80’s when I got cable I discovered A&E’s An Evening At The Improve this damn show seemed to be on 24/7 and my ass watched it religiously as well learning the craft, finding out what worked and what didn’t. An old friend of mine’s mom used to watch it too and we would compare notes and she brought up something that I’ve never forgot she said that comedians are sad people and they turn their pain into pleasure for others and it helps them when they make people laugh, I guess it was like therapy to them. I didn’t realize it at the time, but she was right…now I’m not saying ALL comedians are this narcissistic, but there are some depressed comedians that ended up taking their own life.

Richard Jeni

Mitch Hedberg

Sam Kinison

Chris Farly

John Belushi

Greg Giraldo

Those are to name a few, most of these were “accidental overdoses” but my point is I wasn’t depressed hell I was a pretty good go lucky guy, I was kind of an outsider in HS because of my heavy metal music and long hair at a christian school, but I did have friends…..mostly the freaks & geeks lol.

I got a big break in HS, I was at a school dance that was being held at a small club and I was talking to the DJ who happened to be a big time local radio DJ here in town, he was DJ-ing because he was an alumni from the school. Anyway him and I started talking about comedy and he said the he does some stand up at a club downtown and offered me 5-10 min spot, I took his card and never called him……..I didn’t have the guts or courage….I still don’t, see I never wrote my own material, I just mimicked everyone elses stuff and you can’t do that. I don’t regret it and I still love and study comedy, but that was definitely not my calling.

My other childhood dream was to be a stuntman, now this fantasy may have came before the comedian idea I believe, because it was in the 70’s when I discovered EVEL KNEVIL the baddest mofo on the planet as far as i was concerned, here was something I could definitely do, ride a bike and jumps things……SOLD! He used to do these elaborate stunts and they were televised oh you can bet your ass I was watching, I believe the 1st one I seen him do was at a monster truck show or demolition derby or something and he had on this amazing stars & stripes jumpsuit with a CAPE!!!! How badass is that for 6 or 7 year old eh? He was MY superhero before I discovered Batman. He jumped over like 10-15 semi trailers and made it!

He was a cultural icon as well there were t-shirts, belt buckles, lunchboxes and toys of this badass, and I had them all!

You get the idea, I was his #1 fan…….hell even my grandma knew of my fascination with this man that when she met him she got me his autograph….I wish I still had it….Miss you granny!

Ok so I started doing stunts around the neighborhood, I would jump ramps, fall off my bike in the street on purpose and roll and I’m talking at booking speed for a kid…so what maybe 3-5 mph? I dunno, but it was fast to me and that pavement hurt, but I didn’t feel it I was a STUNTMAN! I would climb the highest branch on the tree and tell my friends to shoot me and I was would fall straight down. I would run my bike into other bikes or into garage doors or fences. On day I lined up 10 kids and ran and jumped them, I landed on the 10th kid….my brother, he was pissed sorry bro I misjudged my jump. I would even get on the roof jump off backwards and land on my back…never broke a bone…..until.

This went on for years, at least until I was a freshman in HS I was helping my step dad help his step dad move one cold Saturday morning and there were these steps with an iron bannister outside….I looked at the steps and thought I could jump this (see I was always practicing) but I didn’t want to jump the stairs, no I wanted to jump off the top and down to the ground….there wasn’t another set of stairs,  just cement….this is the best example I could find.

I was at the top on the rails, I believe there were 3 rails total and I was on the top one for more height and jumped up and out and down.

On the way down my right arm stuck the iron bannister and I heard a *SNAP* I knew something was not right, but I helped them move anyway. Turns out that my arm was broke, but my mom didn’t take me to the Dr. for several weeks even though I told her my arm was broke she wouldn’t believe me….HELLO? The damn thing was purple and bloated…oh well. One day I was at my aunts (she used to watch me and my brother when we got off school until my mom got off work to pick us up) and she asked me what was wrong my my arm, I said it’s broke (she has 4 kids, she knew the signs and symptoms for all) she said it sure is….well she calls my mom and asks her if she knew my arm was broke and she said that I had told her, but she didn’t think it was true, so my aunt informed her it was true.

We went to the Dr. and mom said for me not to tell the Doc that I had told her about this since she didn’t want to seem like she was a neg-lector…which she isn’t she probably just didn’t have to cash to take me there…hell I was in the emergency room nightly, I was on a one named basis with the staff…no joke, I was something else.

Fast forward to college, I had gotten into skateboarding, I had the banana boards when I was kid, but I had a sweet METALLICA deck in college, but couldn’t ride for shit….never could. One night in the dorm me and my buds have a brilliant idea and thought we would ride the skateboards in the hallway and land on mattresses….this was pre-Jackass people…we were were risk takers! I ended up breaking my left leg that night.

After the cast was removed I got back on my deck went outside the dorm door and immediately fell and broke my left leg….SEIOUSLY???? Mom was pissed boy, that was the end of my Stuntman career, even though I had only broke 3 bones in my body, nothing like my hero Evel….he broke EVERY bone in his body more than once….I still love that man, him and Burt Reynolds…hey he was the Bandit & Hooper.

 

 

 

My 1st Herf

“A herf is a gathering of smokers, which usually turns into a gathering of friends where in stories are told, smokes are shared, run rampant and generally a BBQ breaks out….Most people stress about their first one with new people…what do I bring, am I expected to hand out smokes, ect. Just show up and be yourself….unless your an asshole, then you should probably be someone else…if you have the means to hand out a few smokes, do so, if not don’t. Just have a good time” Loki from the Puff.com forums

I know some of you would ask “What’s a herf?” So there is your explanation and this is EXACTLY what it is. Just a group of people be it male or female that enjoy cigars and good company.

I have only been smoking cigars for a little over 3 years, my brother in law (was only a co-worker at the time) got me into the art form that is smoking cigars. I say art form, because there is a tender beauty to cigar smoking…there are rules.

The lighting of the cigar, you can’t just put the bic to the “stick” (term of cigar, as well as “stogie” and the plain “smoke” there may be more, but I am a noob so those are the only 3 I have heard) and light it…oh no, there are rules.

1st off NEVER use a bic, in fact the best way to light your “stogie” is to use a wooden match (they burn longer) or a flame torch lighter and you must light the outer area of the “stick” first and make sure it is really lit. Then you can cut your cigar, or punch it (I have covered this already in my previous posts) or bite it, but I would not recommend this unless you want bits of tobacco and paper in your mouth.

One your cigar is cut or punched then you take your lighter or match to the “stick” and slowly rotate the cigar while you puff (NEVER INHALE….think of like going underwater in a swimming pool…just take the water in then exhale same with a cigar) and make sure the cigar is lit.

When smoking you only take about a puff every minute to two minutes, if you smoke it too fast you will taste the burn on your tongue (not pleasant) if you draw (puff) too fast it makes the “stick” burn too fast and you lose the flavor and this is the whole reason to smoke cigars.

Ok now that I have given you a little bit of the rules I will get to the point of today’s blog.

I joined a cigar message board that I am very happy with and it has consumed my time away from my blog, my emails and my Xbox!!!!  You cant join this board and start out reading the “stickies” and several days can go by while you soak in all the information, before you even have your 1st post.

So anyway I seen on the board that some fellow Indiana (Hoosiers) cigar smokers were going to have a herf and I decided to go. It was originally going to be at a bar, but this got moved because the bar owner was closing it down for the day….it was Labor Day so I’m sure he just didn’t want to work.

Well one of the guys stepped forward and said we could have it at his grandparents house. I didn’t I just wanted to go and get my herf cherry popped so to speak.

Well I went and had a great time, met some great people and enjoyed some great smokes and great food. These people even shared their smokes with me and gave me some sticks which is always appreciated, but never expected. A few even came from Ohio to be there, which was surprising and inspiring that they would travel to just hang….very cool in my eyes.

I can definitely see myself doing this about once a month or so, I have even been invited to a herf this Saturday in KY, I am racking my brain trying to think of how I can scrape up the $ to go…….I seriously need a 2nd job. (Not kidding).

Here a few pics, I will leave the faces out so no one will be offended (if they stumble upon this blog)

This was the view from the backyard

Swag

One of the cigars I was given

Alan Wake

This is for my gaming friends, all others can skip if you want.

Last night I finished Alan Wake for the Xbox 360. If you are not familiar with the game here is the plot from Wikipedia:

“Bestselling thriller writer Alan Wake suffers from a two-year long stretch of writer’s block. He and his wife Alice travel to the small rural town of Bright Falls, Washington for a short vacation, hoping to recover his creative flow. Alan retrieves keys and map to their rented cabin from a veiled woman in black standing in for the cabin’s sick owner at their scheduled meeting. The couple drives to the cabin which sits on an island in Cauldron Lake. As they unpack their supplies, Alan discovers that Alice has set up a typewriter for Alan in the cabin’s study, hoping that he would be able to start on his new work. Angered by her persistence, Alan steps outside for a walk, only to hear Alice’s screams moments later. He finds something has dragged Alice from the cabin into the lake waters, and he dives in after her, and soon loses consciousness.”

That’s pretty much the jist of it, the wiki goes into more detail and even giving the ending away, I won’t do that.

The game would be described as survival horror and I would agree with that, there were some “Oh Shit!” moments that made me jump heh. It’s a 3rd person game and you control Alan Wake on his search for his wife.

Your weapn of choice is a flashlight, yep that’s right see your enemies are called “The Taken” and they live in darkness. They are tough as nails too, but if you hit them with light they get weak. You also encounter other weapons as well such as a revolver, pump action shotgun, hunting rifle, flare gun, flares and flashbangs (which are awesome!).

Later as the darkness gets stronger it will hurl barrels, tires, farming tractors, cars buses and even a fucking crane and boats (ships) at you!!!!!

The atmosphere in the game is like something I have never seen in a game, this game was pushed back several times and it was even in development hell. I think with the game makers pushing the game back to get it right worked in their favor, the lighting in this game is like no other, when your in the forrest and are getting ready to come upon “The Taken” you know it’s about to happen, now with that being said you won’t ALWAYS know when “The Taken” are around, they will surprise you and make you jump….so you are on your guard.

the wind and smoke will crisscross and make you feel like you are in a howling vortex in a way, a very dizzying and terrifying feeling…..you just have to see it to understand what I am saying.

The voice acting is top notch on all characters however I don’t think the characters look as good as the settings and atmosphere, but this didn’t make the game suck or anything.

While playing the game you don’t really know what is going on storywise, which added more of a Hitchcock feeling which is a + in my book. They added in things to keep you on your toes like driving, pushing things out of your way to create a path (Tomb Raider style) and starting up generators to get light, so it wasn’t just running through the woods, and oh man the ending is different and cool I even smiled to myself.

This is a short game sadly, my best friend (he doesn’t blog) picked up the game used (He bought it when it first came out and couldn’t handle the combat he said “It’s brutal” + plus other games had come out and consumed more of his time so he sold it) because hearing me talk about the game made him want to play it again, anyway he bought it on May 10th and he’s already on Episode 4, so I wouldn’t recommend buying the game, but def worth a rental and you should have it beaten in a weekend.

I give Alan Wake a B+